Adding Calculations to your Excel Grade Book
You can use Excel to calculate some simple statistics on your assignment grades. These statistics can then be shared with your students. Although there are many functions you can use, we'll just look at how to calculate the mean and standard deviation for each of our assignments in this lesson.
- Let's first add some labels. Put your
cursor in cell C7 and type "Mean". Hit the enter key and type
"Std deviation" in cell C8. Your spreadsheet should look
like the one below:
- Now we need to type in cell D7 a formula for calculating the average (mean) grade.
Put your cursor in D7 and type (without the quotation marks) "=average(D2:D5)"
and hit the Enter key. This formula tells Excel to calculate the
average grade for Quiz 1.
- Now put your cursor in D8
and type in the formula to calculate the standard deviation.
Type "=stdev(D2:D5)". Hit the Enter key. Your spreadsheet
should look like this:
- Finally, we need to COPY
the formulas we created for Quiz 1, across for all of our
assignments. Put your cursor in D7 and drag down to D8 to
highlight those two cells.
- Click on Edit in the
menu at the top of the page and select Copy. Click in E7
cell, hold down the cursor and drag it to I8, highlighting two
rows beneath the remainder of assignments. Let go of the cursor.
- Click on Edit and
then select Paste. Means and standard deviations for all
of your assignments should appear:
Note: another quick way to copy a formula is to click on the cell that holds the formula, move your cursor over the cell until it turns to a solid plus sign (+) and then drag over the cells that you wish to copy the formula to.
Calculate total points
Once you have all your grades entered, you may use Excel to add up each of the student's total points. This score can then be used to calculate a final letter grade if you want. For this exercise, we will assume that the total possible points for all of the assignments adds up to 345 pts and that there is no weighting of assignments. You may weight assignments in Excel, but weighting will not be covered in this lesson.
- In the column to the right of Term Paper, type the column label Total Points. Hit the Enter key so that you are in the cell directly below the column label (J2 in this example).
- Type the following into J2 exactly, without the
quotation marks "=d2+e2+f2+g2+h2+i2" and hit the enter key when done. This is a
formula that will add all of the columns together. The total should appear in
the cell J2.
- Now you will need to copy the formula you typed in
J2 into the other remaining cells in column J. To do this, click on the cell
with the formula (e.g., J2) to highlight it.
- Then click on Edit in the menu at the top of
the page and select "Copy". Click in the J3 cell, hold down the cursor and drag
it to J5. Let go of the cursor. Click on Edit and then select "Paste". The new
totals in the remaining cells should appear.
Many of instructors like to use percentages as a way to calculate final grades. Let's go ahead and do this now for the grades we have entered.
- To the right of Total Points, type a new column label that says Percentage.
- Put your cursor in the cell directly below the column label
and type the following (without the quotation marks) "=j2/345*100"
and hit the enter key. In this formula, the asterisk (*) represents
the multiplication symbol and 345 is the total number of points the
students could have obtained.
- Copy and paste this formula into the cells below following the same procedure we used for the other formula. Note that this second formula could have been incorporated into total points formula if you wanted. The formula would have read "=(d2+e2+f2+g2+h2+i2)/345*100".
Assign a Final Letter Grade
To assign letter grades based on these percentages, you will have to determine a grading scheme. In all fairness to your students, this scheme should be presented to them in your course syllabus at the beginning of the term.
- Type a new column label to the right of Percentage called "Final Grade".
- Based on your grading
scheme, enter a letter grade for each student. Your roster should
now look like this the one at the right.
Congratulations! You now know how to use Excel to manage your grades. Be sure to save your file.
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