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What is the relationship between Gradebooks and Report Cards?

November 24, 2011

QuickSchools comes with both Gradebook and Report Cards modules. They are inter-related. But schools can choose to use one without the other. It is important however to note how these two modules interrelate, so that you get the most out of your QuickSchools experience.

There are TWO key differences, which we’ll discuss first:

Gradebook

Report Card

 Continuous Assessment

  • Grades are posted immediately
 Periodic Assessment

  • Requires report cards to be published
 Basic Assessment Detail

  • Numerical Marks Only
  • Printed format is not configurable
 Rich in Assessment Detail

  • Includes Non-Numerical Assessments
  • Multiple templates to choose from

 

Continuous vs. Periodic Assessment

The Gradebook is mainly controlled/administered by the subject teacher. The subject teacher can define gradebook columns, categories, dates, grading scales and even final grade calculations. Teachers can do this on a regular basis; weekly or even daily. When teachers enter a new gradebook column, it can be made available to parents immediately (there is a configuration setting to make the gradebook entries available to the Parent Portal).

Parent View of Gradebook Entries (if enabled)

By contrast, Report Cards are usually part of a grading cycle (or marking period, as some people call it). Report cards would be made available to parents at the end of an academic term, and sometimes in the middle of the academic term (i.e. Mid-Term Report Cards). Parents would not see the report cards while teachers are putting in their assessments. Instead, the report cards need to be published at the end of the grading cycle before they become accessible via the Parent Portal (Read more on how report cards are locked/published).

Richness of Assessment Content

Although you can create multiple columns in the gradebook, and define your own calculations, the Gradebook currently only records numerical marks. You cannot note down comments, or other types of assessments (like dropdowns, and check boxes). Also, when you print out a PDF version of a student’s gradebook entries, it adheres to a very specific format. Changes in this format will affect other schools. The aim of this is to make the Gradebook easy to use and readily available (with little to no configuration).

The Report Cards are designed to supplement the evaluations made in the Gradebook. Schools will have multiple report card formats to choose from, each with its own set of elements that you can further configure. You can also create additional grading criteria specific to subjects, including comments and dropdowns.

Choose from a variety of available Report Card templates

So how are the Gradebook and Report Cards related?

You can see that the 2 modules serve very different purposes. You could almost say that they are complementary to one another. But because the gradebook assessments are continuous, we regard the Gradebook as the source for all grades. So the Report Cards (and even Transcripts) will take final grade calculations from the Gradebook, and display them accordingly. If you don’t use the gradebook, that simply means you would have to type in the grades into the report cards, instead of having them appear automatically.

If numerical grades are all you care about, you can opt to use the Gradebook PDF as a sort of Report Card or Progress Report, to be sent to parents. The format is fixed, but you don’t have to fiddle through configuring the Report Cards.

Sample generated Gradebook PDF

If you don’t have ANY numerical marks at all, then you can skip the Gradebook, and use the Report Cards as your sole means of assessments. You would then use comments and scale-based criteria in the report cards.

Sample generated Report Card PDF

So depending on the types of evaluations you like to share with your parents, you may opt to use one or both of the Gradebook and Report Cards modules. Hopefully, we’ll have something that caters to your needs. And as always, we welcome your feedback.

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