Tips for Training: Gradebook

These tips can be used to deliver a training on setting up and using Gradebooks.

Training Tips

Opening (10 min)

You can front load the training by asking the participants to view the intro Gradebook videos, or assign the video as a post-lesson reinforcer or 'homework'.

Elementary: http://illuminate.screenstepslive.com/s/dna_help_manual/m/4540/l/91270-video-setup-for-elementary

Secondary: http://illuminate.screenstepslive.com/s/dna_help_manual/m/4540/l/91267-video-setup-for-secondary

Login to system (5 min)

- If participants are new to Illuminate explain how to access Help (via Control Panel). Point out the Gradebook manual.

- If participants watched the video prior to the training, take questions and address them during the lesson.

Create Gradebooks (10 min)

- Each teacher creates ALL Gradebooks for the year before proceeding. You must chose Points Based or Standards Based.  

Elementary: Math, Science, English, etc.

Secondary: Per. 1, Per. 2, etc.

- Explain that students will not appear in Gradebooks until the first assignment has been created. It may be helpful to create a sample assignment to see how preferences selected below render in the Gradebook. The following message will display for each Gradebook created, "New Gradebook has been successfully created."  Click on the Assignments tab and Add an Assignment to proceed.

Add Assignments (20 min)

- In one gradebook create a couple of 'sample' assignments and input 'fake' grades temporarily to get a feel for how the gradebook works. TIP: use up, down keys and tab, shift to move cursor. Explain, entering grades, as you navigate through the process.

- Explain assignment options.

- Explain how points, scores and percentages work.

- Show how to view and manage all assignments via Assignment Management.

Focus on Views (10 min)

TIP: Explain the benefits of each View and train users how to best navigate/use the gradebook. Also, look for the various shortcuts (e.g. view/edit links, student name link, assignment link) (10 min).

- Spreadsheet View- class perspective  

- Assignment View- entering scores for whole class - stress this is the fastest place to input assignment scores because of fill down, notes, etc.

- Student View- entering scores for one student.

TIP: Show how you can download a quick Progress Report or Student Profile be clicking icons next to students name (e.g. on Spreadsheet).

Gradebook Setup (40 min)

Hover on the Setup tab to access options.

TIP: When setting up a Gradebook, copy the Setup options (Preferences, Categories, Custom Marks, etc) to all other gradebooks. This option is located at the bottom of each page in Setup.  

 - Preferences - Important options to highlight include; calculate blank scores, round to, and display attendance (if applicable).

 - Student Aliases & Numbers - If these options are used don't forget to "show" them in the preferences.

 - Categories & Tags- If categories are used, the percentage of all categories must add up to 100% Additionally, if categories are used, all assignments must be assigned a category.

 - Custom Marks- Custom marks are used as a shortcut for common grade entries.  If the parent portal is used, these custom marks will display in the portal.

- Default Custom Standards - standards that are automatically added to all assignments you create.

- Grading Scales- Grading scales can be customized per user or if desired a school wide grading scale can be set up by your district Illuminate Administrator.

Filters (5 min)

Explain how filters work to control assignment and student display in Gradebook. http://illuminate.screenstepslive.com/s/dna_help_manual/m/4540/l/48274-create-enable-and-disable-gradebook-filters

TIP: You will want to remind teachers to check and possibly reset their Filters EVERY NEW GRADING PERIOD. Which assignments do they want to display? Quarter 1, Semester 1, Yearlong, etc.? Also, what students do they want to display?

Gradebook Reports (10 min)

Explain basic Gradebook report selection options.

Review a few reports, not all. We recommend...

1. Progress Report

2. Class Grade Report

3. Assignment Report

4. Blank Spreadsheet (TIP: Fewer options tend to be better. For example, only show 'Name' and 20 columns for starters)

TIP: You can download the Spreadsheet under the View tab and can also quick print a single Student Profile or Progress Report by clicking the icons next to their name.

Follow Up Trainings

1. Secondary - Posting Grades - You will want to show teachers how to Post Secondary Grades. It is recommended to do this as a separate training, closer to when teachers will actually be posting grades.

2. Elementary - Editing and Printing Report Cards - Depending how the report card is being fed, you will want to train elementary teachers how to edit and print report cards.