Setting Up a Gradebook
- Step 1(General Info)
- Step 2 (Grading Periods)
- Step 3 (Grade Scales)
- Step 4 (Categories & Attendance Policy)
Learner Profile provides a full-featured gradebook which can help you manage your students' assignments and grades for all the classes that you teach. The Gradebook has been designed to provide maximum flexibility to the various ways in which schools and teachers track assessment. With it, you can:
- Create assignments
- Create your own grade scales or edit existing ones
- Weight assignment categories
- Implement an attendance policy
- Incorporate observable assessment
In Learner Profile, a Gradebook is associated with a particular group of students (usually these are the students in a class). The gradebook can be divided into terms. Each term produces a final grade determined by the scores on assignments. Any assignment affecting the final grade belongs to a category, and each category is worth a defined percentage of the final grade.
1. Setting up a Gradebook: Step 1 (General
Before you can begin using a gradebook, you must go through a short setup process which will prompt you to answer a few basic questions. You can prepare by:
- putting the students you will be assessing into their own group.
- knowing the start date and end date of your school year and/or the terms within it.
- deciding how the final grade will be calculated (e.g., what percent of the final grade is the term paper worth? homework assignments?).
1. Click on the GRADEBOOK tab. If you are setting up your first gradebook, you will be prompted to set up a new gradebook when you click on the Gradebook tab. If you have already created a gradebook, choose NEW GRADEBOOK from the Gradebook menu after clicking on the Gradebook tab. STEP 1 of the Gradebook Setup Utility will appear on screen. Here you will be prompted to enter information about the Gradebook you are creating:
- NAME: Enter a name for your gradebook that will differentiate it from any other gradebook you might create, e.g., "US History 002"
- GROUP: Select the group of students you will be assessing in this gradebook from the pull-down menu. If you have not yet created this group of students, click the CREATE GROUP... button to do that now.
- TEACHER NAME: Your User Name will appear here by default, but you may change it if you wish. The Teacher Name will appear on certain reports by default, but it can be removed or edited at the time the report is generated.
- SUBJECT (optional): Any information you care to include about the Gradebook can be included here, e.g., "US History - Section 002 - 5th Period"
- GRADE (optional): If you'd like to include the grade of the students you are assessing, you may enter that here.
When you have entered information into the above fields, click the NEXT button to proceed to Step 2.
- GRADING PERIODS: The number of terms you select for your school year should directly correlate to the number of "final" grades each student in your Gradebook will be receive in the class. If, for example, you have a school year which is divided into four quarters, and you will be assessing the same group of students during all four quarters and providing a final grade at the end of each quarter, you should select "4 Quarters" from the Grading Periods pull down menu. On the other hand, if your school year is divided into two semesters, and you are teaching one group of students the first semester and another group of students the second semester, you should create two gradebooks, each having "1 Term."
- DATES: Enter the start date and end date of each grading period
in the spaces provided. You can use the TAB key to move from one space to another.
NOTE: Learner Profile will recognize the following date formats:
- September 12, 1971
- 12 Sep 71
- 12 Sep 1971
- School Week...: Click on this button if you would like to define the days in the school week that you will be taking attendance for this particular gradebook. By default, Monday through Friday are selected.
Step 3 allows you to create and edit the grade scales you want to use with this gradebook. It may be helpful to look at how grading works to give you a sense of how you might want to use grade scales with your gradebook:
When you are grading assignments in the Gradebook, you'll be able to enter a student's score in two ways:
- You can type in a numeric value representing the points earned on the assignment. If a quiz is worth 10 points, for example, you could enter "9" if the student answered 9 out of 10 problems correctly.
- You can select a grade that represents the student's level of achievement on the assignment. You may wish to grade book reports using a letter grade scale, such as "A," "B", "C", etc., for example.
Each letter grade in the grade scale must have a numerical value associated with it. This value is used to help translate the letter grade into a numerical score which can be weighted and averaged into a final grade. It may also be used to determine what numeric average dictates a specific letter grade in calculating the final grade.
