Peer Into the Future: A Look at Gradebook Enhancements Coming Soon

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

Peer Into the Future: A Look at Gradebook Enhancements Coming Soon

Posted in Schoology | August 10, 2015

Look into the crystal ball and see your future ... gradebook enhancements.

How much time do you spend in your gradebook? Whether you use your Schoology Gradebook, your SIS gradebook , or a pencil and paper, you most likely spend more time than you'd like entering grades, evaluating student performance, and planning steps for remediation.

Make no bones about it, the gradebook is a quintessential element to education. After all, it's where each student's actual performance meets the measured performance—where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. 

So how can Schoology make your grading experience better? How do we save you time while providing you the flexibility you need? Well, we have some ideas.

We're in the process of enhancing our gradebook, a process that will roll out in phases. Below is look at the first round of gradebook updates you have to look forward to, along with one new feature is already live.

Tiered Grading is Live | Enterprise Only

We recently added more flexibility to grading periods. Tiered grading gives System Administrators the ability to segment grading periods into semesters, semesters into quarters, and so on.

This new feature makes it easier to calculated overall grades and display grading reports in the context of how your system works.

System Administrators, you can simply go to your System Settings tab and click Grade Settings. There you can create/edit grading periods and add Sub-Periods.

To learn more about tiered grading and how to use it in your institution, see our Help Center article. We also have a great LEAP Webinar on the subject.

More Gradebook Enhancements | Coming Soon

The following gradebook updates are all about making your experience better. Whether that's by helping you find and synthesize information faster or simply making you feel gooey inside just by looking at its new design, our gradebook will continually improve starting with what you see below.

An Improved Interface

Once these enhancements go live, the first thing you'll notice about your new gradebook is the look and feel.

Notice how the tiered grading periods are labeled above. Those can collapse to show more grade columns.

Doesn't that just feel good on the eyes? But good design is more than aesthetics. When this launches, you'll notice that all the existing features of our gradebook are more quickly accessible because of this streamlined interface.

Grade Column Sorting

You will soon have an extra due date sorting option, enabling you to view grading columns differently. By default, the gradebook organizes columns by due date in ascending order—i.e., from earliest (left) to latest (right).

The new design offers another option: sort in descending order. That means the columns will flow from latest (left) to earliest (right). So if you are setting due dates as you go, you'll always see the most recent first!

Missing, Incomplete, and Exemption Labels

Did you know that you can mark a graded item Incomplete or Excused in our current gradebook? You can, but the controls aren't readily apparent. With the new design, however, we'll make these controls easier to access so you can mark graded items Incomplete, Excused, and even Missing* easily!

The New View Menu

In the updated design, you'll have a new menu entitled "View." This will help you find important information fast.

Do you want to see all the students who have missing work? Done! How about all the items you still need to grade? No problem!

The new View menu will include:

  • Show Full Material Titles
    Expand the material header row to show the entire title of materials.
  • Marked "Excused"
    Highlight all cells that have been flagged excused.
  • Marked "Incomplete"
    Highlight all the cells that have been flagged incomplete.
  • Marked "Missing" 
    Highlight all the cells that have been flagged missing.
  • Marked "Missing" with a Submission
    Highlight all the cells flagged as missing that received a late submission afterwards.
  • Graded With a New Submission
    Highlight all the cells that have a grade where the student turned in another submission.
  • Ungraded
    Highlight all cells that still need a grade.
  • Unsubmitted
    Highlight all cells where students still need to submit their work.
  • Material Factor of 0
    Highlight the columns of items with a factor of 0—e.g., items that you don't want to be factored into student grades.

Shortcut to View Individual Submissions

Each cell of the gradebook will have a material type icon. This'll show you whether it pertains to an assignment, a discussion, or other material. It also provides you with a quick way to view that material.

Similar to how you can currently click on the name of the material at the top of each column to see it, clicking this icon will take you to the specific submission of that student. This will help you see exactly what you want with a single click.

Above is a test/quiz.

Say, for example, I wanted to quickly view Abigail's American History midterm submission. All I have to do is click on the test/quiz icon in the proper cell and I'm transported directly to her submission. Pretty cool, right?

These little icons will also provide other at-a-glance insight. Consider the workflow below.

Imagine a single cell of your gradebook. The number is orange and there's a little orange eraser in the left because you previously overrode the calculated grade. Let's also say that you gave this student the ability to redo their quiz.

After you put in their grade, the student made another submission. Notice the test/quiz icon in the top right of the cell (position 2) has changed. The bluish green dot indicates a new submission. By selecting that icon, you'll have the option to regrade or replace the existing grade.

Little updates like these are going to ensure you have all the information and features you need right in front of you.

***

You should expect to see these updates in your gradebook in the near future. We're confident that you're going to love them.

And keep in mind that we'll continue to improve the gradebook as we go, so stay tuned for more! We'll also be rolling out some help documentation to provide you all the nitty gritty details as updates are released.

Don't hesitate to let us know what you think right here on the blog or via Twitter (@Schoology). If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to our Support Team.

 

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