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Using InnerOrbit Scores as Grades

See how educators are using InnerOrbit assessments for grades.

Erin Cooke avatar
Written by Erin Cooke
Updated over a week ago

Grades are a reality for most school systems. Even though our mission at InnerOrbit is to provide educators with standards data to make the next best decision for their students, we know that sometimes you just need a grade for your gradebook.

The “scores” you see on InnerOrbit in your Assignment Report and Gradebook are HIGHLY dependent on your assessment design.

An assessment that leverages mainly 1D questions may yield higher scores from your students than a more rigorous 2D and 3D assessment. However, the latter may provide more valuable information about your students' progress toward sensemaking and proficiency on 3D standards. (learn more about 1D/2D/3D questions here)

We interviewed science teachers from various contexts who are using InnerOrbit assessment data to assign grades, and summarized their strategies below.

Strategy 1: Curve Scores


  • Calculate the difference between the average student score and 70%.

  • Add the difference to every student’s score.


  • The average score for this assessment is 39%.

    • 70% - 39% = 31% (curve)

    • To curve this assessment, I will add 31% to each of my student’s scores

  • TIP: In your Assignment Report, click “Download CSV” to get your student scores in a CSV format to add the curve percent.

Strategy 2: 1D/2D/3D Questions and Standards Based Grading (SBG)


  • Analyze student performance on the 1D/2D/3D questions in your assessment to determine their SBG score.

    • To find out if a question is 1D, 2D, or 3D, hover over the questions in the question matrix in your “Assignment Report" and review the dimension tags.

    • Depending on how students did on each question level rigor, mark them as the corresponding SBG levels

      • For example, if a student got 1D questions correct, but no 2D/3D questions correct, they might be “beginning”.

      • If they go 1D and 2D questions correct, but not 3D, they may be “approaching”.

      • And if they got the majority of 1D, 2D, and 3D questions correct, they are “meeting”.

        • It may not be necessary for students to get all questions correct to obtain a “meeting” score on an SBG scale!

  • TIP: You can download the question matrix as a CSV file using the “Answers Report” to conduct this analysis further


  • Hovering over the top row in the question matrix shows me which questions are 1D, 2D, or 3D.

  • Then, I can look at my student list and mark students in my school gradebook on the SBG scale according to how they performed across all questions.

Strategy 3: Raw Scores


  • Use the raw score from InnerOrbit in your gradebook.

    • Design your assessments in a way that the resulting scores would be percentages you would use for grades.

    • As you design your assessments for grades, consider:

      • How far along your students are on the 3D NGSS journey.

      • How much you intend to reduce scaffolding and increase rigor as the year progresses.

        • For example, you could increase the rigor of your assessments as the school year progresses by adding MORE 2D/3D questions and less 1D questions.

    • TIP: If you're unsure where to begin, try including more 1D questions, just a few 2D questions, and only one 3D question and adjust on further assessments according to your results.


  • In my InnerOrbit Gradebook, I selected % instead of points, unchecked assessments I didn’t want to include, and downloaded my gradebook as a CSV. I added those raw scores to my school gradebook.

Strategy 4: “Alternate” Grades: Participation, Extra Credit


  • Depending on the categories of your school/district gradebook, you may be able to use InnerOrbit assessments as an alternate type of grade, rather than an assessment (quiz/test) score.

    • For example, if you use InnerOrbit for do-nows or exit tickets, you can simply give “full credit” for completing and submitting the InnerOrbit assessment.

    • Or, if you want to expose students to more phenomena in your curricular unit test, include a couple InnerOrbit questions for bonus points.


  • Use your Assignment Report for a quick list of who has/hasn’t submitted by clicking on the completion bar (1st screenshot below) and/or clicking the “show not taken” button (2nd screenshot).

  • This list shows who gets the full participation credit or bonus points on the test.

If you have other grading strategies you'd like to contribute to this article, please email

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