Why should you use the CarmenCanvas Gradebook?

If you are teaching at Ohio State, your gradekeeping is an essential part of how your students experience learning. Grades are correlative to assessments; they’re how students measure progress, anticipate final grades and take responsibility for their own academic careers. Thus, many universities have normalized the online gradebook as a function not only for the instructor’s recordkeeping but for the student’s learning and partnership in their education. Overwhelmingly, even for those not using Carmen to teach, the Gradebook feature in CarmenCanvas provides the most security and features for all users.

There are several benefits for instructors:

  • It's the most reliable system of grade storage. These systems may experience planned interruptions and maintenance, but there are backups and redundancies in place—definitely more secure than paper or even files on your computer. Even if the system were to fail, there are enough backups in place to retain all grade information. Not a single grade stored in Carmen has ever been lost.
  • Using the Gradebook offers you the most privacy and security. You are the only person who automatically can access the instructor view of your course, and your access is behind your unique, protected university login. Even within the support services office, very few people have the ability to access a course without the instructor’s controls first. Storing grades on local computer files such as Excel spreadsheets is high-risk because devices can be corrupted, hacked or lost, and devices can and do fail. Paper copies are also at risk to basic vulnerabilities such as theft, destruction and loss, and ultimately have few security protections beyond physical boundaries.
  • Grade categories can be easily calculated. In the new CarmenCanvas Gradebook, it’s simple to set up assignment groups (sometimes called categories), taking only moments. This allows grades to calculate for you into the averages based on the weights you’ve determined per your syllabus.
  • Grade anywhere using the device you have. Have a spare hour or thirty minutes in a waiting room? You can open SpeedGrader and grade online submissions while mobile.
  • Ditch the margin notes and grade in new ways. What if you could just record a quick audio or video response for a student to provide them feedback in a more natural way? Would you like to add some comments as well? The CarmenCanvas Gradebook has the ability to respond in a manner that’s useful for students.
  • Quickly export grades to the Faculty Center. Grades go directly into the Faculty Center at the end of the semester.
  • Communication has been optimized and made easy. Send quick and easy messages to students based on their grades. For instance, perhaps a major project is due tomorrow and a number of students haven’t submitted yet. From the Gradebook, you can immediately view who is lacking a grade and select, “Message all who have no grade.” The system will open a window pre-populated with their addresses so you can reach out.
  • Access instant analytics on what is and is not working. Looking at student submission and grade data can allow you to optimize your feedback and assessments. Canvas course data will help you spot trends with assignment scores across the course. Quiz statistics give you an item analysis for each question to see strengths and weaknesses in student learning and to find questions that might need to be changed or optimized.

There are also plenty of ways the Gradebook benefits students:

  • Students can try hypothetical grades. Faculty and staff often receive inquiries through the semester from students who want to know what scores they will need to receive on individual assignments in order to reach their desired final grades. In CarmenCanvas, students can enter hypothetical scores to determine what their overall grade would be.
  • Using the Gradebook allows for more consistency. Using the Carmen Gradebook can allow for more consistency in grading by using rubrics that you build into Carmen. This is very helpful when multiple people are grading assignments for a larger course, such as in a larger general education course with multiple teaching assistants.
  • The Gradebook helps students connect learning with performance. Grades are essential measurements of student assessment, and improved ability to see and track their grades is essential to them connecting their learning with their performance. When students can see their grades at any point they want, they have more ownership of their class performance and greater accountability. Final grades and overall course structure feel less arbitrary and more constructive and intentional. Students can see all of their grades from all of their classes in one place from any device. Grades are a key motivator for students; to take the best advantage of that to improve learning, there should be opportunities for students to see their progress and adjust their efforts accordingly.
  • Students can customize Gradebook notifications. Notifications allow students to customize how they’d like to know about new grades, grade changes or grade availability. Students who want immediate notification can set that up on their preferred device.

With all these benefits, how could you NOT use the CarmenCanvas Gradebook?