To start using the OnCourse Grade Book, there are a few simple things to learn that will make it fast and easy to begin logging student grades. The functions described in this guide are:
- Opening the Grade Book to a class
- Selecting a point-based or weight-based grading method
- Setting up categories
- Adding assignments
There are many more advanced features of the Grade Book that will be detailed in other guides.
Opening the Grade Book to a Class
1. Log into OnCourse
2. Click the My Grade Book tab at the top of the screen.
3. The Grade Book will open. If this is the first time is being accessed, the Grade Book will display an empty book.
4. Use the Class and Marking Period drop-down menus to select the correct Grade Book page to open.
Note: The classes in your drop-down list are configured by school/district personnel. If your classes are not correct, contact your main office or OnCourse support to find out who can adjust these for you.
Point-Based or Weight-Based Grading Method
Teachers may select either a point- or weight-based grading scheme for each class. The differences are:
- Point-Based: the weight of every assignment is determined by a high score assigned by the teacher, and the final grade simply divides the total earned points by the total possible points
- Weight-Based: the teacher may create weighted categories (tests worth 50% of final grade, homework worth 20%, etc.) and may also adjust individual assignment weights within each category. Assignment high scores may be adjusted as well, but the true determinant of an assignment s contribution to the final grade is its weight.
Use the Grading Method area of the toolbar to select the preferred option. This can be changed later, but OnCourse recommends picking one and sticking with it.
Setting Up Categories
The next step is to set up Grade Book categories, like Tests, Participation, Homework, etc.
1. Click the New Category button.
2. Fill out the form that appears:
- Category Name: enter a category name
- Category Description: enter a description, or skip
- Weight (Weight-Based Grade Books Only): determine this category’s contribution to the final grade, and enter a numerical percentage.
NOTE: This can also be left blank, in which case the category will take on any unassigned percentage points across categories. If all category weights are left blank, they will all be weighted equally.
3. Add category to other classes: click the checkbox next any class name, and this category will appear in that class as well.
4. Click Save
The new category will appear, but with no assignments underneath it. The next step is to add assignments.
1. Click the Add Assignment button from the left toolbar.
2. Fill out the Add Assignment form. Some fields on this form are as follows:
- Assignment Name: write the assignment name here
- Category: choose the category where the assignment will reside
- Due Date: auto-fills with the current date (change if you'd like)
- Weight % (Weight-Based Grade Books only): determine this assignment’s contribution to its category, or leave this blank to make all assignments in this category worth the same
- High Score: determine the high score of this assignment. Point-Based teachers are also deciding the “weight” of this assignment.
- Description: this is optional
- Use Check Mark to Score: to make this assignment a checkbox
- Include Due Date in Name: due date visible in assignment name
- Publish to Web: students and guardians have a secure login to MyGradePortal.com, where they will retrieve their grades when a teacher ‘publishes’ them. To publish this assignment immediately, check this box. Leave it blank to publish it later (when grades have been entered).
- Non-Calculated Assignment: check this box when this assignment’s grades are NOT meant to be calculated into the student’s average
- Add this assignment to other classes: check the box next to the target class and select the category from the drop-down menu
3. Click Save when this form is complete.
The new assignment will appear under its category.
This assignment can now be graded in the boxes corresponding to each student.
OnCourse uses a web technology called AJAX, which means that there is no Save button to press. Simply type the grades into each box, and press the Tab key to skip to the next student.
As each grade is entered, the final grade will recalculate for each student in real-time (see image above).
Note: If any students are missing from this class roster, your school’s OnCourse Manager can add/remove students. Contact your main office or the OnCourse support desk to find out who this person is.