Gradebook Futures: Kill All the Clicks!

Christi WruckInstructure

Session Abstract

When it comes to time spent grading, fewer clicks, more bulk actions & more automation is what dreams are made of. Join us to review big projects that solve mountains of little problems.


I am already excited for this session. One of the issues that I have been facing in corporate training is that the instructors are not interested in the online grading. They think it’s too many clicks and hard to navigate. Not to mention that they are not professional instructors/teachers, so it’s not something they’re good at or want to do. I’m really hoping to take some things away from this session that we can implement to make grading easier for them.Right off the bat, there are computer issues, which means that it’s going to be a long session. I’m hoping they get it figured out quickly so that we don’t lose time. Okay, seems like they got everything figured out… moving on…Most of what Christi plans to show to us are designs and a *few* things that are already in beta. Through all of the feedback that she receives, the requests fall into one of 5 different categories

  1. Organization
  2. Saving time
  3. Flexibility
  4. Communication
  5. Automation


Some of the new things that she demoed include:

  • Crosshairs – the ability to see exactly what cell you are clicked on in the Gradebook.
  • Color coding – the ability to set colors for excused, late, missing, assignments.
  • Hide columns – hide columns that you don’t care about.

The one that I’m most excited about is hiding columns. During some of our training programs, we have lots of assignments that we don’t care to see during months 2-5 (like assignments due during month 1). 

Saving time

Some of these items include bulk grade adjustments, comment mode, Gradebook settings, and SpeedGrader facelift.

  • Bulk grade adjustments – the ability to automate all student grades (add or remove points for bad questions, for example).
  • Comment mode – See a streamlined list of comments for an assignment, without leaving the Gradebook.
  • SpeedGrader facelift – All of the navigation (changing between students, numerical grades, comments, are all in 1 general area, rather than having to move all over the screen.

Automating more things

  • Late/missing policies – You will have the ability to set a default grade when the assignment is missing. You can also set a default penalty for late work (per day, hour, etc.)
  • Post grades
  • Hide grades after date
  • Grading schemes in bulk late/missing policies is one that I might use. I frequently get emails from people asking if all of their assignments are turned in. Right now, I have them focus on any place in their grades where there is a “dash,” indicating missing assignments. What I could do with this is automatically set missing assignments as “0” if the assignment is missing. Time will tell…

Communicate Better

  • Totals – Different terminology for posted grades, unposted grades, etc.
  • New student grades page – Updated look, graphs, etc.
  • To do list in SpeedGrader – Ability to grade assignments from multiple courses in 1 place. No longer having to go out of the course and back into SpeedGrader.
  • Context cards – Provides a summary of the assignment and student from within the Gradebook (this student has “x” missing assignments and is now asking for an extension).

Increasing Flexibility

  • Total grade adjustment – Ability to adjust final grade
  • Uncalculated, graded assignments
  • SpeedGrader auto save comments

The only part of this section is the SpeedGrader auto save comments. We don’t rely on end of term grades in the Gradebook, so I don’t think the other 2 would be helpful. I need a use case for the uncalculated, graded assignments – I can’t think of where this would be helpful for me.


This session was really cool. There’s a lot going on and in development and I can’t wait to see these in production. I’m not sure how many of these I’d use, but I can certainly see the benefits for K-12 and Higher Education.

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