KB Gradebook

The KB Gradebook is our new grader option for the OpenLab.  It allows a professor to upload a spreadsheet that the student can then access directly, via a secure password.  That means, say, you can as professor put in all your mid-term grades in one place (the place you already keep them, probably), upload it to the class site, and save yourself the trouble of distribution, etc.  It’s extremely easy to use once set up, and so as always, if you need help with set up, contact us.

The best tutorial I’ve found on the KB Gradebook is the video you find at the bottom of this post, by Kyle Jones, alias “The Corkboard.”  Because the KB Gradebook is already installed on our system, you can skip past the first minute of the video.  There are a couple of key points, though, that I want to emphasize because they can cause a bit of trouble.  The only thing that I’ve found a bit confusing about KB Gradebook is that it sometimes will produce an error message that doesn’t give much or gives improper information.  So if you’re getting ‘Your spreadsheet has too few columns,’ or something like this, look for these issues.  But I would watch the video first, then look for these problems.

  1. The single most important thing about the Gradebook is setting up the spreadsheet properly.  He emphasizes this in the video, but the key elements are the email addresses and the headings, which is what the plug-in uses to recognize the proper fields.
  2. The second most important thing to note, though it will affect fewer people, is that it seems that Excel for Mac will not save the spreadsheet properly in the CSV format.  If you have a mac, you should use Numbers (the mac alternative to Excel).
  3. Lastly, there can be issues with apostrophes, so leave them out of any column on the spreadsheet.  Joe Ugoretz wrote about this on his own blog, if you’re interested in these issues.  If not, just remember to leave out all apostrophes, and you should be fine.

And here’s the video (this will take you to Vimeo):