Data & AssessmentGradeBook Getting Started with Standards Based GradeBooksCreate, Modify, and Delete Standards-Based GradeBooks

Create, Modify, and Delete Standards-Based GradeBooks

This lesson will show you how to create a new Standards-Based Gradebook (e.g., for a particular section/period/class of students and/or subject area) in Illuminate. If you will be using GradeBooks scores for Report Cards, make sure to check with your district for calculations used on the Report Cards.

IMPORTANT NOTE for Illuminate Report Card users: Currently, there are very specific circumstances under which Standards-Based Gradebooks will work with Report Cards. Every teacher using Gradebook needs to be using a standards based gradebook (not points based). Every teacher must be using the same grading scale (set individually by each teacher). Automatic Links will only link grade correctly to Standard scores, not Overall scores. Please contact your Implementation Manager for additional questions.

NEW to Standards Based Gradebooks:

1.Standard Scores in the GradeBook

Previously, to access a student’s score on specific standards, you had to generate a report. Now, students’ scores for every standard assessed in your GradeBook can be seen right in the GradeBook view. To make the standard score visible in your Standards-Based GradeBook, click: Setup > Preferences. Scroll down to nearly the bottom of the preferences page, and turn on the “Group by Standards” option.

2. Standard Score and Overall Grade are now displayed with decimals.

Previously, the standard score and the overall grade would indicate only the performance level. Now the standard scores and overall grades appear with two decimal places so you, students, and parents can know if the student is a 2.01 — barely in the second performance level — or a 2.99 — almost at the third performance level.

3. Rounding preferences.

Previously, the Standards-Based GradeBook did not round. Now, you can select rounding preferences in your GradeBook so each user can control how the GradeBook rounds both the Standard Scores and the Overall Grade.

A few things to remember about Standards-Based Grading:

1.  Due dates are the key! The latest due date is the determinant of which assignment gets counted as the 60% assignment, not the Assign Date.

2.  If the due dates are the same then the assignment you last edited will be the assignment counted as the 60% assignment.

3.  Next, the average is determined by using a compound decaying average.

For example (The example is using a 60% decaying average):

The hierarchy goes from top to bottom, most recent due date at the top. The date populated on the report itself is the assign date.

Assignment 7 = 1

Assignment 6 = 2

Assignment 5 = 4

Assignment 7 is the most recent.  Assignment 6 is the second most recent and Assignment 5 is the oldest.

So, the calculation goes as follows:

(4*.40) + (2*.60) = 2.8

(2.8*.40) + (1*.60) = 1.72

The key is carrying the existing score into the decaying average calculation as the 40%.

Where to Start

Where to Start

1. Click Gradebook

2. Select My GradeBooks.  

3. Select the type of Gradebook you wish to create, in this case Standards Based.

4. Click Next.

Setting Up Your Gradebook

You will create multiple gradebooks for each period or subject you report out on in your report card. You will repeat this process for as many gradebooks you need. If you are planning to push the gradebook grades to report cards, it is important that your gradebooks match the subjects in your report card.

  • Elementary Most elementary teachers who teach multiple subjects will create one gradebook per subject (e.g., 1 "Language Arts" gradebook, 1 "Math" gradebook, 1 for Science, 1 for History etc.).
  • Secondary Most secondary teachers will create a GradeBook for each class or period (e.g., Period 1 English IV, Period 2 AP English IV, etc.)  Depending on your preference you do not need to create a new gradebook each semester (unless you desire to). You could use filters in order to only view your current class roster for the semester.  See lesson on Create, Enable and Disable GradeBook Filters for further details.

Gradebook Details and Calculations

1. Give the GradeBook a name.

2. Use this GradeBook's scores for Report Cards- If you are linking the Gradebook to a Report Card, select which Report Card this should link to. If you will be using GradeBooks scores for Report Cards, check with your district for calculations used on the Report Cards. As always, make sure to associate your assignments to the appropriate standards. Remember: It’s a one-to-one association. The standard acts as the “common denominator” between the Gradebook and the Report Card. Basically, the Report Card looks for the values assocaited to the standards selected for the Report Card field.

You absolutely need 2 things:

1) The correct standard(s) from the Report Card field.

2) The checkbox on the GB “Details” page must be selected (as seen above).

3. Standard Calculation Score: How do you want to calculate a standard score? This is the overall score given to the student for assignments aligned to the same standard. For example: The student has been given marks for three assignments aligned to standard LA.1.1. Let's say he/she receives a 1, 2, and 3. If the user selects "Maximum Value" for the overall standard score then the student would receive a 3.

