At the January 16th CLS workshop, Gloria Hardman, with the assistance of Alina Nevins, explained how to use the online ClassesV2 Gradebook. Judging from the multiple and audible “Ah-hah!” moments, many found the information useful.
During my teaching career I have used various formats to calculate grades and Gradebook is by far the easiest to set up and the most reliable. Among the features that I find appealing are the ability to re-use and modify an existing gradebook and the simplicity of entering grades (and the fact that the system maintains a log of changes made to a given grade). The magic continues: at any given moment I can monitor a student’s progress without resorting to complicated calculations, see the average in an individual category (essays, exams, quizzes) or the course grade average. But what I like best is that I now worry less. To begin, I know that grades on ClassesV2 will not disappear, regardless of what happens to my laptop. Next, I can add a comment to any grade entered. So, for example, next to the score of 84 on quiz #2, I might write: “Great job on the vocabulary section, but make sure to identify the subject when conjugating verbs.” By reviewing the comments throughout the semester, both student and instructor can detect patterns of errors and come up with a good study plan. Finally, if students are able to view their grades on a regular basis, the grading process becomes clearer and there are fewer if any surprises. The result? We can all sleep better.