This guide is designed to walk you through the BigSIS gradebook from start to finish. This guide will only walk you through how to use BigSIS' internal gradebook in the Teacher tab of the portal. If your school uses Canvas' Learning Management System for entering grades and would like more information about our Canvas integration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article will cover the following topics:
Part 1: Gradebook Settings
Part 2: Assignments
Part 3: Entering Grades
Part 4: Assessment Snapshots
If you would like a video walkthrough on entering grades or performing assessment snapshots, you can do so by clicking the Help button when you're in the gradebook for your course.
NOTE: Your school has the ability to toggle certain tabs in the portal on and off as well as rename them. If you can't find what you need, speak with an administrator at your school.
Part 1: How to Set Up Gradebook
In order to have access to the gradebook tools in the portal, you have to be a teacher. If you are a teacher and do not see the gradebook tools in your portal, or a message that says "This course is explicitly set to not use gradebooks from the Admin.," talk to an administrator about setting you up with a teacher role.
From the Portal:
- Click the Teacher tab
- On the Current Courses page, click the View Gradebook link that corresponds with the course for which you are setting up the gradebook
- Click the text that says Click here to setup the Gradebook for this course...
- NOTE: If you see the text: "This course is explicitly set to not use gradebooks from the Admin.," then your course is not set up to allow gradebook. Please speak to an administrator.
- To copy your settings from another course, click the Copy From Other Course radio button to copy those settings over. If you are configuring your settings for the first time, skip ahead to step 5
- Select the Settings Only radio button to copy over only your settings, select Settings AND Assignments to copy your settings as well as your assignments from another course
- Choose other Course to copy from
- Click the Copy button
- Configure settings as needed
- If you are configuring your settings for the first time or would like to create an entirely new gradebook, click the Choose Settings radio button to configure your settings for the first time.
- Select the Gradebook Scale Template you wish to use.
- NOTE: These templates are set up by your school. If you do not see the scale template you're looking for (e.g. A, B, C or "complete" and "incomplete"), contact an administrator.
- Now, check the boxes that correspond to your desired settings
- NOTE: Before you begin selecting your options, know that if you select one of these options, and then it turns out it's not something you need, you don't have to use it. If you opt to not turn on an option and need it at a later date, an administrator will have to do that for you.
- Grading Periods: Your school determines a certain amount of periods within a term that you are going to grade your students (e.g. mid-term and end-of-term grading periods) but you may have additional periods. You would use this option if you wanted to organize your assignments by your own grading period. The main reason you would want to use this is for reporting periods. As you will learn, BigSIS has something called Assessment Snapshots.
- Gradebook Categories: This is if you want to divide assignments based on categories, for example, essays, tests, class participation, and homework might all be categories you use to organize your syllabus.
- Use Gradebook Category Weighting: Allows you to weight your gradebook categories. For example of Homework is worth 40% of the total grade and Tests are with 60% of the total grade, you could set that up with Category Weighting.
- Click the Next Step button
- If you opted to use Categories, click the Add Category button
- Name your category
- Determine how much the category is weighted
- NOTE: the percentages in all Weight fields will auto-calculate to 100%
- If you need to remove a category, click the Remove checkbox
- Repeat as necessary and then click the Finish button
Part 2: Gradebook Assignments
From the Teacher portal:
- Click the View Gradebook link
Click to enlarge
- Under the Assignments Tab, Click the New button
- Title your assignment (e.g. Homework #1)
- Select a Grading Type:
- Scale: Will use the grading scale you selected when you initially set up your gradebook to enter in grades
- Points: This means you're grading an assignment out of a certain number of points. When you select Points, use the "Weight (in points)" field to tell the system how many points the assignment is worth.
Click to enlarge
- Percentage: The percent the student earned out of the total points. If you entered 80% and the assignment is weighted at 200pts, then the student earned 160pts on the assignment.
- Out Of: This option lets you set the number of points a student can earn and then grade based on how many points the student earned "out of" that number. This is especially useful when your assignment has a question (e.g. a quiz or homework assignment has 5 questions so students can get x "out of" 5 correct).