Use the dropdown menu to chose from Most Recent, Maximum, Minimum, Decaying Average (60% newest), Decaying Average (75% newest), Mean, Median, Mode. The following calculations can be used to calculate a score for each standard assessed in a standards-based GradeBook:

  • Most recent:  The standard score will equal the most recent score in the GradeBook linked to any given standard.\L\L    
  • Maximum: The standard score will equal the highest score in the GradeBook linked to any given standard.\L\L    
  • Minimum: The standard score will equal the lowerst score in the GradeBook linked to any given standard.\L    
  • Decaying Average (60% newest): The standard score will equal the average of all the scores linked to a standard but weighs the most recent score at 60%.\L    
  • Decaying Average (75% newest): The standard score will equal the average of all the scores linked to a standard but weighs the most recent score at 75%.\L\L    Why use a decaying average?  Because a decaying average rewards learning. Traditional averaging punishes students for not mastering a standard right away.  Low scores at the beginning of a grading period will hold the average down, even if students master the standard by the end of the grading period.   A decaying average weighs the most recent score the most, allows students to learn from their mistakes, and rewards students for learning. If a student starts off with high scores that later drop significantly, a decaying average will alert students, parents, and teachers to a potential problem much more quickly.  Perhaps the assessments weren't valid, or the student was cheating, or there’s something going on outside of school?  If a low score is a one-time fluke, the student’s score will recover quickly.
  • Mean (Average): The standard score will equal the average of all scores in the GradeBook linked to any given standard.
  • Power Law: This is a calculation based off of Marzano's work with standards-based grading. In essence, the power law formula predicts what the student’s next score will be based on scores already present. In my example you'll notice the scores show continuous improvement, which impacts his/her standard score.

4. Overall Grade Calculations: How to you want to calculate the overall grade? This is the score given to the student based on his/her performance across multiple standards.

  • Let's extend the example above and say that in addition to the three assignments aligned to LA.1.1 the student has received three additional scores aligned to MA.1.1 (again using the maximum value).
  • Pretend the student received a 1, 1, and 1 this time, so his/her standard score would be a 1. So...if the user selects "Minimum Value" for the overall GradeBook score then the student's grade would be a 1 in the instance.

5. Standard Score Rounding- Do you want to round the overall grade score? This will default to No Rounding, but you can chose to Round Up or Round Down.

Grading Scale and Students

Grading Scale and Students

6. Grade Scale: These will default to reflect the Common Core State Standard 4 point scale, however, you can customize this in a few ways:

  • You can change the Label by deleting what is in the box and typing in what you like.
  • You can delete a band by clicking on the trash can.
  • You can change the color of the band by clicking the color square to the left of it.
  • You can + Add Mark, and it will add to the top of the scale.
  • You can change the value by clicking in the Value box. The Grade Scale can be set up using decimals to the hundredths decimal place, i.e. Through Understanding- 2.50, Adequate Understanding- 2.00, etc.

It is highly recommended to be similar across grade levels, departments, and to support Report Card expectations.

7. Manage Students:

  • By Class- These are the classes that you are linked to.  Selecting these from the dropdown menu will automatically fill your gradebook with students in the selected sections. You may use the same section for multiple gradebooks (i.e., you may have separate gradebooks that use the same list of students).
  • By Student- This allows you to create a gradebook with a custom group of students. You add them on a per student basis. Using this option will allow you to set and Enter and Leave date for the student if you chose, if not it will default to the full school year. You can delete a single student using the trash can icon to the right of the dates.

8. Save: This will Save your Gradebook and send you directly into the GradeBook.

9. Cancel: Will cancel the creation of this GradeBook.

Accessing GradeBook Details

At any time, you can edit a Gradebook.

1. Click Gradebook.

2. Select My GradeBooks.

3. Click Details to modify or delete your GradeBook. Note: If you are looking to delete a gradebook- if it is shared with other users, you cannot delete it until you unshare it!

4. To make your Gradebook not visible in the Parent Portal, simply click on the Yes under 'Show in Parent Portal.' It will then turn to No.

Next Steps

After the gradebooks are created to mirror your report card, you might want to begin learning more about Assignments and Scoring.

For additional resources on Gradebooks- See Illuminate U's lesson: U410 Getting Started with Gradebook