Setting up GradeCam should take you about 10 minutes. Below the summary, there are screenshots and more indepth instructions. In summary:
- Follow the link that was sent to you in the invite email (if you didn’t get one, ask me)
- Assuming you are a new user: “Set the password for a new account”.
- In settings:
- Install camera plugin (probably necessary)
- Check your “hotkey” for auto-entering into GradeBook (F6 is fine, just remember it)
- Name sorting” should match gradebook (default on both is Last, First)
- Number of ID digits: 5 (critical!)
- Make a CSV file for each class (using GradeBook)
- Separate first name, last name, and student ID (slick semi-automatic method outlined below!)
- Save each CSV file
- Make a new class in GradeCam for each of your classes.
- Import students: Upload each CSV file
- Adjust the dropdown menus as needed.
- Make an assignment (usually ‘exam’)
- Make a key
- Print forms (either blank or pre-filled students)
- Double check they are 5 digit student ID!
- Print forms (either blank or pre-filled students)
- Give test forms to students and collect
- Automatically input the grades into PowerSchool
- Must leave GradeCam in “scan” window
- Analysis of Test Data
Now for the long-winded version….
First, you need to activate your account. You should have received an invitation email from GradeCam long, long ago (email me if you need it re-sent). Your account is already set up, but since this is your first time using it, you need to set up a password, so select “Set the password for your new account“.
Once you have made your account, you’ll be automatically logged in. Before you get started, you’ll need to tweak a few critical things in the settings.
In the Settings menu (top right corner, under the drop-down menu of your name), select “Camera”. Check the box about verifying extra answers. This will help prevent erorrs with students who (maybe using pen without “White-Out”) mark more than one answer. GradeCam will prompt you to manually verify these types of issues.
In the Forms submenu, change the number of ID digits on forms to be 5 (VERY IMPORTANT!).
Also, make sure your Name Sorting matches the GradeBook. Unless you changed it in GradeBook, “Last Name, First Name” should be correct. Make note of your “Hotkey”–this guide will assume your hotkey is F6. You will press Fn and F6 simultaneously when you want the grades to copy into GradeBook (more on this later).
Add classes. This is a bit of a labor-intensive step, but once it’s done, it’s done! The basic process is:
Make a .CSV file for each of your classes (use GradeBook to do this). Edit the .CSV file so that last name and first name are in separate columns (as well as a separate column for JIS ID number). Make a new class (“Classes” tab), and then import the .CSV file. The steps are pretty intuitive here, but make sure that the GradeCam ID# is the same as the JIS ID number. Step by step instructions are below, or skip down to making an assignment.
Create a .CSV file using GradeBook. See the screenshot below to make sure your .CSV contains the right information.
Last step: Tell GradeCam what is in each column. Make sure the GradeCam ID and the JIS Student ID are the same column.
Creating an Assignment (AKA Test)
Almost finished! Create an assignment and title it. The title is not critical–just write something descriptive.
Printing Generic Answer Forms
When you create a new form, you need to double check that the GradeCam ID is 5 digits long (the default is 6, unless you changed that earlier!). Also, there must be at least as many rows as you have questions. In other words, a 10 question test requires at 10 (or 11, or 50…) question form. I recommend printing off a big stack of 30 question forms–you can use these for any assessment with less than 31 questions.
Scanning Answer Keys
You may see that you need to install a plug-in. It is very straightforward–just double click it, download the installer, open the installer, and restart your browser (you might get lucky and get away with reloading the GradeCam page).
In the “Key” page, you should click on the bubbles that represent the correct answers. If you decide to throw out a question (happens more often than it probably should!), just change the points (pts) to 0. Unfortunately, GradeCam can not allow more than one correct answer. It is a feature that has recently been requested and I’ll be surprised if it isn’t added soon.
Next, click “Scan”–this is where the fun begins. You will take your student papers, and put them in front of the web cam. It will read the form almost instantly–assuming you frame the shot well. The dark borders of the box must be visible to the camera–watch your fingers as they can interfere with the frame. You should hear a nice little sound (we call that the sound of happiness) as it reads the test. Your students name and results will appear below the live-camera feed.
Then just keep feeding the papers to the camera! I’ve found the easiest way is to just stack them up, face the stack to the camera, and pull the forward-most page away after it is scanned. The next page immediately is scanned, and repeat.
Automatically input the grades into PowerSchool
To have GradeCam automatically import the grades into GradeBook, you must return to the “Scan” tab! It will not work if you are in the “Summary”, or “Key” tab.
In the Scan page, check what class is currently being displayed.
Go directly over to your GradeBook and open the corresponding class’ scoresheet. Make a new assignment for this assessment. Call it whatever you want (it doesn’t need to match its GradeCam name). Click in the first row of the column (i.e. the first student’s score-box). Hold down Fn and then press your “Hotkey” (probably F6 or F8–whatever you chose). The scores should automatically come streaming in! Double check that you are in the correct class, and that the scores are correct. Most common mistakes are related to incorrect class lists in GradeCam, or that you have chosen mismatching classes between GradeCam and GradeBook.
Analysis of Test Data
Now that you have your grades input, you can go into “Summary” to see analysis of your assignment. This is where the real value of GradeCam shows up! It will give you (and potentially your students, if you choose to share) feedback on the most difficult questions. It is also a great place to check your answer key–if more than half the kids miss it, I always double check!
GradeCam is a very supportive company whom I have been very impressed with. Their idea is solid and the interface is mostly intuitive. Note: I don’t receive any compensation for this post or my endorsements of their product!
Can I take a screen-shot of the GradeCam form and insert it into a Word document?
Yes. It works fine. As long as the bold-lined square is fully visible on whatever piece of paper you are using, GradeCam will recognize it. For example, I often add additional instructions for ‘new-to-GradeCam’ students. I print as a PDF, then write on the document using the commenting tools/typewriter.
How do I make a customized (i.e. student name is on the form and student ID is already bubbled in) answer form have only A-D (instead of A-E)
Go into the assignment, select all the questions (use the ‘master checkbox’), then select ‘type’ and then ‘more’. Delete E. Done!