We aim to provide accurate, fair, and consistent grading on all assignments. We have a series of internal checks designed to help us do this, such as having multiple staff members review rubrics, pre-grading, and, to borrow nomenclature from the voting security literature, a “risk-limiting audit” of sorts to check that rubrics were applied consistently across all handins.
However, we’re only human—and given that we grade 15000+ question and code items across all students throughout the semester, at least some grading mistake is bound to happen every now and then. Thus, we provide the following regrade process detailed below.
But first! We collected statistics on regrade requests in Spring 2020, and determined that of 222 regraded items submitted during the semester, only 35 of them resulted in any grade changes (either an increase or decrease in points), and, of those 35, a total of zero regrade requests changed someone's final grade. The TL;DR here is—the regrades very rarely have an impact on your final letter grade.
Here’s how to request a regrade:
Wait—there is a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours after grades are released before you can submit a regrade, and regrades must be submitted within 7 days of the assignment grades being released.
After the waiting period has passed, submit a regrade request on Gradescope on the assignment using the “Request Regrade” button under the item that you wish to contest. (We won’t consider regrade requests that aren’t issued through Gradescope, and, in general, we won’t discuss anything grading-related outside of Gradescope—i.e. we won’t consider regrades discussed at office hours, over email, etc.)
In your regrade request, include rationale as to why you think you need a regrade. Reasons that we’ll consider generally fall into one of the following categories:
- A rubric item should have been marked on your answer but wasn’t.
- A rubric item that shouldn’t have been marked on your answer was marked on it.
- A rubric item should have existed that would have changed the grade of your answer, or a rubric item was incorrect.
- Your handin was misformatted and, as a result, things that should have been picked up by the autograder were not.
You should also know that:
- We can only give you points for what’s in your handin. In other words, any additional, material information in your regrade that would have changed the meaning of your answer (i.e. to clarify or reframe your answer) will not be considered in the regrade process. This also means that if your answer is confusing or unclear, we may not be able to give you credit for your answer even if your intent was to say something else—this is why we have a large emphasis on precise, effective communication in the writeups.
- We won’t consider regrades related to point values or weighting (i.e. disputing how many points rubric items were worth, how many points were taken off, etc.). The rationale for this is that a primary aim in grading is consistency, so that all students are treated the same. For this reason, we are unlikely to adjust the score of individual students on an issue of partial credit if the score allocated is consistent with the grading policy we adopted for that problem.
- Regrades may cause your grade to go up or down. We make mistakes in both the positive and negative direction, so the regrade process may cause your grade to decrease if we notice other errors in the grading of your handin. On some problems where subquestions are dependent on other questions, your regrader may regrade the entire problem, which can cause point adjustments on all parts of the problem. On midterms, regrades may cause the entire exam to be regraded.
- Extraneous information is also evaluated. Even if your answer is mostly correct, you can still lose points if it is accompanied by incorrect information or irrelevant information. To get full credit, you must demonstrate the ability to write clearly and concisely by pulling out the relevant info and excluding irrelevant info.
Regrade requests may not be looked at until the end of the semester, and only if they will make a material change in the letter grade. (We generally try to look at all of the regrades on a problem at once so we can make sure we’re grading everyone consistently, and we have to prioritize other course responsibilities over the regrade process given that regrades generally don’t have any impact on one’s grade.) Also, we keep track of the number of regrades submitted by each student throughout the semester. Since regrades are looked at more closely than normal grades, we use the number of regrades as a measure of the “accuracy” of a student’s overall grade in the final grade calculation, which can impact how borderline cases are determined.
Appeals and Escalations
If you disagree with the outcome of a regrade, you are welcome to appeal to the HTAs by sending an email to the HTA list. If you disagree with that regrade, you can appeal to the instructor, who has the final say on the matter.