Engrade student reactions and comments

 This term marked the first term in which I have utilized an on line, student accessible grade book and course support package. The web site I used, Engrade.com, is a market leader and free for faculty and students. I ended the term by asking the students to write up their reactions to, comments about, and recommendations for future use of Engrade.com. Seventy-seven students were surveyed in my MS 150 Statistics and SC 130 Physical science course. The students have been using Engrade since the second week of class this spring term.

The comments that the seventy-seven students made fell into ten broad categories. The students found engrade to be informative, felt that all faculty should use engrade, facilitated communication between students and faculty, was easy to use, helped students track missing work, encouraged students to work harder, made on line work submission easier, facilitated inter-student communication, was of benefit to shy students, and provided well liked on line quiz capabilities.

Seventy-six of seventy-seven students surveyed liked Engrade. The one student who did not like Engrade had difficulty remembering their password and apparently had difficulties understanding how to recover a forgotten password. I worked with a couple students during the term on forgotten password recovery, there is a straight forward process for accomplishing this particular task. There is nothing that I do in my classes that would achieve the same 99% level of positive response, that is an overwhelmingly positive reaction.

The chart above is based on the table below. RF is the relative frequency, SE is the standard error.

Description n RF SE
Keeps me informed, useful, helpful, provides detailed information on grade 42 55% 6%
Every instructor/class should use Engrade 35 45% 6%
Improves communication with instructor, best way to communicate with instructor 18 23% 5%
Easy to use 12 16% 4%
Easy to track missing work 12 16% 4%
Makes me study hard, encourages me to strive 7 9% 3%
Permits on line submission of work 7 9% 3%
Allows me to get updated without having to meet with instructor face-to-face, avoids my having to feel embarrassed when I ask about my grade, I can know my grade without asking 7 9% 3%
Allows me communicate with classmates, ask them questions, work together on projects 6 8% 3%
I like on line quizzes 3 4% 2%

Note that due to the nature of the survey, an open free-writing exercise, all responses were unprompted and spontaneous. Outside of Engrade being informative and useful, the lead desire of the students was to see all faculty using Engrade. That is a very significant result for an unprompted survey. 45% of the students spontaneously expressed the desire to see all faculty use Engrade. If asked as a direct question, the response rate would likely have been higher.

Of interest to me was also the 23% who cited improved student-teacher communications due to Engrade. Communication is at the heart of the educational process, anything I do that facilitates better communication with my students is going to pay dividends in learning achieved. Academically weak students are particularly unlikely to seek out their instructor and ask about their grade. With 9% citing Engrade as encouraging them to work harder in a course, there is the possibility that Engrade can help an academically weak student realize that they are falling behind and provide the impetus for them to work hard in the course. 16% noted that Engrade helped them keep track of missing work, work that in many cases students were then able to make up and did so without direct prompting from me.

Engrade is more than a way to track grades. Engrade permits the setting up of turn-ins, tracking of on line submissions, individualized assignment feedback, discussions, quizzes, wikis, and other course support features. The comments of the students suggest that the use of Engrade is tantamount to a pedagogical change. A selection of student comments is included at the end of this note in order to better convey the richness of the students' comments.

For more information on Engrade, see also:

For those faculty at the college who want to try Engrade, I am more than happy and willing to assist in whatever way I can. This is a technology that has made a real difference for the students and myself.

Selection of student reactions, comments:

"Engrade is very useful and helpful for me. It helps me to see my current grade and whenever I miss class, I can just look in my engrade if there is homework due for the next meeting. I can also communicate with my instructor and classmates through engrade. It is a very good site for students and instructors. I'm very glad to have an engrade account. I just hope that my other instructors from my other classes would also make their engrade account so I can see what's my grade and not have to ask them all the time. After every quiz or test we have, I check my engrade after a few days and see what I got. I'm the type of student who's always eager to see what I got from my tests/quizzes. Engrade explains how I got the grade I have because all of the grades are there already. So far, so good..."

"Well, first of all, I would say that it is "Awesome" It is very accessible and private. It is also fun to work with. It is fast and available at all times. Whenever I feel like to see what are my weaknesses in class, I don't have to talk to my teacher face to face (for those who are shy). I am able to give comments to my teacher and also see the comments of my classmates. To me I recommend that all teachers use this site because it is accessible, fun and private for a student and a teacher."

"Engrade really helps me and I enjoy using engrade. The reason I like about the usage of engrade is that is already provides some materials that you may want to use or to know through out a semester. First, engrade show the calendar for a semester you are taking a course, it provides all the assignments in a semester, shows grading details, you can also chat or send messages, it shows your attendance, stuffs you turned in or not, shows the discussions, quizzes, reading list, you can also comment online. Second, you can view your profile anytime you want to."

"There is nothing bad about the engrade I could tell. The engrade helped me know my grades a lot. It also helped me understand where I was or what my grades are. The engrade gave me more challenge everytime when I saw my grades going down and also sometimes if I got lost on any assignment or tests. The most important thing to say is that the engrade was the best sites and very useful."

"I think engrade is the best of all compare to Jupiter grade. It is easier to log in that the Jupiter grade. It has more features and easier to work with. [sic] I don't have any troubles and problems when using engrade. I will recommend that you continue to use it throughout your career. I like the quizzes on line but the thing I dislike is it doesn't let us go back and review or see our mistakes from the quiz."

"Engrade is a good place for storing grades and homeworks, I enjoy it. I am surprised the first time I logged in, because it is more easy to log in than Jupiter grades and easy to understand. I have no recommendations for engrade for it is already complete. Another reason why I know engrade is the best is because I get notes or assignments whenever I am late or absent for my class. I don't have to waste my time walking to Dana's office for notes and homework."

