Which Gradebook tool is right for me?

Published on: Author: Mathieu Plourde

Last June, we rolled out a new Gradebook tool in Sakai, called Gradebook 2. Instructors have been asking which one they should use. This post will attempt to answer that question.

First of all, Gradebook 2 will not replace the original Gradebook. Both tools remain available to any course site in Sakai.

The original Gradebook is simple to use. If your grading strategy is simple (4 exams worth 25% of the final grade each, for instance), it probably fits your needs just fine. If you’re using categories and weighting, it gives you and your students a calculation of the category score, something Gradebook 2 doesn’t offer. (click the thumbnails for larger screenshots)

Gradebook 2 offers some new features faculty have asked for over time. The tool is more flexible, but also requires a little more time for instructors to master it. Below are some of these new features:

  • Dropping the lowest grade(s) in a category. It is now possible to assign a certain number of assignments in a category to be dropped from the course calculation.
  • Adding true extra credit. If you’re assigning bonus points or extra credit assignments, you can now add them in Gradebook 2. Points added as extra credit will be added to the course grade without being required.
  • Statistics: Gradebook 2 offers a way to generate and share statistics with your students.
  • Visual cues: Gradebook 2 uses colors, font variations, and indicators that something is missing or wrong.

Warning: Do not use both gradebook tools in the same course! Because both tools use the same data and may be set up to calculate grades differently, your students could see two different final grade calculations. Pick one gradebook, and stick with it for the semester.

As usual, if you have any questions or concerns, contact the IT Support Center, and we’ll be happy to help you choose the tool and strategy that fits your needs.