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Wrapping up simple grade entry

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This semester has flown by quickly! Here’s a summary of all the things that have been added to the simple grade entry feature this semester:

  • Table view – I worked on some performance issues related to the grades table. I also implemented some new features for the table.
    • Instructors can now enter grades for grade entry forms and the grades are automatically saved as they are entered. Each student’s total mark is automatically updated as the grades are entered. If a valid grade is entered, the table cell’s background colour changes to blue and then fades back to white. If an error occurred, the cell’s background colour is changed to red. Since it is possible for a student to have missed a test, blank marks for questions are considered to be valid.
    • The grades for all the students no longer appear on a single page. Basic pagination has been implemented. In addition, alphabetical pagination has been implemented so that an instructor can use a drop-down menu to quickly jump to a page containing a particular subset of students based on their last names.
    • Both unit tests and functional tests have been written for these features.
  • Student interface – Students can now see their marks for grade entry forms.
    • A student’s grade entry forms now appear on his/her main page when they log in. For grade entry forms for which marks have been entered and released, a student will be able to see his/her total mark as well as the class average on the main page. The student can click on a particular grade entry form to see the question-by-question breakdown of the marks. It’s possible that a student will have missed a test for some reason. If this is the case, the student’s mark will appear as N/A.
    • Both unit tests and functional tests have been written for this feature.
  • Releasing/unreleasing the marks – Instructors can now specify which marks to release/unrelease.
    • From the Grades page, an instructor can now release or unrelease the marks for particular students or for all the students. Once a student’s marks have been released/unreleased, the marking state column of the grades table gets updated appropriately. Both releasing and unreleasing the marks are operations that are logged for future reference.
    • Both unit tests and functional tests have been written for this feature.
  • Uploading/downloading the marks – Instructors can upload/download the grades as a CSV file.
    • From the Grades page, an instructor can choose to download the entire grades table as a CSV file. Alternatively, an instructor can choose to upload the grades from a CSV file. In the latter case, after attempting to upload the marks, a success/error message appears on the page indicating how many updates were valid/invalid.
    • A review request has been submitted for this feature. Ticket #634 has been created for the unit tests and functional tests for this feature.
  • Machinist tests – This semester, many of us converted existing tests to Machinist.
    • The tests for grade entry forms have been converted to Machinist and all the new tests that I wrote this semester used Machinist as well.

Current State / Future Work

Simple grade entry has come a long way since I first started working on it back in September! There are a few tickets left over for some UI-related issues. (All tickets for grade entry are tagged with “Simple Grade Entry”. They’re probably a great starting point for anyone new to MarkUs!) In addition, the work that is being done to assign TAs to specific rubric elements can probably be used in a similar fashion to assign TAs to specific questions for grade entry forms. Alternatively, TAs could be given permission to modify the entire table. (This simply requires enabling the table view for TAs as well as instructors.)

Working on the grade entry feature has been a blast! I’ve learned a lot and am really glad I got to be a part of the MarkUs team!

Written by Farah Juma

April 3rd, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response to 'Wrapping up simple grade entry'

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  1. Farah,

    Excellent blog post and work on the grade entry form. I’m not sure if “simple” in terms of its implementation (still) applies. Great job! For sure, instructors will like the spiffy new feature, too.


    3 Apr 10 at 6:28 pm

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