Monday, June 18, 2018

How to enter Quarter 4 and Final Grades in Aspen

How to Enter Quarter 4 and Final Grades in Aspen

The steps to entering your Quarter 4 grades is similar to entering grades during any other quarter, but you have the additional step of also adding your Final Exam and Final Grade (FG) for the course.

To Post your Q4 grades in Aspen Gradebook,
  1. Go to the Scores page in your Gradebook
  2. In the Grade Columns drop down box, select Post Columns.  Also, set the Term to Q4.  
    (see yellow in image right)
  3. The Aspen Posting columns will appear.  These are
    • Q4Grd - Quarter 4 Grade
    • Final Exam - Final Exam
    • Q4ClsAbs - Quarter 4 Class Absences
    • Q4Com1 and Q4Com2 - Quarter 4 Comment 1 and Comment 2 fields
    • Q4 - The grade from your gradebook for quarter 4
    • FG - Final Grade
  1. Click the Update Post Columns button -OR-
    Select Options -> Update Post Columns
  2. This will take you through the Update Post Columns wizard.  (see images below)

  • Step 1. Select the Grade Term (Q4) and the Grades to update (all students).

  • Step 2. Select
  • Quarter 4 Grade = Average:Q4  
  • Final Exam = (Do Not Update)

  • Q4 Class Absence= Class Absence Total

  • Final Grade = District Calculation

Alternatively, you may add an assignment for the midterm grade and then automatically upload that grade by selecting it here.  
Your exam will be part of a category and will be part of the Q4 average AND the Final grade.  Thus, being factored twice. 
  • Step 3. Confirms the choices made in Step 1 and Step 2.

  1. Click Finish.
  2. You should notice that the Q4Grd and Q4ClsAbs fields will now be populated.
    ** Final Exam The field is blank.  You will add your Final exam grades into this column on the Post Columns - Term page.
    ** FG Please note: The grade is calculated using all assignments for the year (or semester for semester courses). It is not an average of the final grade for each semester divided by the number of semesters. Also note: The final exam grade will not be incorporated into this total until you add the final exam grade and click update.
  3. After you have added your Final Exam(1), click the Update button(2) in the  FG column.   Aspen will calculate the Final grade for you. ** If the student(s) did not take a final exam, leave this field blank.  Aspen will ignore empty scores.

  4. Pass/Fail Grades.  If your class is Pass/Fail, complete the steps in Update Post Columns.  This will give you the total absences for the student for the quarter.  Then add the P or F into the Q4Grd column.  All of the grades will have a red circle with a line through it.  This just means that you manually entered the grade.

  5. Pass/Fail Final Grade.  Don't forget to also update the FG field for Pass/Fail Grades.  You must manually add the P or F to the FG column.

  6.   Add comment codes (see WHS Comment Codes)

Verifying your Grades
  1. Verify your grade in Q4Grd against the grade from your Gradebook which is labeled Q4.
  1. If you would like to change the grade, simply click on the grade in the Q4Grd field and change it. Grades that you have modified will be indicated by a red, crossed-out circle.  PostGrades7.png

Applying the N-Rule (5 or more absences)
  1. In Aspen, you will apply the N-Rule using the comment fields
    • 100 N-Rule: May lose credit for course due to to attendance issues. Contact school administration.
    • 101 N-Rule: Loss of credit, due to attendance issues, under consideration. Contact school administration


What does the pushpin mean?  
  • If the pushpin is black ,
    you can enter grades for this column, but you cannot post them to transcripts yet.
  • If the pushpin is green with a triangle ,
    you can enter and post grades for this column.
  • If the pushpin is red with a square ,
    you already posted the information to transcripts. If you need to change a grade, you will be able to repost your grade for 5 days after the report cards are distributed.  After that, you will need to complete the grade change form (see Guidance department).

Once you have verified the grades, added comments, and applied the N-Rule if necessary, you can Post your grades. Posting your grades sends a copy of the grades in the field Q2Grd, S1Exam, and MidGrade (and comments) to the report card / student transcript.

  1. Once the posting period has opened, the pushpin will turn from black to green.  The green signifies that you can post your grades.
  2. To Post your grades, click the Post Grades button -OR- click Option -> Post Grades
  3. The Post Grades pop-up will appear.
    Fill in
    • Grade Term = Q4
    • Grades to post = Term Grades for all Students.
  4. Click Ok
  5. Once your grades are posted, your push pin will change from green to red.
  6. You must Post Grades for each class individually.

HELP! I’m getting an error when I post my grades

If you get the error “This section has already been posted.  Posting again will overwrite grades currently on the transcript.  Do you want to continue?”

Click YES.  The reason that you are getting this error is because you had seniors in the class and you already gave them grades and posted them.

As you continue, you should also receive the error “Withdrawn students with grades are present.  Would you like to include them in this post?”  
My answer is NO.  I have posted my grades for seniors already and do not want to make any changes.   

    There will be no printed verification sheets.  Instead, you can verify your grades on the Post Columns page of your gradebook (see steps 10 and 11).
  • You may re-post your grades as many times as you please until the posting period ends.
  • Want a printable copy of this verification page?  
    • Select Reports -> Gradebook Sheet
    • The Gradebook Sheet will appear.  
    • Click Run.
    • The printable version of your Post Columns page of your gradebook will pop-up
    • Select Printer icon at the top of the Gradebook Sheet page.
  • If you planning on using the same comment field for most of the students in your class, you can quickly add the comment to all students by using Options -> Fill Down Values.  Then just change those students who need different comments.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Google Forms has made writing quizzes easier

Google has recently released features that make writing quizzes in Google Forms even easier.  These changes include:

  1. Answer suggestions.  Google can predict correct answers to your quiz questions and also assist you in creating options for wrong answers in your multiple choice questions.
  2. Autocomplete answers.  So, for example if you have a question that asks for a day of the week, suggestions will appear with names of the days of the week.
  3. Checkboxes that will allow you to add answers for questions and automatically grade your quiz.
  4. Partial credit capabilities.  You can now give partial credit for answers.
  5. Give feedback via youtube videos.
  6. See the total number of points in a quiz as your editing.
If you would like to learn more about these features, check out the Google article - 6 ways Quizzes in Google Forms are Getting Smarter

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Semester Averages in Aspen

In Aspen, the Semester 2 grade is calculated by adding all assignment grades for Q3 and Q4 and then dividing by the number of assignments.  This can cause a problem for grades for Seniors who have a shorter Q4 because the grade will be weighted more towards Q3 because there are so few assignments for Q4.  

Instead, you may prefer that the Q3 grade and Q4 grade to be averaged, rather than the individual grades.

Semester Cumulative Average
On the gradebook screen, click on the settings sprocket located on the right side of the gradebook next to the Post Grades button.   This will open the Set Preferences window.  Select the Averages tab.  Note if the box next to Semester Cumulative Average is selected.  If this is selected, uncheck it.
Aspen Help Definition
Semester cumulative average - Select this checkbox to display the semester running average for students in the Staff view. Semester running averages calculate based on the assignment grades within each of the terms inside of it, not on the average for each term.