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Online Grading at Penn
January 9, 2007, Volume 53, No. 17

Though classes for the Spring 2007 term have already begun, many faculty and staff still have fresh memories of submitting grades for Fall 2006 courses using the old bubble-sheet forms.  Most everyone will be glad to hear that a project to phase out our current process of printing, distributing, completing, collecting and scanning these paper-based bubble-sheet forms is underway.  The new online process is expected to be implemented for use with Spring 2007 grading. 

The project has included extensive consultation between representatives of the 12 schools, Student Registration and Financial Services, and Information Systems and Computing.  The new Online Grading System has been designed to be very flexible and easy to use.  The system will be secured via PennKey authentication and will be part of the Courses InTouch suite of applications, which currently contains Class Lists and Course Problem Notices.  The system will serve to streamline the grading process, with integrated workflow, status reporting, and email alerts.  Automated alerts will be sent out to inform instructors when classes are available for grading, and to remind them of associated deadlines.  Using this Courses InTouch application from U@Penn, grades can be entered into a webform, uploaded from an Excel spreadsheet, or imported from a Blackboard extract.  The Grade Change process will be enabled online, with routing to division offices for review and approval. School offices will be able to monitor the status of grading for their courses and have the opportunity to facilitate the timely processing of grades for their students. 

The new Online Grading application is expected to be made available in April, 2007, at which time the old paper bubble-sheets will be retired.  There will be opportunities for instructors and school offices to become acquainted with the new system during February and March.  We are very excited about the Online Grading System and hope you too will see this as an improved process.  Faculty and staff in the schools can expect to hear additional information in the near future, as orientation sessions are finalized and the system moves closer to implementation. 

–Ron Sanders, University Registrar


Almanac - January 9, 2007, Volume 53, No. 17