Assessments are one of our core functionalities, widely used by the whole of our community. Whether this is using classic assignments, continuous assessment, VLE, or for assessment (grade) reports, MySchool can be configured to meet your institution's assessment needs. Here are a few of the steps you will need to plan before starting your assessment build.
What is the term period?
As part of your onboarding and rollover, we will ask if the term set-up is in line with your assessment needs. It is important to set these up before anything else. Please read through the article dedicated to term management for a detailed explanation of how to go about this. Assessment terms are known as 'Is exam'. These assessment periods can cover multiple 'Is schedule' terms. These terms are used in the assignment module.
- You can create separate Assessment and Assignment terms that are linked to one another. e.g. Report published in semester 1, that covers Q1 and Q2 assignments
- 'Is exam' terms are easily placed into an existing term configuration, whereas is schedule terms may affect attendance as well. Please discuss this with our team before adding these.
- Terms are per class level but must be the same if you want students to follow subjects/courses outside of their school or class levels.
- The terms need to be synced with the appropriate courses.
- A whole year 'is schedule' term will automatically populate with assignments created in other 'is schedule' terms. This provides educators with a snapshot, plus a year summary.
Subjects and courses
Subjects are created on a class level, and each subject can have its own assessment build, or these can be copied across a class or school level. Students cannot be enrolled on a subject directly, and this is why courses need to be created for the students. To help explain then we can use English studies as an example. During the early years, students in English-speaking institutions may follow the linear path and just have an English subject Year 1-9, but for older levels, they may wish to split this up into English Literature and Language topics. These would be created as separate subjects in MySchool, as the assessment criteria would not be the same. Again if we add to the English studies criteria, your institute may offer English as a secondary language for your non-English speaking students base. This again would be created as a subject. You may also offer a teaching English as a foreign language which in itself would be its own subject. In the table here we see the classic linear English for Years 1-5, with senior levels breaking up into Eng lang/lit in preparation for university entry requirements.
|English (EFL) 1
|English (EFL) 2
|English (EFL) 3
|English (EFL) 4
|English (EFL) 5
|English Literature Snr 1
|English language Snr 1
|English (EFL) 6
|English Literature Snr 2
|English language Snr 2
- Subjects must have a unique name, so you can use the class level to distinguish between them. It also makes them easier to view in the list view.
- Subjects control assignment and assessment logic, so plan for both when starting the project.
- Students can follow subjects from outside of their class level but there are certain cases where this will not work. Please contact us to discuss the options.
- Subjects do not have to be academic only, you can create a General behaviour subject with a course to give feedback on effort, and behaviour. If you are a sports institution or run a Performing Arts school then the subjects which would be the different sports offered, or Dance types or instrument types. You can even have Basic - Advanced level subjects for different courses.
What scales do you wish to use in your assessment build?
In MySchool, there are two types of scale available Numeric and Achievement. These are configured in assignment configuration and applied to your created subjects.
Once created and attached to subjects they can be used in both assessments and assignments.
It is important to apply the correct scale before any assessments or grades are entered by the Educators. We are unable to change the scale afterwards. Labels, points and colours can be amended only.
- Assignments can use the classic 1-100 but then each assignment can have an adjusted maximum amount. Depending on the average method chosen this will be normalised as a %.
- You can have a mix of multiple achievement and numeric scales, but the average can only be calculated on one scale.
- An achievement scale can be created as a simple Yes/No or Pass/Fail.
Building your assessment criteria
Once you have all the above confirmed you can now start to build the assessment criteria for your subjects. We do this in assignment configuration, and for the assessment reports in subject specifications. If you wish to use the assignments, then it is best to get this running at the start of your scholastic year. Make sure the educators and your students/guardians understand the average calculation, and that this is working for you. Don't forget they will be able to follow this in real-time during the term period.
- Think about your assessment build beforehand. We are more than happy to offer help at the start of the process, but we always encourage our schools to take ownership of their assessment content. Create a Test subject/course and then add a test student. Create a subject administration security group to allow these users to change settings. We always advise this to be a small workgroup rather than letting multiple users have access.
- When designing your subject specifications, you can use the copy or bulk learning outcomes to copy from subject to subject or year to year. Talk to us about the options available.
- You can create assessments per term, or design subject specifications to only show certain assessment criteria within specific terms. Have a look at this article which explains the main options available.
- Test how the assessment process works from the assess phase - publishing, make sure you start in advance in order to avoid last-minute pressure.
- Did we say test? No really, please do try out all of the assessment available, and try to find out which ones work for your educators and students. Create different test subjects with different builds and showcase these for a community decision. The tool is super powerful and designed to meet most of the grading structures in the world (IB, North American, Classic European grads, and Montessori to name a few).
Create your own PDF report
Now you can create the output. One of the key aims of MySchool is to reduce paper usage within our institutions. So the assessments reports are published directly to student's and guardian's portals and available for download. The assessment report builder is under constant improvement based on your community feedback. You can create detailed information boxes, and include hyperlinks to external sources, and even pictures which can really bring the report alive and create more engagement from your students and guardians. Have a look at this article and organise a meeting with your CSM to explore all the possibilities of the report.
- The default MySchool assessment report is designed to work with attendance and assessment modules.
- GPA and single-page formats are available.
- You can have a template per class level or one template per school. Each term can have its own design as well.
- Once published the grade report will be available on the student and guardian portals for the whole time that the student is active in your MySchool instance.
Start entering your assessments
When it comes to grade report time, start thinking about the process. Assess-Review-Publish.
Course Teachers use the Assess page to enter the grades for their students. access dates can be controlled by the administrators if needed.
Once all mandatory assessments have been entered the contribution for the course will be set to complete.
Next, we advise that you review these contributions. This can be done by any user who has access to the Review page. The review is done by class, and access is granted at a school level. So make sure the reviewers have the correct setup in their respective user groups.
Once the student's assessments have been saved as reviewed, they will be locked from editing on the Assess grid.
The final step is to publish the grade reports. These are done in batches for large class levels. But in a few simple clicks, all the students and guardians will receive their grade reports straight to their portal.
Where can the users see these reports?
On both the student and guardian portals, this will be published and stored with all other grade reports, in the My Grade reports menu header.
Educators and other staff members can consult the students published reports within their profile, in the assessment tab.