How do I handle multiple terms/ grading periods / semester courses?

Year-long secondary courses are often broken into one or more terms (i.e. semesters or trimesters).  There are three ways to handle multiple terms in Echo.

1. Use Folders

The simplest way to divide your course into terms is to create a folder for each term (i.e. Fall Semester and Spring Semester) and use the visibility settings to control which folder is hidden from the syllabus and gradebook.

Pros: Easy to set up, doesn't require re-enrolling students.

Cons: Requires an extra "click" every time the course is accessed to open the folder, students can't access previous terms folder.


2. Use Separate Courses

Another straight forward way to divide your course into terms is to create a separate course for each term.

Pros: Easy for teachers and students to understand,

Cons: Requires teacher to re-enroll students into the course, may not work if a SIS integration is in place    


3. Use Grading Periods

Echo allows a course to be divided into weighted "grading periods".  Typically, this is used when a policy is in place that requires final course grades to be calculated based on quarter and final exam grades (i.e. 40% First Quarter, 40% Second Quarter, 20% Final Exam).

To use grading periods to create terms, use the course settings panel to create a grading period for each term.  Set the weight of the current term to 100% and the others to 0%.  This will cause the system to base the entire current grade on the assignments associated with that grading period and ignore the others.

Pros: Allows students to easily see content and assignments from previous terms.

Cons: More complicated and difficult to manage than other options, requires an extra "click" when setting up a graded assignment.    


For more information on using grading periods, see How do I enable grading periods in my course?  If you don't see the option to enable grading periods, contact your Echo Administrator and request that this feature be enabled for you.



Echo is constantly being improved based on the feedback from users and we strive to keep our documentation up to date.  If this document doesn’t match what you are seeing in Echo, please let us know.

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