iPad Gradebooks (In 9 Easy Steps)
by Joey Feith
A while back, I blogged about how I use my iPad to create my Physical Education lesson plans. However, that’s not all I use it for.
We just completed our second term here at my school and, as I was entering my students’ grades into the system, I realized I never shared how I create grade books on my iPad. It’s really simple, so I figured I’d take a few minutes to show you how I do it (I also made a video of how to do this, of all you video-type people out there).
Step 1: Get Numbers for iOS
I’m a hardcore iWork user and run Numbers on both my Mac and my iPad. It might seem pricey at $9.99, but its well worth it (I also use it for lesson planning)
Step 2: Create a new, blank spreadsheet
Just tap the + button in the upper left corner and then select “Create Spreadsheet”
Step 3: Name your first tab
I have a separate spreadsheet for each grade I teach and each spreadsheet’s first tab is titled “Grades”. Each unit I teach gets its own table and all the tables are kept on this tab.
Step 4: Name your table
To be able to create a form from a table (which I’ll explain in a second), you’ll need to name each table you work with. In my gradebooks, each table is titled after a unit I’ve taught. To name a table, select the table you wish to name by tapping on it, then tap on Inspector (the “i” button)-> Table -> Table Options -> and then turn “Table Name” to on. You can now rename the table by tapping on its name (for this example, I will be naming my table “Basketball Unit”).
Step 5: Name your columns
I always name my columns in the same order: Names, Evaluation Criteria (there are usually 3-5 of these), Grade, and Comments. Since this is just an example, the evaluation criteria are “Plans”, “Performs”, and “Reflects”.
Step 6: Enter your students’ names
This could take a while, but I usually just copy/paste the names from a different spreadsheet to save time.
Step 7: Format your cells
For your cells to function properly, you should format them before you start to input data into them. Here’s how
- Evaluation Criteria Cells: Select all of the cells below your evaluation criteria, then tap Inspector -> Format -> Star Rating.
- Grade Cells: Select all of the cells in your “Grade” column, then tap Inspector -> Format -> Number.
- Comments: Select all of the cells in your “Comments” column, then tap Inspector -> Format -> Text. Once this is done, from the Inspector, tap Cells and then turn off “Wrap Text in Cell”
Step 8: Create a form
One of the most awesome features in Numbers iOS is the form view which allows you to view each row of your table as a form. To create a form, tap on the + tab and select “New Form”
Once you’ve done that, select the table you want to view as a form. In this example, we only have our Basketball Unit table to work with, but as you add more and more units to your grade book, their corresponding tables will appear here.
Once you’ve selected the table, you can now view it as a form. Each student will have their own page on which you can evaluate them using your pre-determined evaluation criteria, write down their final grade, and add any relevant comments.
Once you modify a students’ information in the form view, it automatically updates the table view as well. And if you’re connected to iCloud, all of the modifications made to your gradebook will be pushed to the cloud.
Step 9: Name your spreadsheet
The last step is pretty easy. Just click on “Spreadsheets” in the upper left corner (this will bring you back to the Numbers home screen). From there, just click on your new spreadsheet’s name to rename it to whatever grade it represents. Like I mentioned earlier, I keep one gradebook per grade that I teach.
So that’s how I’ve created gradebooks on my iPad. Its pretty straightforward, and it gets the job done. However, if you don’t think this is for you, or if you don’t want to dish out the $10 for Numbers, @mrrobbo has created a really awesome app called “Easy Assessment” that also makes grading on the iPad easy and fun.
What do you think? Is this something you’d like to try? I’m sure some of you will have your differences with this (or maybe you’re just used to another way of entering grades), so make sure you leave a comment below so we can get a good discussion going on this.
Thanks for reading everyone!
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