1. Assess Your Comfort and Familiarity with Your Online Course Gradebook
Teachers seem to be at three basic stages:
your online course is used to communicate content only.
Information is provided on pages or in books only.
- Assignments or quizzes are submitted through email or Dropbox rather than through your online course.
- No grades are reported in your online course.
Your online course is used to collect assignments or do quizzes, but not communicate grades.
Moodle assignments and quizzes are provided and graded in your online course.
There are likely grade items in the gradebook.
The gradebook in your online course is not set up to report grades to the student.
There may not be categories and weights in your online course.
There may be a discrepancy between the grades in your online course and the grades in PowerSchool.
Your online course is used to collect assignments or quizzes and communicate grades.
You have set up categories and weights.
There is no discrepancy between the grades in your online course and in PowerSchool.
You may or may not have set up completion criteria for the assignments.
Are you at stage 1, stage 2, or stage 3?
Depending on where you are at, setting up the your online course Gradebook may look different for you.
Since most people use some variation on weighted categories, these instructions are intended for people using that calculation method.
To complete this task, you will need to your grade categories and category weights in PowerSchool.
2. Set Up Categories and Weights
- To add a grade category:
Select "Gradebook setup" from the “Course administration” sidebar menu.
Click the "Add category" button near the bottom of the page.
Give the grade category a meaningful name that matches your categories in PowerSchool.
Select grade category settings as appropriate. Advanced settings may be made available by clicking the "Show more" link. Don’t worry about weighting yet.
Create a category titled “Formative Assessments.”
Click the "Save changes" button.
Repeat until you have created all your categories.
Now it is necessary to enable and set up weighting.
The top row of the chart includes your course name. Click on “Edit” beside the course name and select “Edit settings.”
Under “Aggregation,” select “Weighted mean of grades.”
Click “Save changes.” Now, boxes with numbers will appear in the “Weights” column.
In the boxes corresponding to your CATEGORY NAMES, enter the percentage that the category is worth as a decimal. Be careful not to change the weighting of individual assignments at this time. Your category weights should total 1.
Give your formative assignments category a weighting of zero.
If you have existing grade items, such as assignments or quizzes, these can easily be moved into categories.
To move an individual item anywhere on the list, click the Up/Down arrows before the activity name.
- To move multiple items into or out of a category at one time, click the checkbox for the items.
After selecting all items you want to move, scroll to the bottom of the page and choose which category to move the selected items into with the “Move selected items to” dropdown menu.
Repeat this process until all grade items are categorized.
Items in categories and categories themselves can be rearranged using the Up/Down arrows.
If you want to hide grade categories from students, such as formative assessments, they can be hidden using the “Edit” dropdown menu next to the category.
I suggest that all grade items are in a category, unless they are hidden.
If you have uncategorized items, such as a course handbook quiz, it can remain uncategorized, but I suggest hiding it and setting its weight to zero.
3. Adjust Grade Settings
Next to “Gradebook setup,” click “Course grade settings.”
On this screen, you can make some changes to how the grades are displayed, including decimal places, columns displayed, and so on.
There is one important thing to change: The bottom option says “Hide totals if they contain hidden items.”
Set that to “Show totals excluding hidden items.”
It is not necessary to set up your course to accept assignments through your online course, but if you intend to do so in the near future, this is a good time to get started on that process.
However, if you have never set up your online course to take assignments, you will need to create grade items in order to input the grades.
4. Check That Your Online Course is Consistent with PowerSchool
- Check the grades for some of your individual students to make sure that the students’ grades in your online course are the same as their grades in PowerSchool.
- If your grades do not match, despite having the same grades in both places:
- ensure that your categories are all defined the same in both PowerSchool and your online course;
- check that no uncategorized grade item has a weight value;
- check that the grades haven’t been rounded by your online course unexpectedly;
- make sure that any complete/incomplete items are not included in the grading.
- If you find an inconsistency that you cannot explain, check with Joe or Pat.
5. Things That Need Doing
- Set up categories in your courses.
- If you use weights in PowerSchool, give each category the same weights in your online course.
- If you do not have grade items in your online course, begin creating assignments.
- If you do have grade items in your online course, organize your grade items into categories.
- Hide duplicated or formative assignments from students’ view, if you prefer.
- Check for consistency between your online course and PowerSchool.