12 September 2011

Gradebook in the Cloud

Cross-posted from Excel for Educators

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a "Roll Your Own Gradebook" series for beginners. The advanced version will be available soon, but in the meantime, some of you might be interested in the GoogleDocs version of the gradebook.

I like GoogleDocs for a variety of reasons. "Cloud-based" documents are accessible from anywhere I have an internet connection, collaboration is simple, and sharing information is a snap. Mind you, these are exactly the same attributes which can be deadly for student grades. In the U.S., the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) outlines the responsibility institutions have when it comes to student data. So, even though you can keep your gradebook on the web, please think carefully about whether or not you should.

The spreadsheet feature of GoogleDocs is really not ready for primetime, but it does afford some functionality. You have very few colours to choose from (and no way to adjust RGB values), limited formulas, and no way to pretty up your charts and graphs (even though you have some types unavailable in Excel). However, if you just need a down and dirty way to look at scores, it's good enough.

Here is a link to the unadulterated version of the gradebook. You can copy this to your own Google account and play with it to your heart's content. You can follow (nearly) all of the same steps as I posted for the Excel version (see Part I, Part IIa, and Part IIb). Or, create a new beast.

I have also developed a final version of the gradebook and reporting tool, with all of the steps applied, if you just want to skip ahead to the ending. This, too, can be copied to your own Google account for hours of amusement.

Ow! My eyes!

Keep in mind that many people have created gradebook templates in GoogleDocs and have posted them to share. Look around and see how you can improve on what's there.

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