It’s All About the Grades-Tracking Schedules,Assignments, and Grades on a School Site (Part III)

Trudy HutzlerGuest Author:  Trudy Hutzler

Welcome to the third installment of the series on my School Site and how we put it all together.  In this post we will walk through how we track the grades, because at the end of the day all it is all about the grades.  For tracking grades, the school interface was often inaccurate with some classes included assignments not yet due as zeros until an actual grade was entered; others would be late but not counted until an actual 0% was entered, and so on.  We needed a way to track and calculate her grades so we could monitor her progress.  Not just tracking the grade for the individual assignments, but for the class average, the grades for the grading period and the year overall.  Finally we wanted to make it easy for us, as parents, to get the update on her grades at a glance.Now before we go any further, my daughter has asked me to again state that no actual grades were used in the making of this demo.  All grades and classes have been changed to protect the innocent.

Home Page

The All Grades tab shows the grades for each class in one place.  Any assignment that is past its due date is grouped by Class and the assignment grades for each class are averaged.  Although, since some assignments are weighted heavier than others this is not entirely accurate it does give us an overall idea of how she is doing grade wise.

All Grades Tab on Home Page

All Grades Tab on Home Page

To see the class grade average and individual assignment grades, you know for deciding if she can go out with her friends, or take a mental health day, you click on the Class to expand the node.

The Math, English, History, PE, and Science tabs, on the home page, simply list out all the assignments for that class, for the current quarter.  When my daughter is working in a particular subject she can see everything that was assigned and work on it all at once to save time.

Science Tab on Home Page

Science Tab on the Home Page Displays Current Grades for this Class

I also added a Legend at the bottom of the page to help other users, like my Husband, to know what all the different colors and symbols mean.

Lists

All of the final assignment grades are recorded in the Assignment List.  The problem was we had decided we would only track one quarters worth of assignments at a time to keep the assignment lists from being an overwhelming mess of information.  So I needed a way to track the final grades for each class for each quarter, semester, and the year overall.  To do this I created a new list called Grades.

Grade List

Grades list shows all final grades for the year to date

I explained above that some grades are more heavily weighted than others and so the grade average was not exactly correct, but at some point needed to track the actual final grades.

I enter in her final scores from her report card, and the list calculates the rest averaging the two quarter grades to get the semester grade, and all quarters to get the year overall.  Now you won’t need to track grades in your workplace, but what about other performance indicators, percentage of tasks completed on time, or percentage of returned or defective parts?  You can use your own imagination on how something like this might work for you.

Finally to keep everyone in the loop on where my Daughters grades stand I post an abbreviated view of the grades on the home page for quick reference.

Image Rotator and Grade Summary

The image rotator and grade summary view from the homepage

Now did you notice the picture of the waterfall above the grades summary view for the homepage?  It is a picture of the Kent State University campus.  Kent is one of the colleges my daughter is considering. We also wanted the site to be as attractive in form, and it was useful in function so we added the image rotator solution to the home page.

I created a picture library to hold the pictures I wanted to show in the image rotator web part, and every 5 seconds the image changes to display the next picture in the library.  Now for this demo I used pictures of the Kent State campus, but my daughter can change these and show pictures of friends, cartoons or comics, whatever she wants.  This just gives the page a little visual appeal.  I have been known to place Calvin and Hobbes Snowmen comics in a rotator part during periods of time when we are having a lot of snow storms, or other holiday cartoons, and so on.  This helps to draw users to the page, and gets them clicking around and using the site.  So never underestimate the power of visual appeal.

Well now you have seen our School Site, and seen how we combined individual solutions to make a user-friendly, visually appealing solution.  From here we are going to roll up our sleeves and get down to the nitty-gritty of exactly how we created each part of the solution.

My hope is that something that I have done will help spark your imagination and start you thinking about ways that you can use these solutions in new and exciting ways.

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