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How does Quill grade activities?
How does Quill grade activities?

Learn how Quill uses a mastery-based grading approach, how to view data reports, and how students view data reports.

Updated this week

Quill offers various data reports for teachers to see students’ progress and performance for the activities they have completed. Read below to learn more about the grading logic that Quill uses when generating these data reports.

Table of Contents


How does Quill use mastery-based grading?

Quill employs a mastery-based grading system to grade activities.

When a student completes an activity, their performance on an activity is marked with one of the below proficiency scores.

  • Frequently demonstrated skill (green) indicates that the student scored between 83-100%.

  • Sometimes demonstrated skill (yellow) indicates that the student scored between 32%-82%.

  • Rarely demonstrated skill (red) indicates that the student scored between 0%-31%.

  • Completed (blue) indicates that the student completed the activity, but that the activity is not graded. Activities that are not graded include Quill Diagnostics, Quill Lessons, and Quill Reading for Evidence.

Tip 💡

When students complete an activity, they will see not only their proficiency score but also their percentage score. Please click here to learn more about how students can see their percentage scores.


What is Quill's grading logic?

Quill provides six tools to help students improve their writing, and each tool has its own grading logic.

Quill Grammar: Five Attempts Per Prompt

In Quill Grammar activities, students have five attempts to submit an optimal response for each prompt. Students receive instant feedback after each attempt. If the student does not write an optimal response, Quill gives targeted feedback to guide the student to revise their response. Students receive the full credit of one point if they reach an optimal response by the fifth attempt. If students do not reach an optimal response by the fifth attempt, they will not receive any points.

  • Correct answer by first attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by second attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by third attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by fourth attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by fifth attempt: 1 Point

  • Incorrect answer by fifth attempt: 0 Points

Quill Connect: Five Attempts Per Prompt

In Quill Connect activities, students have five attempts to submit an optimal response for each prompt. Students receive instant feedback after each attempt. If the student does not write an optimal response, Quill gives targeted feedback to guide the student to revise their response. Students receive the full credit of one point if they reach an optimal response by the fifth attempt. If students do not reach an optimal response by the fifth attempt, they will not receive any points.

  • Correct answer by first attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by second attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by third attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by fourth attempt: 1 Point

  • Correct answer by fifth attempt: 1 Point

  • Incorrect answer by fifth attempt: 0 Points

Quill Proofreader: One Attempt

In Quill Proofreader, students proofread a passage to find errors and make revisions. Students are given one attempt to make all of the correct revisions, and if they do not make all of the correct revisions, they will see the errors that they missed highlighted in red and the revisions that they incorrectly made highlighted in purple. Students receive the full credit of one point for each correct revision that they make and receive no points if they miss a revision or make an incorrect revision.

If students miss a revision or make an incorrect revision, they will be automatically prompted to complete a relevant follow-up Quill Grammar or Quill Connect activity. For the follow-up activity, students receive the full credit of one point if they reach an optimal response by the fifth attempt. If students do not reach an optimal response by the fifth attempt, they will not receive any points.

Please note that the follow-up activity is considered a part of the Quill Proofreader activity, so if a student is prompted to complete a follow-up activity for a Quill Proofreader activity, they will not receive a score for the Quill Proofreader activity until the follow-up activity is completed.

Quill Lessons

During Quill Lessons, our tool meant for instruction with whole classes or small groups, teachers lead students through slides, and students engage with the slides by responding to prompts and discussing the relevant writing skills. During Quill Lessons, students will not receive automatic targeted feedback on their responses; however, teachers can choose to anonymously display student responses during the Quill Lesson to prompt discussion, give feedback, and encourage students to revise their answers. On the last slide of the lesson, you can assign a follow-up Quill Grammar or Quill Connect activity. Please note that although Quill Lessons are not graded; the follow-up Quill Grammar or Quill Connect activity are graded with the grading logic described above.

Quill Diagnostics and Writing Skill Surveys: One Attempt

The grading logic of Quill Diagnostics and Writing Skills Surveys deviates from the feedback-based grading logic of our other tools. Students are not provided with any feedback on their responses because Quill Diagnostics and Writing Skills Surveys are purely meant to assess students' writing skills and are intentionally written to be difficult. For this reason, when completing Quill Diagnostics and Writing Skills Surveys, students receive only one attempt to answer each prompt.

Each prompt in a Quill Diagnostic or Writing Skills Survey is meant to assess a target writing skill, and any response that demonstrates that the student has mastered the target writing skill is considered correct. As a result, the grading logic of Quill Diagnostics and Writing Skills Surveys intentionally ignores and does not remove points for spelling errors and other errors that are not related to the target writing skill. This grading logic allows Quill to more accurately curate plans of practice recommendation activities for students relevant to the target writing skills that the Quill Diagnostic is assessing.

After completing a Quill Diagnostic or Writing Skills Survey, students do not see a percentage score for the Quill Diagnostic or Writing Skills Survey. Instead, a completed Quill Diagnostic or Writing Skills Survey will be denoted by a blue square and the copy, Completed. Please note that teachers are still able to view students' proficiency scores, percentage scores, and responses to prompts when looking at the Diagnostics report in the My Reports tab.

Tip 💡

Click here to learn how to see students' proficiency scores for the writing skills assessed by a Quill Diagnostic/Writing Skills Survey.

Click here to learn how to see students' responses to the prompts in a Quill Diagnostic/Writing Skills Survey.

Click here to learn how to assign Quill Diagnostic/Writing Skills Survey practice recommendation activities.

Quill Reading for Evidence: Five Attempts Per Stem

Please click here to learn more about the grading logic of Quill Reading for Evidence.


How do teachers see data reports?

To view Quill's data reports with information about students' progress and performance for the activities that they have completed, please click on the My Reports tab and select the data report that you would like to view.

The Activity Summary report provides a high-level overview of students' progress and performance for the activities that they have completed.

The Activity Analysis report shows a student's percentage score for an activity (if applicable), the responses that they submitted for each prompt in an activity, and the feedback they received for each response that they submitted.

The Diagnostics report shows students' proficiency scores, percentage scores, and responses to prompts in a Quill Diagnostic or Writing Skills Survey. In addition, on the Diagnostics report, you can see and assign the plans of practice recommendation activities that Quill has created based on students' performances on the Quill Diagnostic or Writing Skills Survey.

Quill Premium Reports

The Activity Scores report (Quill Premium) report provides a downloadable overview of a student's progress and performance for the activities that they have completed.

The Concepts report (Quill Premium) provides information on the various writing skills that students have encountered while completing activities.

The Standards report (Quill Premium) provides information on each Common Core State Standard that students have encountered while completing activities.

The Data Export feature (Quill Premium) allows you to download data into a PDF or CSV file so that you may export the data into a grade book or for further analysis.

Tip 💡

Activate your free Quill Premium subscription trial after your students have completed some activities so that your Quill Premium reports are more robust and have more data for you to explore.


Have more questions?

Please feel free to send a message to the Quill team using the green message bubble on the bottom right corner of the screen or email us at support@quill.org.

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