Friday, April 17, 2015


17,561 is the number of years combined teaching experience present in GUHSD. That includes much history with grade accounting methods and tools: from paper and pencil ledgers and well-worn calculator keys to modern computer gradebook programs. At the low-tech end, it took extra time and devotion to weight grades by category compared to a pure points-possible method. With the advent of electronic spreadsheets like Excel, some of this could be automated with saved formulae but setup still required some individual mathematical know-how. The market responded with software that standardized and simplified setup but presented markedly more choices. Teachers and schools settled on their favorites and there was relative peace in the land because these tools merely informed the grade-reporting process; posted grades were still hand inscribed, bubbled or clicked into a separate system in a uniform format.

With the arrival of Infinite Campus in GUHSD, we crossed a huge bridge into a more connected world. In offering an integrated system with granular transparency of student progress, the company (like its competitors) had to address the needs of thousands of education clients across the country. Certainly no two are alike and some options that are deemed essential to educators in one learning environment may seem needless or nonsensical in another. Additionally, a student information system (SIS) must meet strict and ever-changing state and federal regulatory requirements. With enormous development costs, offering a customized version for each LEA simply isn’t practical. Campus has built a nerd-worthy gradebook component that can accommodate the most complex or simple grading approaches that teachers might choose.

Technology facilitates complexity but does not require it. Regardless of how we use a gradebook, the choices exercised should be informed and intentional with expected results. In the following tutorials, we’ll suggest best practices for two historically prevalent grade accounting methods with a view to easy setup and management within the Campus gradebook.