Some think GradeCam is just the modern-day replacement for multiple-choice Scantron machines. I did. But I was wrong. This past week, I took a tour of GradeCam, and in this post, I’ll share with you the features of this system and how it can save you time as a teacher. It will also help you with both formative and summative assessments, and it will enter your grades into any electronic grade book directly from GradeCam. Let’s dive deeper.
1. Simple Assessments of All Kinds
First, let’s look at the ways you can use GradeCam for assessments.
- Multiple Choice: This is just the beginning.
- True False: You can see what this looks like below.
- Handwritten Numeric Assignments: Yes! Students can write in a numeric answer. GradeCam has a new tool called AITA (artificial intelligence teaching assistant) that can grade numeric handwriting. Math teachers should be thrilled!
- Number Grids: A numeric grid looks kind of like the grid that many of us have seen on the SAT. You can use this one, but in some cases, you might prefer the Handwritten Numeric (above).
- Rubrics: You can set up and fill in a rubric for student work, and then scan quickly to enter it into your grade book.
- Rubrics With Capture Area: You can include a handwritten capture area within your rubric. Then you can view what students wrote and score it quickly (without paper) inside GradeCam.
- Credit Assignments: This is a cool option. You can print out a small form and attach it to the front of a student’s journal, vocabulary or spelling book, or another item. This lets you quickly see if the student did the work. If you’re doing what I call a check grade (or what others call a credit assignment), just scan the code to enter the check or credit into the grade book.
2. Quick Data Feedback for Student Performance
Remember, teachers, that you don’t have to “grade” everything. Some student work can serve as formative assessment checkpoints to help you see how students are learning. You can use this data to adjust your teaching and better teach your students.
One of the advantages of GradeCam is the quick feedback that you get for your assessments. You can look at each item on the quiz or test and see where you need to re-teach or reinforce. First, you can look overall at the class. Then you can identify individual students who are struggling and need some extra help.
Item review makes it easy to see where your class is struggling. If you use several assessments during the class period to see how knowledge is forming in student minds, you can just check for learning. It isn’t necessary to record a grade in the gradebook. (In fact, I recommend that you shouldn’t feel tempted to record these grades even though GradeCam easily does it for you.) This can redirect your attention to teaching better and identifying which students need extra help.
3. Make Laminated Sheets for Student Use and Reuse
While you can print individual forms for student use and reuse, you can also just print a standard form and laminate it. Students can use a dry erase or Vis-a-vis marker to record their answers. After using the camera to enter the scores, they can wipe their forms and reuse them in the next class.
If students have any kind of book that you’re using for a check grade or credit assignment, print out the form and tape it on the front of the book for easy scoring. Make assessment simple.
While you can print off forms for individual assignments, consider creating a standard form and laminating copies for students. They can keep and reuse them quickly any time you assess. And remember, no matter how many questions you put on your standard form (and Gradecam can have up to 1,000), you don’t have to use them all.
4. Remember the Value of Pre-Assessments
Many times, we review content that we’ve already presented to our students. They become bored when we cover “old” material that they know well. But the reason why we review is that some students might not know the material. You can free up class time and teach more efficiently when you pre-assess for prior knowledge.
Again, this is not a recorded grade, but it can help you better use your class time.
I also like the charts and graphs that you can quickly create in GradeCam to see what students are learning. You can link any question to state standards and see standards-based reports as well.
In this graphic,you can see pre-assessment data on a content area that helps the teacher understand the class knowledge overview.
5. Any Camera Works… But Practice First
You can use the camera on your Chromebook or laptop, mobile phone or tablet, or document camera. I do recommend setting up your device so that students can quickly position their item for scanning.
If you’re using a laptop, for example, it’s easier to hold the items in a stack and remove the front item for quick scanning. You might also want to have a white clipboard on a stand to cover the background. However, if you’re using a document camera or down-facing camera, laying an item down and then putting the next on top of it seems to work best.
Give students immediate feedback. Here’s what I love about inviting students to scan the document themselves — they get immediate feedback. Part of this, of course, is teaching them to clear the results before the next student scans his or her document. This is a fantastic way to quickly give feedback to students, which is why you want to make it easy for them to scan their own scoresheets. Set up a class procedure that will make it easy to do.
Experiment until you arrive at a system that works for both you and your students.
6. Practice the Transfer to Your Electronic Gradebook
Any teacher is eligible for a 60-day free trial of GradeCam Go! Plus. You can transfer grades to any electronic gradebook, but there are a few steps. You’ll have to open your gradebook and select the assignment and class. Then, after you click in the first student’s cell, you’ll tap F8. This will automatically transfer grades to the gradebook.
Now, for a great feature of GradeCam: Districts and schools that purchase a site license can work with GradeCam to set up SIS-sync for your school. This way, the gradebooks and students are entered and synchronize easily. This means little to no setup for your teachers.
Get started today with your free 60-day trial of GradeCam.
Now you can see why GradeCam is far more than multiple-choice. It’s a powerhouse assessment tool that can save teachers time — their most precious resource!
To help you learn more, here are links to some subject-specific tutorials for using Gradecam. Just click and download the PDF.
Enjoy learning and saving time with Gradecam!
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