"This is my first term to use Engrade and I like the fact that engrade show me my grade and also I can check all of my missing works and not going to see my instructors. I also show me the number how many did I get it right on each assignments. I also like it because sometimes my instructor upload our quiz on Engrade. Se we the student just log in and take our quiz on Engrade. Also, if other of my class have access to Engrade then I can check all of my grade when I logged in. Engrade is better that the COM MyShark because Engrade can should the number of correct you have for each assignment and MyShark can only show your grade (A, B, C, D, F)"

"Engrade is good. The only thing I dislike from that is the quiz part. I can't tell if we have a quiz or not. Quizzes need to be more subtle. Other than that, I think Engradeis perfect. It grades and gives you a grade you can see anytime and see how you got that grade."

"I like Engrade. This my first time to use Engrade and it is helpful. I encourage instructors to continue using Engrade."

"Engrade is amazing! It keeps students informed and up-to-date with their grades, assignments, attendance and so much more. With Engrade, student can know how they are doing in class without having to go to the teacher's office. Engrade is free and can help save. You don't have to buy blank papers to turn in assignments, just submit it online. So, yeah, Engrade is amazing."

"My comments about having the engrade.com is good for me because I'm looking for my grades trying to work on it and look to the one that I'm weak in it and try my best so I can try my best so I can't improve my grades. It is really good for the students to have this kind of site or thing that they can log in and see their grades and try to work on what they weak in. by looking at the grades in the engrade.com it encourage me to try my best so I'm trying my on improving my grades in engrade.com. I really love to log in and see how I am going on the engrade and promise to myself to improve my grade before the final exam in order to pass the MS 150."

"Engrade is a site which most people are using today because it was easier. Especially the parents of students to see how their children are doing, what their grades are and If whether their children are attending classes or not. Engrade makes it easier for the teachers too. The teachers will just insert the students' grade in engrade and the site will do the calculation. All I know about engrade is that it was fair, easy, and fast. So there is nothing I want to do to change how it works. I will just leave it the way it is. I like engrade and I enjoy seeing how I'm doing if whether I'm doing good or not. By watching my grades in engrade makes me want to improve more. "

"Based on my own observation, I found Engrade very helpful and compelling. I can look up my grades in engrade. Not only that but, through engrade I was able to check out my quizzes and assignments and now the grades I earn from it. I would now my grade average and work hard to make it better. It is a good thing engrade was able to show our grades, in this I would now my grade average and know how I'm doing in the class. It is also helpful because whenever I missed class, the homework can be found in engrade. I would look it up, find the homework, do it, and turn it in, then another new grade in engrade. I really like engrade for it helps a lot. It makes it easier for me. Not only that but, I don't feel lost when there is engrade. Engrade shows me what to do. It also shows my status in both Ethnobotany and Statistics. I wish every classes use engrade. I wish to see my grades, like every day and know how I did in those classes so far. Thanks to engrade."

"According to the use of Engrade I sometimes like it and sometime don't like it. When I first log in to engrade it seems to be interesting but whe I re-enter my password and it didn't work I really started to hate working on engrade. Maybe because I don't know much about computer. I don't like it when I got lost and don't know how to open it but I like working on it to learn more of it."

"Engrade is AWESOME! I know its been introduced to all of the faculty here, but only this class actually uses it. It so convenient, I get pretty much everything I need (e.g. assignments, notifications, grate status, etc.) I hope by next semester all the instructors are going to make use of it."

"Engrade is great! It keeps the student updated on their grades. It also help student to keep up with my assignment if they missed the class. And other helpful thing about engrade is that students can easily get their grade from it whenever they need it. Especially when they need their grades for things like scholarship application. They won't need to wait till the office people post the grades. I would recommend all instructors to have engrade."

"It is the best way to communicate with my instructor. Sometime I did not attend class but my instructor send me what we did in class for that day. So engrade was a very good website for a student and a instructor because you can message your instructor and tell him your problems in engrade. Engrade also show your grade what you get in that class. Engrade can also use it for hand out. Which mean that your instructor can send out your handout in engrade. Sometimes you can just print out your handout."

"I strongly believe that engrade is a very good place for students to do work, see grades, and send messages to teacher. It is very fast and easy because students get to check their current grades and decide whether to pull up grades or not to bother the grades if they have good grades. It is a very interesting site because not only you get to see grades but also teachers post quizzes for students to take."

"I find engrade very helpful. Mr. Leeling did a great job updating us in engrade everyday. There for us to catch up with what ever quizzes or homeworks we missed. For us students to stay focused knowing whether we are falling with our grades or rising. I would really recommend him to keep it up and update daily at all cost."

"I got nothing to say about engrade. I really like it, because it helpful. So I suggest that all classes at national campus should be using engrade. I have NO COMMENTS!"

"I like engrade because it give me the information on how I am working in class. It shows my grade right away, so I can know that I'm failing and work harder to earn a passing grade. Engrade is very useful."

"For me, engrade is really helpful to me during those classes. Engrade is a really big help for me because I can know my grade currently and other thing is I can see my grade very time, everywhere but not just looking at my grade but also assignments. I can just sit home and print out my homeworks from engrade and that is really save time. engrade makes it easier for us, students, to look at our grades, look at our assignments, and do some discussions between us and the instructor. Engrade is like a classroom and a teacher to me! So I recommend to COM to keep this kind of help still and recommend to instructors to use it because it is not for fun but a good connection between students and teachers!"

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