St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.320.1 - 5.320.6
GradeWatch – the Software Package Displaying on Web Pages Students Grades
Bogdan M. Wilamowski, Aleksander Malinowski University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY / Bradley University, Peoria, IL
This paper describes a web-based database allowing students to check their progress in courses they are taking using a web browser front end. The database interface is written in PERL and is interfaced to the Internet by a web server. It can be tested and downloaded for non-profit use from http://sant.bradley.edu/~olekmali/grades/.
Providing up to date and accurate feedback to students is very important in the process of learning. This is usually achieved by returning graded homework and projects. However, in case of assigning many various types of work, which contribute with different weights to the final grade, it is difficult to keep the student informed about his or her current standing. While keeping track of grades is usually easy to perform using a simple spreadsheet, the process of informing students requires more effort and time. Therefore, the need for a database that would be easy to use by both an instructor and students was determined.
There are many database systems available. Each university registrar’s office has one. However, these systems are not available for everyday use. For security reasons such systems may only be updated by a limited number of authorized people, and cannot always be accessed by students at any time by phone or from the Internet. Therefore, a small database system was developed and interfaced with a web browser. Internet based information distribution was chosen because of already existing network infrastructure freely available on campuses. Web based service was selected because of the ability to make a non-platform specific front-end which does not require students to have any specific computer system other than being capable of running a web browser1.
To make the system easy to use by instructors, who usually already incorporate some kind of spreadsheet to keep his or her students’ grades, the database is designed to work with a spreadsheet. Because of many existing end evolving data formats a decision was made that the database will work with a generic tab-delimited format that could be produced by most software packages by exporting data as a tab-delimited text file. This approach provides only a minimal inconvenience in forcing the instructor to save the database and then to export it once again to another format.
Wilamowski, B. M., & Malinowski, A. (2000, June), Grade Watch The Software Package Displaying On Web Pages Students Grades Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8413
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