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Why not include all of your grading and student evaluation in the same place? That's what the "Gradebook" in LaunchPad is specifically designed to do. In this blog post, I will walk you through some of the key features of the "Gradebook" page in LaunchPad as well as describe my own experience using it for my courses - things that I have found helpful or ways in which I let it inform my teaching.
On the main screen, you will notice under the menu column on the left-hand side, there is a button named "Gradebook" - clicking on this will take you to a table that lists the current scores for every student in your course.
The below screenshot is what appears after clicking the "Gradebook" button. In this course, you may notice that I have left the display options set to their default settings. As an alternative, you may tell LaunchPad to order the grades by highest to lowest overall score, the amount of time students are logged into the system, or other factors of your choosing. In the furthest left column, this is the current total grade for the particular (redacted) student in the course. This is nice because it gives me, the instructor, as well as the student a convenient place to view the progress in the course - without having to calculate anything. You may also notice the import and export scores options in the row towards the top. This is an excellent feature if you are required by your institution to keep a copy of your grading in their own LMS platform as well.
By clicking on a specific student name, you will be taken to a screen that provides more details germane to that student. This allows you to make changes to that student's grades - for example, you may alter the points for that exact assignment, give the student an exemption, or provide individual feedback. In order to do this, you will need to click on the specific assignment you want to access. See the below yellow arrow and circle as an example.
Once selected, the options highlighted in the following screenshot come up. Again, you will notice how the system allows you to provide two forms of feedback - one that is viewable to the student and one that is only accessible by the instructor. This screen will also allow you to see the specific items within the assignment that the student completed, either correctly or incorrectly. The yellow circle below indicates the place where you can add feedback to the content after or before the student completes it.
In order to help you evaluate the class in a way that is more fair, LaunchPad also provides several statistical analyses. This has helped me in terms of receiving feedback on specific assignments that may have been too challenging or the concepts within the assignment may not have been explained by me as well as they could have been. As a result, this sometimes leads me to alter the point structure and curve of that specific evaluation. By clicking on "Class Statistics" you will receive statistical feedback.
You will find, below, that LaunchPad represents that data in graph form making it easy to visualize the distribution of scores. This is presented with the numerical analysis adjacent to and below the graphic outputs. The "Gradebook" gives you, as an instructor, the option to see this kind of data as per each individual assignment or, in a more macro sense, for an entire student.
There are so many 'deep features' that I was not able to talk about in this post that the "Gradebook" allows you to do. In my experience, it is helpful to just get in there and play around with the different options, perhaps in a dummy or test course. This lets you change options and settings without having to worry about it effecting the grade of the students you may be currently evaluating. Furthermore, by migrating all of your evaluating to the "Gradebook" in LaunchPad, it gives both you and the students a convenient and accessible place by which to access and monitor progress in the course. "Gradebook" in LaunchPad is comparable, if not more so, to evaluation tools found in other LMS platforms and systems. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to store my evaluation data solely within the LaunchPad system - and I know the students appreciate the ease of this, too!
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