Troubleshooting 2

Last year our district implimented a new online grading system.  It was supposed to solve all our problems.  All grades were going to be online and accesible by parents, and at the end of the semester we didn’t have to go through any lengthy submission process we just had to click on one button that inputted all our grades.

There were a few problems.  Many of them were just getting used to the interface.  Some users missed the old grading program and preferred to stick with that style of system.  One of the difficult changes was setting up different categories for grades and then setting up the weighting for those different categories.

In one case a teacher wanted to add an extra credit assignment that increased on category but not another.  He was having trouble adding this.  It seemed like everytime he added extra credit to a student their grade went up way to far.  After trying to figure out what category was being used, and how many points were being added, we could not figure out why the score was skyrocketing.  We had to take a step back and really go through some examining of the environment.

As it turned out the extra credit was adding percentage point and not just regular points.  So instead of adding 10 point to a category that had 300 total point, he was adding 10 percent at the end.  This inflated all the grades much more than he wanted.  We spent some time at first messing around with different numbers but it really took time at the beginning of the DESCAR method of knowing the environment to get to the root of this problem.

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