MarkUs Blog

MarkUs Developers Blog About Their Project

Simple Grade Entry: Design Proposal – Part 1

with 5 comments

At the code sprint, we discussed some of the considerations for the new simple grade entry feature. We decided that this new feature was going to be treated as another type of “assignment” that an instructor can create. Over the last few days, I’ve been taking a closer look at the way assignments are currently handled in MarkUs. I thought it would be a good idea to first determine how this new feature is going to look for instructors, TAs, and students.

Here are the ideas I have so far:

The UI for instructors:

Page Flow

Under the “Assignments” tab, there should be a new creation option – something like “Create New Spreadsheet”. An alternative would be to first select “Create New”, then select the type of assignment (i.e. a regular assignment vs. a “spreadsheet”), and then the appropriate creation form could be displayed. What do you guys think of these options?

Creation Form

On the new “spreadsheet” creation page, the instructor should set the following properties:

  • Short Identifier (T1, L1, etc.)
  • Name (Term Test 1, Final Exam, Lab 1, etc.)
  • Message (a description of the test, lab, etc.)
  • Date (the date the test, exam, etc. took place)
  • Column Name Prefix (Q, L, etc. – the actual column names in the “spreadsheet” could then contain Q1, Q2, etc.)
  • Number of Questions

After the instructor enters the number of questions, we could display a table on the creation page (the dimensions of the table would be: #questions x 2) so that the instructor can enter the total number of marks each question is out of.

Views associated with a “spreadsheet” instance:

I think there should be three views associated with a “spreadsheet” instance:

1) Properties View

This would be an “Edit Spreadsheet” page, similar to the edit page for assignments. The instructor would be able to see/modify the properties that were set during “spreadsheet” creation.

2) Graders View

I think it would be good if the instructor could assign graders to an entire “spreadsheet” instance or to individual questions in a “spreadsheet”. This way, a TA could be responsible for marking and entering the grades for all the questions or only for certain questions.

3) Spreadsheet View

This would be the table that actually contains the marks. We could have columns for the student’s user name, last name, and first name, one column for each question (each of these column names would indicate what the question is out of – eg. “Q1  /10”), and an automatically generated “total” column. This table should be able to be sorted by user name/last name to make it more convenient to enter the marks.

The UI for TAs:

A “spreadsheet” instance would show up in their list of assignments that need to be marked. From the three views I described for instructors, only the Spreadsheet View would be necessary for TAs. Perhaps we could display a message at the top of this page that indicates which question(s) the TA should enter marks for.

These are my initial thoughts for the look and feel for instructors and TAs. Let me know what you guys think.

My next post will likely be about the UI for students. Stay tuned!

Written by Farah Juma

October 4th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses to 'Simple Grade Entry: Design Proposal – Part 1'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Simple Grade Entry: Design Proposal – Part 1'.

  1. I’m still not sure if the grade entry “fits” into the assignment model….

    I was always thinking of the grade entry as the missing peace to support a full course work-flow. There are assignments and other things, whatever it is. That’s why I would create an additional tab “Course” (same level as “Dashboard”, “Assignments” and “Users”). This is where I, as an instructor, would fill in the blanks (i.e. other grades).

    Also, I would think of it as an overall view of the course. That means there would be a sub-tab (similar as “Assignments” have sub-tabs) called “Course Work” and “Grade-Book”. In the “Course Work” tab the instructor would see a rather plain listing of the course work (i.e. assignments, mid-terms, exams, labs, etc.) with the possibility to assign them weights. MarkUs-managed assignments would be already listed. There would be the possibility to add other “Course Work” items (however many necessary). This is where one would enter a short identifier, description, maybe a “out-of”, and whatever else necessary. As of now, I’m not sure if it makes sense to make these views a lot different for TAs.

    Then there is the “Grade-book” sub-tab, which is basically a large table (as much in-place editable as possible – I’d say) with usernames (i.e. students) as rows and assignments, labs, tests, etc. as columns. Maybe add a little “+” at the end of the column names, which would open up a modal to enter a new column directly in the “Grade-book” view.

    These are my initial thoughts on this. Keep up the good work!

    Here’s how it could possibly look like (just an idea):


    5 Oct 09 at 5:56 pm

  2. […] you’d like in such a tool’s dashboard. Meanwhile, Farah Juma has been posting ideas for grade entry in MarkUs, and would probably also like to know your thoughts. Next time you’re tired of staring at […]

  3. I think we need to be very careful here, and prototype these ideas in front of real CS instructors in order to make sure that they make sense.

    I remember when I was working on the Rubric Manager wayyyy back last September…it took me about a month to realize I had the whole mental model wrong.

    So, what do you think of these options, Karen?


    Mike Conley

    8 Oct 09 at 12:13 pm

  4. […] on a design proposal for simple grade […]

  5. […] the new simple grade entry feature. We went over the ideas and questions I mentioned in my initial design proposal. Here are the changes/implementation details that we […]

Leave a Reply