Standards-Based Gradebook Tutorial

The recently released Standards-Based Gradebook (SBG) in the QuickSchools App Store has been very-well received. We’re delighted to receive all the feedback from schools who are adopting this module for the new school year. So we thought we’d put together a quick tutorial on how to set up your Subject-Based Gradebooks in QuickSchools.


Before you begin, be sure to have your subjects and enrollments set up properly. If you’re already a user of QuickSchools (from previous years) you can set up the new school year by promoting your students. Students should also be enrolled into subjects beforehand. You can read about it here:

Also, go ahead and install the “Standards-Based Gradebook” in the QuickSchools App Store, and enabled it for the appropriate teachers. Once these steps are completed, you can proceed with the actual setup of the Standards-Based Gradebook.

NOTE: If you are using the “Standards-Based Gradebook” for a particular subject, you cannot use the regular Numeric-Based Gradebook for the same subject. This is because the report cards can only grab the Final Grades from ONE of the gradebooks.

Here is a summary of the steps:

  1. OPTIONAL: Create your library of Standards
    • Create Standards Sets
    • Add Standards to Standards Sets
  2. OPTIONAL: Configure your Standards-Based Gradebook
    • Configure how the final score is calculated for a particular standard
    • Configure how the Overall Grade for a particular subject is calculated based on assessed standards
    • Configure the Mastery Levels / Grading Scale
  3. Start using the Gradebook
    • Define which standards will be assessed for the particular academic term
    • Create assessments by selecting specific standards to test for specific students
    • Review how students are performing based on assessed standards (Analytics)
  4. Generate Report Cards: Report Cards will automatically display assessed standards for each student. The Subject-Based Gradebook also has an “Overall Grade” calculation for the subject, which can be transferred automatically into the report card.

Step 1: Creating your library of Standards

This is an OPTIONAL step, because you can actually create new standards directly from your Standards-Based Gradebook. However, if helps to build the library up front, so that teachers can easily select / include the relevant standards into their gradebooks. In this way, you can streamline your standards as well as categorize/group your standards into sets.

To create/manage your standards, just click on the “Standards” menu:

Setting up Standards Sets
Setting up Standards Sets

Use the “Add New Standards Set” to create a new group/set of standards. Once a Standards Set is created, you can either update the set by clicking on the name of the set. Or, you can click on the “Edit” button to start adding/managing individual standards within the Set.

When you click on the “Edit” button, you can add/edit standards for the set. Notice that you have the option to Import standards from an excel file:

Set up Standards for the Set
Set up Standards for the Set

Each standard has 4 fields that you can use:

Add New Standard
Add New Standard

And that’s pretty much how you manage your standards.

Step 2: Configure your Standards-Based Gradebook

This is also an OPTIONAL step, because the Standards-Based Gradebook comes with pre-set / default configuration as follows:

  • Standards are assessed based on the newest and next-to-newest assessments, with the newest assessment weighing 75% (and next-to-newest at 25%) of the overall score.
  • The overall subject grade is assessed based on percentage of standards that have been mastered (i.e. total standards mastered, over total standards assessed). “Mastered” in this case refers to the highest Mastery Level defined in this setup screen (see below).
  • Mastery Levels are over 4 points by default, with 1 being the lowest score (labelled “Novice”), and 4 being the highest score (labelled “Proficient”). Anything between 2.1 and 3 is considering “Developing”. The highest Mastery Level in this case is from 3.1 to 4 points, and is labelled “Proficient”.

To change these settings, simply go to “Grading Setup” > “Standards-Based Setup”:

Configuring the Standards-Based Gradebook
Configuring the Standards-Based Gradebook

From here, you can change the Mastery Levels. We currently only support 3 levels, but you can change the scale as appropriate to your school. Just click into the cells, and type in your changes. Each Mastery Level is also displayed in a different color on the gradebook.

The remaining settings are pretty self-explanatory. You can change how each standard is assessed under “Score Calculation”. You can also change how the subject is evaluated (based on assessed standards) under “Overall Grade”. Just click on the dropdown to view the available options, and click to select as appropriate.

We currently have a pre-set list of configurations for “Score Calculation” and “Overall Grade”. If your particular method is not listed, please feel free to provide your feedback to the QuickSchools team.

We’ll continue with Steps 3 and 4 in a separate article, which will be posted later this week. Keep an eye out for that one. In the meantime, for additional information on some of the capabilities of the Standards-Based Gradebook, you can check our previous announcement on our blog here:

Updated Sept 9, 2014:

Part 2 is available here:

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