Median for aggregating grades


Is there any easy way to use the median rather than the mean/average as the aggregation for a group of grades?

Median is not even one of the functions available if you add a formula item to the gradebook, so I cannot add a formula or calculated column to use.

I just want to get to the point I can say here are X number of homework assignments. Find the median homework grade use that in the final grade calculation.



  • Michelle.T.865

    Hello @Eugene.S.817 ,

    Thank you for your question. One way to get the median of a grade item is to export the Grades Statistics and add a column to calculate the median. Use the formula <=median(x1:x5)> to calculate the median.

    Here is some more information and tips on how to utilize Grade Statistics:

    Please let me know if this is helpful!



  • Eugene.S.817
    Eugene.S.817 Posts: 3 🔍

    No, I don't think this was helpful.

    (1) The article you link is for quiz statistics and is not related to the gradebook which was the focus of my question.
    (2) Your proposed solution involves exporting the data and using external software such as Microsoft Excel or GoogleSheets to find the median; my questions was about having D2L Brightspace performing this computation natively.

    This described solution is particularly unhelpful if

    (a) students are using the final grade calculation as an estimate of their overall performance in the course. This means only a mean can be used to determine final grades and graders cannot use the median score for grading students and have them have a realistic estimate—-not without grader constantly downloading their grades performing their own calculations externally and updating a different field elsewhere in a gradebook. This means the final grade calculation will almost never be an accurate reflection of student performance as it will be lagging behind the instructors ability to manually update a field.
    (b) the institution exports final grades from the final grade calculation of the gradebook to record/report elsewhere, for reasons similar to those outlined in (a).

    We all learn in (likely elementary) school about different measures of central tendency: mean, median, and mode. Each has different strengths and weaknesses. The mean is not always the best tool for assessment. This is further outlined in Joe Feldman's Grading for Equity. There are instances where grading with the median is the most equitable and helps avoid systemic bias in our evaluation of students. It seems like an odd omission that the median should be impossible for educators to use on this platform.