Setting up a Traditional Gradebook
with Topic Weighting Handout
Please Note - If you are an Ontario teacher or are using an outcomes-based gradebook, your school board probably has completed this setup for each of your classes. Skip this handout and start adding tasks and evaluations by class through Marks Entry by Assignment. Contact your administrator for assistance.
Setting up a Traditional Gradebook with Topic Weighting
1. First, choose a class from your class section drop down list.
2. Then from the Shortcuts menu, select Plan Classroom Assignments.
Class Content Organizer Overview
Each class section has a Class Content Organizer (CCO), this is where you create a folder structure and setup how you want your gradebook to calculate marks.
· The green arrows allow you to expand and collapse the left panel.
· Within the CCO, you can also create and store custom rubrics for that class.
· You have a Lesson Garage, which is simply a folder where you can create or move assignments you don’t want in your active gradebook/class.
· In the blue tool bar, you have various functions:
o You have a reload button, if you don’t see the changes you’ve made, click the reload button.
o You may have different columns shown on your CCO screen, you can customize your view by using the add field/column button.
o You can move/copy/delete/edit assignments by clicking the white box next to that item which will give it a check in the box.
o Create new items with the new button.
o If you make changes in this screen, you must Save before changing screens.
· You have Class Options and Tools that have other gradebook features in them.
· If you enable the Advanced Sorting checkbox, you can sort your folder structure numerically.
Creating a Folder Structure
Within your Class Content Organizer, you can have a very simple structure with 1 folder where you put all your assignments in that 1 folder to a very complex structure where you could have cabinets, sub units, folders and assignments in each folder.
It’s important to understand, that you must put assignments/tasks in folders. Assignments and tasks cannot go into a cabinet or sub units.
Creating a Basic Folder Structure
In this example, we are going to have a cabinet called Grade 9 Math Units and put several folders under the cabinet for our math units during the year.
Creating a Cabinet
1. First, make sure you’ve selected the top level of your subject in the left panel – e.g. Math-9A.
2. Then, go into edit mode by clicking the Edit button.
3. Place your cursor in the first blank row (row 3) and type in a cabinet name (Grade 9 Math Units); select the Type of item you want to add (Term/Semester Cabinet) and click Save.
Once you’ve clicked Save, the system will create the cabinet for you. You will notice in the left panel you now have a Grade 9 Math Units cabinet.
Creating a Folder
Now, we want put folders for each math unit in that cabinet.
4. Click the Grade 9 Math Units cabinet, which will bring you to the next level so you can add in folders.
5. Place your cursor in the first blank row (row 1) and type in the first unit name (Numbers); select the Type of item you want to add (Lessons/Marks Folder) and click Save.
Once you’ve clicked Save, the system will create the folder for you. You will notice in the left panel you now have a Grade 9 Math Units cabinet and a Numbers folder.
6. Continue adding all of your math unit folders. If you run out of rows, simply click the Save button and more rows will become available.
In this example, we’ve added 11 folders under the cabinet.
The next step is to setup your topic weighting type. With topic weighting, a weight/percentage must be assigned to each cabinet(s) and each of the folder(s).
1. First, click Class Options and then Weighting Configuration. This will open a new window called Weighting.
2. The Topic Weighting Type is first on the list and selected by default.
3. Next, enter in the total weight/percentage for the Grade 9 Math Units cabinet and then the weights/percentages for all the unit folders and click Save once complete.
Important Note - In this example, we are putting the overall subject weight at 100% and each unit at a specific percentage. If you are doing your weights like this, your folders must add up to a 100%.
Once you’ve closed the Weighting screen, you should notice the Abs value has been updated based on your weighting setup. This value shows you what the percentage value is for each item. It could be a cabinet, folder or assignment.
Another way of setting up the topic weighting is to put the overall subject weight at 100% and each unit folder at 1 or equal. The system would then take 100% and divide the 11 folders equally resulting in 9.09 repeating for each folder.
Again, once you’ve closed the Weighting screen, you should notice the Abs value has been updated based on your weighting setup. This value shows you what the percentage value is for each item. It could be a cabinet, folder or assignment.
Scalar v.s. Total Points
You may have noticed in the Weighting screen, an option called Use Scalar Weighting.
Scalar weighting nullifies the “out of total points” so the teacher can control the overall weight of any given assignment/task by enabling a scalar value.
Important Note - When scalar weighting is enabled, unless a scalar value is entered, the system will automatically use the total point value.
To turn on Scalar Weighting – it’s in the Weighting screen under the Weighting Type.
In this example, scalar weighting has been enabled. If you remember from our weighting setup, the Numbers folder is weighted at 15% total, which means all the assignments/tasks will add up to 15%.
If you look at the Abs (absolute) value of each task, the scale value is determining the percentage for that task and not the total points. The only exception is the Homework Marks task that is still using total points and its percentage is 0.75% of the 15% available under the Numbers folder.
Important Note - For the system to calculate the correct weights/percentages, you need to add at least 1 task in each folder. Otherwise the system will use ratios based on your weighting setup.
If you need assistance with this process or have questions, contact StudentsAchieve’s support desk.