A Criterion Based Gradebook

The Problem

I’ve searched everywhere for a digital gradebook solution that can handle the rigors of criterion-based assessment. The MYP isn’t predicated on percentages (how can you give an 84% for an English essay anyway? How does it differ from an 86%?) but rather descriptors of performance. A mark of 4 out of 8 doesn’t mean the student got half of the things correct; it corresponds to a description of the work. A good description of the nuances of MYP assessment can be found here (.pdf).

Since I couldn’t find a decent ready-made solution I decided to create one. I’ve tailored it to the needs of my school: we are a tablet PC school so I thought it would be nice to use the stylus to input the marks. I’ve also created several iterations for different MYP subjects to fit with their specific criteria and grade boundaries. The Math version is linked below. It’s nothing fancy; just an Excel document with a few macros (nothing malicious, I promise!). It gets the job done, though.

The Walkthrough

Summative Grades – This is for the major summative tasks. Each task may be assessed on more than one criterion so it is important that you input date and title for each criterion used.

Formative Grades – This is where homework can be recorded. You can also assess classwork on specific criteria or record results from quizzes. I was thining of the old +, √, – method here and used a numerical equivalent.

ATL Skills – Approaches to Learning, for the un-MYP among us, are specific study skills that are explained in detail through the program. I found it useful to track these ATL skills to better provide reporting data.

The Macros

At the end of each reporting period the teacher is required to determine at what level each student is performing for each criterion. To aid this, I’ve set up a simple sort macro which groups all of the same criterion grades together in chronological order. You can then return it to its original order by using the date sort. It’s probably a good idea to put in the reporting period headers and date first before sorting by criteria so that you have a place to put your final assessment.

The Disclaimer

Like all work on this site, these gradebooks are shared under a Creative Commons 3.0 Non-Commerical Share Alike license. If you find ways of improving upon this, I would love to know!

MYP Gradebook Math;
MYP Gradebook Language A
MYP Gradebook Language B
MYP Gradebook Humanities
MYP Gradebook Science

6 thoughts on “A Criterion Based Gradebook

  • October 28, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Y’know, you are now making me think I should have taken this on as my Representation and Interaction design project. I’d love to turn this into a program that is NOT an Excel spreadsheet, but an online / web-friendly interface with stylus or multi-touch controls. Hmmm. Will see what is on next semester.

    • October 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

      I’ve actually been thinking about how to improve upon that plain ol’ excel sheet and turn it into a full-fledged application, web-based or otherwise. My problem is, I know nothing about that high-end programming. I guess I/we could outsource it?

      As for your avatar, I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ll have a look-see. It might be some plugin that I’m running that is messing it up. I had problems with mine at the start of this blog.

  • October 28, 2009 at 11:27 am

    P.S. Why don’t I have an avatar on your blog? how can I change that? Can I?

  • October 28, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I also know nothing about programming, but the thing is you don’t need to if all you want to do is create a prototype. You can use Flash or even Powerpoint to develop a click-through prototype that you then pitch to developers. I am kinda sorta in an environment now where I could maybe kinda make that happen… if I really put lots of work into it and talked to the right people.

  • October 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Hmm… interesting. Go on and run with it if you like. We can split the profits later. 🙂

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