From MyShark to Engrade: Entering class lists

A faculty member new to Engrade recently noted difficulty in getting his class list entered into Engrade.  I gather the complication involved Engrade's raw student list taking spaces to be field separators and thus scrambling the last names and IDs. The following is the process I used to set up SC 130 Physical Science this summer in Engrade. For those using Engrade who are affiliated with the college inside Engrade already, your process will mirror mine below. For those who are not affiliated with the college within Engrade, there will be some differences which I will note below.

First I export my class list from MyShark. I choose to include extended student data as this will provide me the email addresses I will need later in the process.

The file exports as a comma-separated values (CSV) list. These can be opened with any spread sheet program. I happen to use LibreOffice Calc, but Gnumeric, Excel, and Numbers will also work.

Once opened, I add two columns on the far left side of the spread sheet.

Into those two columns I enter two parsing functions.

The parsing function in A2 is =RIGHT(D2,LEN(D2)-FIND(",",D2)-1). The parsing function in B2 is =LEFT(D2,FIND(",",D2)-1). Note that in the image a preceding apostrophe is used in cell A2 and B2 to force display of the function, do not include this apostrophe in the actual parsing function.

I then copy the first three columns to a text editor. Below I am using Leafpad, but Notepad or any other text editor will work. The spreadsheet copies the cells (fields) separated by tabs. Engrade's Edit Raw Student List screen uses spaces and tabs to separate fields. Thus the middle initials and middle names will be parsed as last names and the last name will become the ID. To prevent this I replace every space with an underscore, which is the character Engrade takes for a space inside a first or last name. I use a replacement function to accomplish this automatically. Note that in the dialog box I am searching for a single space and replacing it with the underscore character _.

The tabs separating the fields can be seen below as arrows in another text editor, SciTE.

For physical science, eight spaces were replaced by _.

Now I log into Engrade and start setting up my class by clicking on Create New Class.

The Create New Class dialog appears. Note that my affiliation with a school causes Engrade to automatically list the college. Engrade can handle multiple schools, something I found I could not do in Edmodo which only allowed an affiliation to a single school.

The school year defaults to a 2013-2014 value. I change this to 2013. If classes are not all set to the correct year and term, then the data will not aggregate properly in the administrative module. 2013-2014 makes sense for a elementary or secondary school, but not the college. The drop down box allows me to select other options.

Grading period 1 is spring term, grading period 2 is summer term, and grading period 3 is fall term. I set the term to summer term, 2, and select the grade level and subject area.

Next I set up my grading scale. Actually, I do not do anything on this screen, the default works fine for me. Those who do use custom grade brackets can set those up here.

In addition, one can set up assignment categories and, if desired, the weight each category will carry in the overall average. Click on "Yes" next to "Use assignment categories" to set these up.

Click on Next. If one is affiliated with the college inside Engrade, then the next dialog box allows one to enter students from the school into the class roster. The college administrative module is only an administrative stub and does not have all students at the college entered.

At the school roster step I leave the process by clicking on the Classes menu. I do not try to add students from the school roster.

The class already exists, with zero students.

I click on the Students item on the left side and then roll over (hover) the Options button. A list will pop up with Edit Raw Student List as the last item.

I then copy and paste the list from my text editor. Note that I have actually made an error in choosing to copy the first row, this will create a student named "First Last" with the ID "IDNumber". Do not copy this row into Engrade! I will fix this error later in the process by dropping this non-student.

As long as my student IDs match the official college IDs, Engrade will automatically connect existing students in the Engrade system. Thus the screen below reports that one student last logged in on May 28th. This is a student who was in a class that used Engrade spring term. Note that the student was not in one of my classes, but in a class with another instructor. This will not happen if an instructor is not affiliated with the college inside Engrade.

There is no requirement for faculty at the college to affiliate with the college administrative stub, but students gain single sign-in across classes only for affiliated faculty. If a student has affiliated and unaffiliated faculty who use Engrade, then the student will have to use different log ins to Engrade to access their grades.

One way to provide students with access to Engrade is to Print Flyers from the Students:Options menu item. The flyers provide a secret access code that allows the students to gain log on access. The codes are not shown below.

This summer I opted to click on a link at the bottom of the Students screen that offered to register the students for the class.

My original data export included checking the extended student data check box which meant my spreadsheet included email addresses. I then copied and pasted the email addresses into the provided form. I only had to enter email addresses for students new to the Engrade system. Note that at this point I realized I had mistakenly copied First Last, creating a student named First Last. I should not have copied the first row.

After entering the email addresses and clicking on a submission button, I returned to the Students screen to remove student "First Last" At the far right I click on a cog wheel and a drop down list provides the option to "Drop" the student. This is also the procedure for removing a student who drops the class.

Confirmation of action.

I then clicked on Settings on the far left. On that screen I chose the Apps tab (the screen is a multi-tab interface).

I then checked the boxes for the additional apps I want to use with the course this summer.

Click on Edit Class Apps when done. This particular button must be one of the least intuitively named buttons in the process. The button means "Submit choices", "Done", or "OK" and has nothing to do with editing anything.

The settings screen now has additional options which I chose to activate by checking the appropriate boxes.
Note that my sort order is "as entered" but I could set that to be alphabetic. This spring I kept three sections of statistics in a single Engrade class, using the "order entered" option to keep Engrade from scrambling the three sections. This saved time when entering assignments and tests as the three sections appeared as a single class of 90 students. There are obviously pros and cons to this approach.

With my class list set up, I can hover over the Print button and a menu will let me print a blank grid I can use to take role in class.

More on Engrade!

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