I’ll say it again. I really hate grading. I end up with a huge stack of papers at the end of the day that is taller than the ceiling. Papers get lost. Students don’t hand them in on time. I am not as good as I should be about returning student work so they don’t get the feedback they need. I just can’t get excited about grading. I am always on the lookout for a way that technology can make this easier for me and better for my students.
In that vein, I signed up to try Classroom IQ. It is an, “Open-Response Grading Platform.” Here is how it works. First you must get the students’ work into digital form. This is probably the most difficult part. I chose to use the school copiers and save the output onto a thumb drive. I realize that not all of you will have that feature on your copiers, but many copiers can email or send files via ftp. Setting up your copier is beyond the scope of this article, so please read the user’s manual on your copier for more information. Of course you can have your students email the assignment or save in a shared Dropbox folder, but there are easier methods for grading than Classroom IQ if your students are electronically submitting homework.
Assignments are uploaded to ClassroomIQ via the web interface. This is pretty easy once you have your documents in electronic format. Note that files must be either .jpg or .pdf format. It also helps if students put their name on both sides of the paper if you have double-sided assignments.
It takes a while for Classroom IQ to parse the file and do the magic behind the curtain. The assignments I have uploaded so far have taken around one to two hours before they were ready to be graded.
Before the first assignment is uploaded it is helpful, but not necessary, to have the class roster setup. You can do it while grading, but I found that it was easier to have names setup before uploading the assignments.
While grading you are presented with one slice of the assignment at a time. I clicked the Mark All as Correct button and then just clicked on the questions that were incorrect.
You then just scroll down to keep on grading. An arrow button allows you to grade the next question.
I found that some questions were not sliced appropriately, but I was able to count those questions for 2 points instead of 1.
Comments are allowed, although I can’t find where the student actually has access to the feedback given by the teacher. The website also advertises the ability to mark questions with Common Core tracking or State Standards, but I could not find that feature.
The gradebook was well laid out, giving the information expected. I like that it is color coded so that I can see at a quick glance what students are struggling with and I can also quickly see what questions are giving students the hardest time.
All in all I found this a great start to a great project. It is still in its infancy and there are a few features that I would require before implementing it full time in my classroom.
The following are my suggestions for increased usability. These are only my opinions.
- Ability to delete/rename classes
- Ability to sort classes on the left-hand menu
- Ability to run an entire day’s worth of one assignment and have classroomiq sort out students in the correct class
- Ability to delete assignments
- Ability to sort assignments by grading period
- Ability to sort students by Last Name, First Name, or score on assignment
- Highlight assignments with no name, or ones that the system does not recognize
- Have the option to report points earned, or percent correct on assignment
- Ability to export results to a .csv for import into a standard gradebook program
- Ability for students/parents to login to see the assignments with teacher comments
- parents/students able to opt-in for email notifications after grading has been completed
- download assignment with comments
- In lieu of a student/parent login, it would be nice to be able to download a separate pdf for each student that was graded, possibly in a .zip file of the whole class with the teacher comments on the documents.
- Ability to scan assignments that were handed in late and merge them into an assignment that was already graded.
- Integration into Edmodo, Schoology, and Moodle
Have you found any tools that work great for grading? Please share, I’d love to know. This is the area of teaching that I need the greatest amount of help.