How to grade assessment/assignments with a no zero policy
Last year was my first to have a No Zero policy in grading assessments and assignments. My lowest grade a student could earn was 60%. I plan to continue it next year. I feel that these grades better reflect what they actually learned. However, I applied the grades 2 different ways and feel I need to be more consistent and don't know which to use.
1st way - use a regular percentage and no one gets below 60%. So, for a 5 question quiz, the grades would be 100%, 80%, 60%, 60%, 60%. This is the one I like the least.
2nd way - replace the natural zero with 60% and then create equal increments for the other percentages. So, for the same 5 question quiz, the grades would be 100%, 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%. I like this better, as it seems that it really gets more to what the letter grades mean (A=excellent, B=above avg, C=avg, D=below avg, U=Failing), but it can also seem subjective. I have found myself trying to convince myself that the way I've incremented it is fair and I'm nervous that it will lead to grade inflation.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you do?