As we near the end of the summer semester (even if it feels like summer hasn’t even started yet!), calculating final grades will soon be upon us.
We’ve got general resources on the WebCT gradebook that offer PDF downloads and instructions on the many functions of the gradebook. The gradebook is an efficient way of letting students know how they are doing in the course. Most instructors use it to deliver numeric or letter grades, but there are a few other options as well.
1. The calculated column: you can create a calculated column that will automatically add up the student grades to give them (or yourself) their final grade. Download the gradebook manual for more information on creating these calculated columns (note: the link is to a PDF which requires an SFU login).
2. Import/ Export: If you are comfortable with Excel and the calculating functions within, then you can still take advantage of the benefits of both Excel and WebCT. Use the Import and Export Gradebook buttons in the gradebook to keep an offline copy of your grades, and update the gradebook by periodically uploading an updated gradebook. I recommend that you export the gradebook first, so that you have a spreadsheet in a format that WebCT understands and can import. Remember also that anything you upload will over-write anything in the online gradebook, so if you or a TA have modified grades online, they’ll be over-written by an uploaded file. You can modify your spreadsheet to have a custom spreadsheet for each tutorial, or only uploading the current gradebook column on which you are working.
3. SIMS uploads: You can also use WebCT to create a file that is ready-made to upload into SIMS, which should make your end of semester housekeeping just a bit more streamlined. The link provided has instructions on how to set this WebCT -> SIMS communications. .
What are some of the other end of semester teaching tasks that take up time? Are you using the journal tool for formative feedback? Did you you deliver a mid-semester survey to track student perceptions of the learning environment? Do you use the assessment tool to deliver practice quizzes so students can prepare for their finals? Are students using the discussion or blog tool for peer discussion or evaluation on their final papers?
Please use the comments function below, and perhaps we can brainstorm ways of streamlining the end of the semester for your time management and for student learning.