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TAs Adding Marks

From Information about Isaak, Brock University's Sakai-Based LMS

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This is a guide for Teaching Assistants using Sakai/Isaak to enter and return grades.

The Gradebook is a tool that allows instructors and TAs to securely and privately record and distribute course grades. The Gradebook can be used to calculate and store grade information and distribute it to students online.

[edit] Using the Gradebook

Individuals with instructor-level access to a Sakai/Isaak course space can:

  • Create categories to organize items and allow for weighting of grades
    • This allows Sakai to autocalculate course grades, with the ability to override any letter grade
  • Define course letter grades based on a 100% scale (by default these do not match Brock's letter grading scale)
  • Choose between point- or percentage-based grading
  • Add, view, edit, track, and release point values of items to students
  • Enter, view, edit, and release to students scores, grades, and comments
    • Once granted permission, TAs and enter, edit and track grades and comments
  • Transmit scores to the Gradebook from tools, such as Tests & Quizzes, thereby creating a corresponding item in the Gradebook and recording student scores for that item.
  • Instructors and TAs can export scores and grades to Microsoft Excel (in .xls or .csv format)
  • Import item scores from spreadsheet (.csv) files.
  • With some specific configurations, drop the highest, the lowest, or keep the highest of a series of similar grade items.
  • Create an extra credit item.

Viewing scores: The Gradebook lets students view their own scores and grades once instructors have released them.

[edit] Things to consider

  • Content exported from Sakai/Isaak can be imported in the Faculty Gradebook.
  • Instructors at TAs with appropriate permissions can view information in the Gradebook in different ways, including an item summary for each course, item detail, all grade listing, course grade listing, Gradebook setup, and course grade options.
  • Students can view their cumulative scores for all items and the corresponding percentage; view their course grades, once an instructor releases them; and sort their items by title, due date, grade, and total possible points per item.
  • The Gradebook is group aware, so assistants can see grades only for students in their particular groups.
  • Null, or un-entered, values do not count against a students final grade calculated in Sakai/Isaak. A zero would. Existing null values can be converted to zeros using the Set Ungraded Items to Zero option available via Gradebook > Course Grades
  • Instructors can both export and import grades from the Sakai Gradebook into any software that can handle CSV. TAs can only export.

[edit] Creating/adding, editing, or deleting a Gradebook item

[edit] Adding a new Gradebook item

Only instructors can add a new Gradebook item. Find out more here:

[edit] Check list for releasing grades

  1. Make sure that under "Gradebook Setup" > "Display released Gradebook Items to students" is checked
  2. Under "Gradebook Items" make sure that beside each item that there is a "Y" in the "Released to Students"
    • If not select the "Edit" option beside the respective item and check-off "Release this item to Students"

For more information please see the article Making grades available to students.

[edit] Grading Categories

Only instructors can create categories. Categories and weighting can be used to convert raw grades associated with individual items into the weighted final grade -- ie. you can mark out of 100 and convert it to 15%, you don't have to mark out of 15.

[edit] Giving TAs Access

Only instructors can add TAs to the course site or provide TAs with access to the Gradebook.

[edit] Adding TAs to a course

You can add an other instructor, teaching assistant, or additional students by following these steps:

  • Go to the "Site Info" item on the left menu
  • Find and click "Add Participants" at the top
  • Enter the individual's CAMPUS ID (AKA Badger ID or Brock E-Mail prefix) and press "Continue"
  • Check off the appropriate role
    • Audit - Non-student, will not receive a grade.[1]
    • Instructor - Can read, revise, delete and add both content and participants to a site.
    • Liaison Librarian - Limited role which can be upgraded as needed.[1]
    • Organizer - Allows for differentiation from the TA or Instructor role[1]
    • Student - Can read content, and add content to a site where appropriate.
    • Teaching Assistant - Can read, add, and revise most content in their sections.
  • Press "Continue"and press "Continue"
  • Choose if you want to notify the person you're adding by E-Mail and press "Continue"
  • Lastly, you will be asked to confirm the addition then press "Finish"

[edit] Granting TAs Access to the Gradebook

If there is at least one category in the Gradebook then under the "Permission Settings" tab in the Gradebook you should be able to select the TA by name and add a permission and then "Save the Changes"

Note: If the course currently does not have categories created at least one category will need to be created (as out lined above) and all of the applicable items will need to be added to it.

[edit] Submitting final grades at Brock

Sakai/Isaak cannot be used to directly submit grades to the registrar's office, however, instructors can export their grades from Sakai/Isaak. Once the file is exported instructors can do one of two things:

  1. Open the exported CSV file in software like MS Excel and then print the marks. The printed sheet, with all the information that was found on the registrar's sheet (name, student number, course information) signed by the instructor and chair can then be submitted as the final mark.
  2. Those with the correct level of access to the Faculty Gradebook in can export the grades from Sakai/Isaak and then import them into the Faculty Gradebook. The method has the benefit of reducing the potential for human error and the Faculty Gradebook can then handle the 0,2,5 and 8 conversion.

[edit] Additional Resources

[edit] Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Not all courses have this role. Please contact the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation if you would like the role added to an older site

[edit] Getting Help

Instructors and TAs are always welcome to contact the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation for help with Sakai/Isaak. You get our contact information at or contact edtech at BrockU dot ca or 905 688 5550 xt 4734.

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