The E-Learning Grading Policy: What to be Excited About

MK Peters, Staff Writer

E-learning is just one of the many massive changes hitting students. Since the situation regarding coronavirus is generally unprecedented, these changes can be confusing and overwhelming at times. This proved to be particularly true when we began e-learning, not knowing what would be expected of students, how we would be assessed, or, most concerningly, how it would affect our grades. 

We are lucky enough at LFHS to have an incredibly committed staff of teachers who have been working to continue teaching their students and accommodating our potential struggles with online schooling. At two weeks in, I have found all of my teachers to be extremely helpful in understanding and completing the work given to me everyday to avoid falling behind. Still, as a junior starting to think about applying to college next year, I worried that my grades for the semester might suffer as a result, which is a concern for many at LFHS.

That’s where I have good news: your grade cannot drop from its current score as long as we have e-learning. While the rules and policies regarding online school vary between states and even schools, there are a few statewide policies instituted by the Illinois State Board of Education. After talking to a few of my teachers, I learned how this would affect e-learning at LFHS. 

Since this pandemic is such a rare and stressful situation, the primary goal of online schooling for teachers is to continue the learning of their students to prepare them for their future academics, so the work you recieve should target understanding of the material rather than simply trying to challenge you. This is a really great time to develop skills in time management and accountability, given that the completion and timeliness of the work you do is completely up to you. Basically, this is a time to keep learning instead of stressing out even more about your school work. 

The grading system put in place statewide is super accommodating as a result, given that we’re losing valuable tools like in-class discussions. The grading in each class will be based off of the average grade you had in the class on March 12, which was our last day of regular school. E-learning assignments can only be added to your grade if they will maintain or raise this average. This means your grade can’t go down for the time being. 

But this doesn’t mean you don’t need to give some good effort to your work. If your e-learning assignments don’t meet this standard, and would bring down your grade if entered, they will be marked as incomplete. Incomplete assignments can be redone or revised with the help of your teacher until they reach a grade that would maintain or raise your average in the class.

But, if you don’t revise them and have a build-up of incomplete or missing assignments, your teacher may choose to mark your final grade for the semester as incomplete. An incomplete final grade is not the same as failing, but it does mean that you don’t receive credit for the course. It’s still unclear how these credits would be able to be regained, but most teachers believe it would likely be summer school or something similar to prove learning and understanding of the course materials. 

Since giving a traditional test or quiz is tricky right now, to say the least, many teachers are giving assignments primarily based on completion to make sure their students can keep learning. Generally speaking, your grade will be fine if you turn in your work to the best of your ability. 

Most teachers are available on Google Hangout for ‘classes’ or just for questions, and all of them are available to email with any questions or concerns. E-learning is actually a great opportunity to even boost your grade, since you won’t have to worry about a big test dragging down your average. Just keep doing your work, and you could see your average increase over the next few weeks.

Even though social distancing is tough, this opportunity to lift your grades is a small bonus to e-learning.