- NOTE: "out of" points aren't the same as "weight" of the assignment. For example, an assignment with 5 questions might still be worth 100 points in weight, but you will be grading them based on how many questions (1-5) they answered correctly.
- Assign a Weight (in points) for the assignment
- NOTE: If you're using categories, this is the weight of the assignment compared to all other assignments in that category. If you are not using categories, this is the weight of the assignment compared to all other assignments.
- (optional) Assigned a Due Date and time for the assignment
- (optional) If you check the Is Extra Credit checkbox, no student will be penalized for not doing the assignment though they will receive the points if they do complete the assignment.
- Select a Gradebook Category (only required for those using gradebook categories)
- NOTE: Click the Manage Categories button create a new category
- If you selected "Grading Period" when you were setting up your gradebook, you'll be asked to select a grading period.
- Enter a description for the assignment
- Enter instructions for the assignment
- Click the Save and Add Documents to allow students to see documents that correspond with the assignment
- When you're finished click one of the Save buttons on the top
Part 3: Entering Grades
After you have completed setting up your gradebook, it is time to start entering grades. These quick set of instructions will help you get started and help give you a breakdown of what options you have.
How to Launch a Gradebook Session:
There are two methods for launching your gradebook session. You may use either method below depending on your preference or where you are in the portal.
From the My Courses screen in the portal:
- Click on the View Gradebook button
- Click on Enter Grades > Launch Session
From the Edit Course screen after editing a course in the portal...
- Click on the Gradebook > Enter Grades > Launch Session
How to enter grades
From the Grades screen...
After you use one of the above methods to launch your session, you will be taken to the Grades screen where you can start to enter grades. Click on the grade field and enter a grade for that student. If you want to click to the next student use your Tab button or just click on the field you want to continue with.
Action buttons and what you see:
- Scale Key - If you mouse over this it will give you an explanation of what those symbols mean if you use them while grading assignments. For example, (A.) if your scale lists letter grades it will let you know what an "A" will equal when selected. In example (B.) below, you will see an "A" will equal a 96.
- Notation Key - If you mouse over this it will give you an explanation of what those symbols mean if you use them while grading assignments. Typically these will show you special notations that teachers can use for assignments and the associated credit earned with that notation. For example, (A.) if your Notation Key lists options like (A.) EX: Excused (Full Credit) it will let you know that when "EX" is used it will equal "Full Credit." In example (B.) below, you will see "EX" equals "Full Credit" and therefore the student will receive 100%.
- Overall % - this will show you the overall % and grade a student has based on the currently entered grades. This will be tabulated based on the weight of each assignment and the category the assignment is part of. This will update after you enter in a grade and move to another field.
- Assignments - A list of the assignments and the grading type they are using will be listed along the top of the gradebook. If the list of assignments is large enough you will see the students name duplicate after a certain number assignments. This will assist you as you scroll through the full list of assignments.
- Action Buttons (from left to right):
- New Assignment - use this option to quickly add new assignments gradebook
- Gradebook Settings - use this option to change any of the gradebook settings you previously set up. This includes adding/editing/removing assignments, and the option to remove/add snapshot periods, gradebook catergories, and gradebook category weighting.
- Explain Calculations - this is a very detailed breakdown of how each student's final grade is calculated based on how each assignment is setup.
- Quick Snapshot - this option will automatically create an Assessment Snapshot based on all of the assignments a student currently has grades for
- New Snapshot - use this option to create a new Assessment Snapshot (this is the same as creating a new snapshot from the Assessment Snapshots tab). See (article link here) for more details on creating snapshots.
- Help - this will take you to the four help videos we have for getting your gradebook set up.
- Filters - this option will allow you to narrow the focus of your gradebook so you look at assignments of your choosing.
- By Assessment Period - use to narrow down your assignments to just one specific assessment period
- By Category - use to narrow down assignments based on an assignment category
- By Left Status - use to select the type of students you want to show. By default the system will only show you active students as of today's date. To include all students or just those students that have left you can use the filter options to (Default)Hide Attrition Students,Show All Students, or Hide Active Students.
Part 4: Assessment Snapshots