One my recent obsessions this school year is figuring out the best assessment strategies and methods of reporting student progress. While I have not even covered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mastering how I assess my students and provide them with timely, meaningful feedback, I have been struggling this year with translating these practices into the limiting, number-based, weighted, percentile gradebook system that I am currently required to use.
I recently tweeted out that I needed to be a software designer so I could develop a system that would allow me to report how my students were progressing on standards along with the ability to provide individualized comments.
Within minutes I received a tweet from Riley Lark, who stated that he himself had gone through the same challenge and had come up with a solution himself. His solution, ActiveGrade, provides a customizable gradebook that allows the teacher to enter standards, assessments and grades based on either a percentile scale or a rubric scale. Teachers can then print out or email customizable reports that automatically populate individual grade reports in the form of a letter for each student. Teachers can input personalized comments for each student to be included in the report.
I tested it by easily copy/pasting in one of my class lists and was quite satisfied with the report it created. I was also excited by the opportunity to show a list of standards rather than random-seeming tests/quizzes or other assessments that don’t paint a complete picture of what a student knows or doesn’t know. All assessments can be grouped by standard to paint a picture of a student’s progress toward mastering a standard.
You can try it for free for 14 days or pay just $12 until September. If you want to start using it next year it will cost about $40 for the entire year.