Gradeomatic FAQ

Q. Where can I get help?

Check the instructions page for basic information on how to use the site.

Our growing library of tutorial videos may also help.

You may also contact us at gradeomatic@gmail.com. We will make every effort to reply as quickly as we can. But please be aware that, right now, we have no employees. So it is unlikely that we will be able to reply right away.

Setting up the questions, elements, and other exam components

Q. I'm grading a final exam. Do I have to give feedback?

No. You can use the gradeomatic just to record grades without giving feedback. This may still save you a lot of time. Each small administrative task adds up quickly when you have large classes. Indeed, the gradeomatic was born during budget cuts and exploding class sizes when the creator realized that spending an extra 30 seconds on each of 120 exams drained an hour from his life.

Q. Great. So how do I do that?

  1. Create the exam.
  2. Create the questions.
  3. After creating the questions, you will be sent to the create elements page. If you want to use elements for assessment, only fill in the Element Name field. If you do not want to use elements, you may find yourself trapped by an error message when you try to save a blank element by clicking Edit Questions or Next Question. Instead, click Setup in the navigation bar at the top. This will take you back to the list of exams.
  4. We still need to add students. So, on the list of exams, click Edit. This will take you back to the page where you created the exam.
  5. From the exam creation/editing page, click Edit Student Roster
  6. Follow the instructions for preparing and uploading your roster. You won't be emailing students, so don't upload them.
  7. Click Grade in the navigation bar.
  8. Follow the instructions for grading your students' exams
  9. (Optional) Adjust the grade distributions.
  10. Export the grades to your gradebook.
  11. Enjoy a refreshing post-grading beverage.

Q. Oy vey. That was complicated. Did it have to be so hard?

Yeah, sorry about that. Everyone grades in different ways. So the system has to be really flexible. But if we made every part completely customizable, no one would be able to figure out how to use the thing. This is one place where the trade-offs are really noticeable and the compromise is the result of several head-shaped dents in my desk. Creative suggestions are very welcome....

Q. What's a .csv file? How do I make one?

CSV stands for "Comma Separated Value". It is a very simple text format for storing data. It is basically what would be left over if you removed all the formulas, all the formatting, and all the other things which make an Excel spreadsheet useful.

To make a .csv file, it's easiest to start with an Excel spreadsheet. Once you've added all your data (if you don't want to lose the formatting, first save it as you would any other spreadsheet).

To create a .csv file from Excel in Windows or Mac, go to "File", then "Save As", and select "CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)". A message may pop up, to warn you that saving as a .csv file will lose all the file's formatting. If this is a problem, make sure you've saved the file as a normal spreadsheet (.xls or .xlsx) before proceeding. Once you're ready, click Confirm.

See Preparing the file for more detailed instructions.

Q. Why didn't my roster file import correctly?

The file importer makes its best guess about how the data in your file is organized. To improve its accuracy, delete any extraneous data not used by gradeomatic and make sure the columns are arranged (from left to right):

  • Last Name (required)
  • First Name (required)
  • Student ID (optional)
  • Email (optional)

Q. How do I save things? I don't see a 'Save' button!

In all of the setup tasks, clicking the navigation buttons at the top left and right of the screen saves your entries and displays the next (or previous) page for editing.

These buttons will have different names depending on which page you are on. For example, when you are creating questions, the left navigation button will say 'Edit Exam'; the right will say 'Add/Edit Elements'. When you are editing elements, the left navigation button will say 'Edit Questions'; the right will say 'Next Question' (if you are working on the final question's elements, it will say 'Import Students').

Your entries and edits are not saved until you click one of these buttons. Our security procedures will log you out after a period of inactivity. Thus if you are going to walk away from your computer, please make sure you save your changes first.

Grade

Q. When grading, can I hide student names?

Yes. Click the pencil icon to grade exams anonymously.

Report

Other

Q. What is the gradeomatic? Who created it?

The gradeomatic was created by a teacher who couldn't bring himself to sacrifice the quality of the feedback he gave his students when his class sizes exploded. Thus the gradeomatic streamlines grading and its administrative tasks. It allows teachers to provide detailed and personalized feedback to their students. And it captures fine-grained data on student performance and the grading process to improve pedagogy, exam design, and quality control in grading.

Q. I love the gradeomatic! What can I do make it even better?

Yay! We're so glad to hear it. Here are three things that would help:

  1. Spread the word! Tell your friends and colleagues about the gradeomatic.
  2. Send us a testimonial about how you used the gradeomatic and how it helped your teaching. You can reach us at gradeomatic@gmail.com.
  3. Send us suggestions for new features or improvements. Your feedback will help us prioritize among the long list of things we're planning.