The table below shows the Grade Scales which are included in with Learner Profile, and what each grade's numeric equivalent is. The Percent column represents the minimum numeric score (in percent) needed to produce the corresponding grade value.
|"Standard A - F"||A+||97.50|
|"O - S - U"||O||90.00|
|"ck+ - ck - ck-"||ck+||90.00|
If you intend to use any of the grades in this table, you should review their minimum numeric score in the Percent column to see whether it coincides with your interpretation of that grade. A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Assignment scores will be more precise if you use numeric point values rather than grades. If you use a letter grade to score an assignment, the letter grade will be converted into a number that falls in the middle of the defined percent range for that grade. For example, if the range for a "B+" is defined as 87.5% - 89.9%, then a "B+" entered in as an assignment score will be converted to an 88.7%. The exceptions to this are the highest grade in the grade scale (e.g., "A+") and the lowest grade in the grade scale (e.g., "F"). These grades are converted to the highest ("100") and lowest ("0") percent values, respectively.
- To translate a numeric score into a letter grade, the program looks to the range of percents that correspond to that score. So according to the Standard A - F scale above , if a student's overall average is 83, that student's final grade would be interpreted as a B (any score between 82.50 and 87.49 qualifies as a B).
To change any of the grade scales included with Learner Profile, click in the Percent column of the grade you want to modify and type in the new value.
To create your own grade scale, follow these steps:
- Click the NEW SCALE... button
- Enter a name for the grade scale in the window that appears. Click OK.
- Enter the grades and their corresponding values in the table that appears.
- That's it. Click NEXT if you're ready to move on to the next step, or NEW SCALE... to add another grade scale.
Clicking on the OPTIONS button enables you to set grade-related preferences.
- ROUND SCORES TO NEAREST: This option determines the degree to which grades are calculated. Scores are rounded to the nearest whole percent by default.
- VIEW FINAL GRADE AS: This option determines how the final grade is displayed in the final grade column. By default, the final grade is shown as both a percent and a grade using the "Standard A F" grade scale. If you choose to have the final grade displayed as a grade (or as a Grade and Percent), you can choose which grade scale from the drop-down menu of grade scales.
- VIEW STUDENTS BY: This option lets you choose to display students either by the student name or by the student ID.
- DISPLAY GRADES: Check this box if you want the high and low scores for assignments and final grades displayed in different colors. You can choose the color for each using the drop-down menus.
When you have finished selecting your options for Step 3, click the NEXT button to proceed to Step 4.
4. Setting up a Gradebook: Step 4 (Categories
& Attendance Policy)
In Step 4, you identify the categories you will use to classify the assignments in your Gradebook. Each category is allotted a "weight" that is used to calculate the final grade. Lets look at an example of how a teacher might set up the categories:
As scores are entered on assignments, percentages of the category weights are calculated and added to create the final grade:
|Category||Assignment Average||Category Weight||Points Toward Final Grade|
To choose the categories you would like to use with the gradebook you are setting up, follow these steps:
- Click in the first row of the category column. A menu appears from which you can choose the category you would like to assign to your Gradebook. If none of the categories listed are appropriate, click in the cell to the left of the menu. You can then type in the category you wish to use.
- Repeat Step 1 for each category you wish to include in your gradebook. Assign each category a weight so that the sum of the weights equals 100. To do this, click in the cell to the right of the category name and type in the category weight (such as "25"). There is no need to include a percent symbol.
- The sum of the category weights must equal 100. A running total is shown at the bottom of the table. The sum appears red until the weights equal 100.
- The gradebook will ignore the lowest score for any given category if you check the corresponding box in the "Drop Low Score" column. This is optional.
NOTE: If you have chosen to "Drop Lowest Score" for a category, the lowest score will be ignored only if at least two assignments in that category have been scored for a given student.
You may choose to factor students attendance into the calculation of the final grade. To do this, click on the ATTENDANCE OPTIONS button on the Step 4 screen. Filling in the empty fields on the Attendance Policy screen creates an attendance policy:
NOTE: The deduction from the final grade is measured in percentage points, not as a percent of that grade. For example, if an attendance policy deducts 2% for every two unexcused absences, then a final grade of "88" would become "86" if the student had two unexcused absences.
By leaving these fields blank, attendance will not be counted against the final grade.
When you have finished setting up your categories in Step 4, click the NEXT button to complete the setup of your Gradebook. You will have the option of adding assignments on the screen that follows.