Document the "grade freeze" for instructors


We'd like to see the grade freeze documented so that course teams could do the following:

  • Understand why the grade freeze takes effect in their courses

  • Understand how to look up whether their particular course is under grade freeze

  • Understand how to work around the grade freeze, and situations where the workaround might be needed.

The workaround has particularly been needed when proctoring appeals extend well-past course end date, and course teams don't have the knowledge to correct the learner's grade themselves.


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Ben Piscopo
July 16, 2020, 3:36 PM

I’m planning to add a note to the ORA best practices guide as an FAQ. Does this capture the issue?

The course has ended but I’d like to make ORA grade changes for a specific learner. Why am I locked out of making grade changes?

  • Most likely this is because of a grade freeze which occurs 30 days after a course ends. Please contact partner support for assistance.

Jennifer A. Akana
July 10, 2020, 11:03 AM

An internal miscommunication on gradefreeze.
Impact is that the course team (and support) perceived a feature improvement as a bug.

Course team experience: They expected to be able to update ORA grades with the Staff Grade Override in ORA. They observed the option was missing, and reported to support.

Intended experience: Ideally, the course team would understand that the absence of the option was a signal that grades were frozen. But the course team, unaware of grade freeze, didn’t have context to understand the function change.

Note: This function change is a huge improvement - beforehand, updating ORA grades that had been modified during grade freeze was hugely painful to identify and correct. However, by not messaging the change or what it’s for, we’re seizing some measure of defeat from this overall victory.

Jennifer A. Akana
February 19, 2020, 10:38 AM

I know this is not a live ticket, but it helps me collect stories in one place around navigating grade freeze: the costs and benefits.

These two tickets are about a single course where certificates disappeared <x> amount of time ago, and a grade discrepancy was created (learner sees 0% “final grade”, but has 78% on their progress page bar height). The grade freeze was probably beneficial in preserving progress bar height! but now correcting the certificate status and ‘final grade’ may requires reaching out to the course team and multi-stage coordination between course team and edx --- tough when the course team doesn’t have awareness that grade freeze exists in the first place.

Jennifer A. Akana
September 16, 2019, 4:10 PM

Relationship impact of not having grade freeze documented or self-evident in the platform:

Course team wanted to update a learner’s grade, but did not see the progress page updated. They interpreted this inability to update grades and issue a certificarte as an intended limitation of the platform without workaround:

”Yes, almost smooth sailing with this one! But a last minute flop, that seems unfixable from our side, and is likely due to edX’s aggressive monetization efforts and the restrictions they’ve set along with this.

(Zendesk: 1117652, for ref)

Jennifer A. Akana
August 21, 2019, 8:21 AM

Grade freeze . and due date extensions:

commented here that for Individual Due Date Extensions, nothing in that feature’s UI prevents an instructor from granting an extension 30+ days after course end.

However, with grade freeze undocumented and un-indicated in the platform, this creates a situation where a learner cannot use the extension granted:
a) the course team grants a very long extension, 30+ days after course end
b) the learner answers questions after grade freeze is in effect. they use the ‘submit’ button and earn points in the courseware

c) but the learner’s progress page doesn’t update due to freeze. Additional admin measures by the course team are necessary to actually update the grade.




Jennifer A. Akana







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