Gradekeeper

Gradekeeper maintains and prints a list of student grades. The heart of the system is a grades file, which is maintained by an update program. Grades are output by a report program that will weight the scores (your scheme or a default scheme), optionally drop low scores, compute percents and class ranks, print the grade lists in both rank and ID order, and print histograms. A copy of the grade report, satisfying the FERPA requirements for posting grades, can be placed on the web for the students.

Gradekeeper recognizes four separate categories of grade: tests, quizzes, homeworks and programs. The update and report programs hold the entire grades file in memory, which limits the total space available; there are no other limitations on the number of students or the number of items within any one category. As distributed, Gradekeeper can accept 250 students, 4 tests, 20 quizzes, 20 homeworks and 20 programs. These limits can be changed by editing one of the source files.

Gradekeeper is available immediately for use on schof, and can be implemented under Unix on any computer.

How Should I Use Gradekeeper?

The Gradekeeper distribution includes scripts and auxiliary programs that simplify the normal operations involved in maintaining the grades for a course. This section briefly summarizes those operations.

Setting up a grades file

To create a new grades file, carry out the following steps:
  1. Have the SIS class list mailed to you.

  2. Place this information in some file (say, ``f'') and strip off all of the mailer information at the beginning and end of the list itself.

  3. Create a file describing the course (say, ``c'') that contains a single line specifying the section number, credit hours, a title (enclosed in quotes and not exceeding 30 characters), and the name of the file containing the class list. The line must end with a semicolon. Here is an example:
    001/05 "Computers as Components: Waite" f;
    

  4. Run the mkgrade command with the name of the course description file as its parameter, and direct the output to your grades file. Here is a sample command, assuming the course description file name is ``c'' and the grades file name is ``2830'':
    % mkgrade c > 2830
    
    (It is convenient to use the course number as the name of the grades file. The scripts implementing normal grading operations assume files whose names are related to the name of the grades file, and using the course number helps to keep things straight when you are maintaining grades for more than one course. The name ``2830'' will be assumed for the grades file in the remainder of this section.)

Updating a grades file

To update a grades file, use the grade command:
% grade 2830
This command will assume that the name of the weights file is ``2830.wgt'' and that of the file containing requests for additional histograms is ``2830.hst''. In general, the names of these files will be the argument of the grade command with the suffixes ``.wgt'' and ``.hst'' respectively.

The update program will provide a brief description of the current state of the grades file, and ask you to enter a command, followed by a carriage return. Here is a list of the most common update commands:

CommandMeaning
at
aq
ah
ap
Add test, quiz, homework or program scores
ct
cq
ch
cp
Change test, quiz, homework or program scores
as
ds
Add or delete a student

For each command, the update program will request specific information to enable it to carry out that command. When you terminate the update program (by giving an empty command or the command end), files ``2830.new'' and ``2830.rpt'' will be produced.

The file whose name is the parameter of the grade command with the suffix ``.new'' is a new grades file reflecting the updates you made. If you are satisfied, replace the original grades file with this new grades file.

The file whose name is the parameter of the grade command with the suffix ``.rpt'' is a composite report file from which either an instructor report or a student report can be produced.

Obtaining an instructor report

To print the instructor grade report, use the report command:
% report 2830
This command will send the output to the PostScript printer whose name is given by your PRINTER environment variable.

Obtaining a student report for posting

To put the student grade report into HTML format, use the rpt2html command:
% rpt2html 2830
This command will write the HTML text to the file named ``2830.html''. In general, the name of the output file will be the argument of the rpt2html command with the suffix ``.html''.
William.Waite@colorado.edu $Revision: 1.1 $ ($Date: 1999/01/29 16:05:29 $)