LMS

Our portal system is at the heart of our school's data

This is an old guide we received. I reviewed it before putting this guide together and thought it was a helpful thing to scan through first.

Attendance

Our system is a little different but this is a useful placeholder

Conduct Infractions

Our Dean of Students can't help unless you start the conversation. Speak with the Dean for best practices on what details to include when noting a concern or issue.

Class Page

Your class page is the digital welcoming mat to your classroom. This is also referred to as the "Bulletin Board."

View your class page and select edit
Having one column is easiest for me. I put everything in that top section
See how the page elements can be arranged. Look for the dotted line
Edit and write a welcome message!

You can use the trash icon to remove these card-like items from your class page. You can always add them back in by dragging them into the grid from the left sidebar. Many items will have additional options to organize links or files that you have posted.

Import from previous year

This is not importing assignments. That section is below. Here we'll look at importing bulletin board items from previous semesters or years.

Setup Gradebook

If you’ve set up the grade book for the entire year, you may also define the default point value for assignments added to each assignment type. For example, if you give daily homework that is always worth 10 points you can enter “10” in Default Max Points field. These point values can be changed, but it will save you time when adding new assignments. You will not see this option if you choose to set up the grade book by marking period.

Students can't see their average in your class until you setup the gradebook. They can see grades on individual assignments but not their class average.

Percentage

In this calculation method, each assignment must be worth 100 points. The assignments are averaged together within each assignment category, and the average is used to calculate the cumulative score based on the weights. For Example:

  • Homework: 30%

  • Quizzes: 40%

  • Exams: 20%

  • Participation: 10%

Within each of those categories, assignments have equal weight.

Formula: sum(assignment_grade/maximum_points * factor) / sum(factor) = assignment_type_grade

then:

sum(assessment_type_grade * weight) / sum(weight) * 100

Total Points

This is how I roll. In this calculation method, a student’s cumulative score is based on the total points earned divided by the total points attempted. The software does not look at assignment types when calculating the cumulative score.

Formula:

sum(assignment_grade * factor) / sum(maximum_points * factor)

Total Points with Weight

In this calculation method, a student’s cumulative score is based on the total points a student earned, divided by the total points attempted within each assignment type. The assignment type cumulatives are then averaged together based on their weights.

For Example:

  • Homework: 30%

  • Quizzes: 40%

  • Exams: 20%

  • Participation: 10%

Within each of those categories, assignments can be worth different point values.

Create an Assignment

Standard Assignment

A new entry in your gradebook coming right up.

Share and Collect Files

You can use an assignment to send and receive files from a student. An alternative approach would be to use Google Drive.

When creating an assignment, you can attach a file to it:

You can attach your own files or a link to your file on Google Drive

Then you can enable students to submit files:

Turnitin

If you use Turnitin, do NOT go to Turnitin's website. Everything works through the LMS without any account configuration. So long as everything flows through the LMS, you'll be fine. Headaches occur when setting up conflicting accounts through Turnitin.

This is reminding you to check on the options for your assignments
This screen will appear on the assignment page if you enabled Turnitin submissions

Online Assessment

Discussion

Discussions are a type of assignment you can create in the LMS, but like any assignment, it doesn't need to affect the gradebook. There are some great features that allow you to grade students based on their first post as well as their replies to other students.

Rubrics

Make grading easier while providing granular feedback to students. It's great! You first need to create a rubric.

Extra Credit

Import from previous year

If you've already written up nice directions and setup the total points an assignment is worth, you need not repeat this effort. Here's how you take a previous year's or semester's assignment and add it to your current course.

Mark it Missing

When an assignment is marked missing, students and parents are alerted. Don't wait until you get to grading all student submissions to note that one was never handed in.

This is one of the most requested items from our parents

Report Cards & Comments

The way we've setup our Blackbaud LMS, comments and final grades do not get sent to parents and transcripts via the Gradebook tab on your class page but rather the Grading tab.

Grading is the big cheese

Don't forget to Calculate

You have to manually push the current averages from the Gradebook to the Grading tab. This allows us to adjust final averages and assure things are just the way we want them even while new activity may be taking place in the Gradebook. However, if you want new developments reflected in the committed grade, recalculate.

Other Classes' Pages

Check out other teachers' portal pages to get ideas or collaborate.