Setting up assignments in Aspen in order to enter grades is more-or-less the same as it has always been. There are a few critical menu options that, when set correctly, will ensure that teachers are entering student assessment data accurately in accordance the Maine 207 Grade Scale.
Course Default Grade Scale
Prior to beginning to enter assignments, teachers should check the default settings for their courses at the beginning of each semester to ensure that the District Default Grade Scale is selected as pictured below.
This setting can be accessed by clicking on the blue link for each course on the default Gradebook page in Aspen as pictured below.
Assignment Entry Mode
First, when creating an assignment, it is important that teachers select one of two options from the “Entry Mode” pull-down menu. (There are three options listed here, but one of those, Numeric Only, should no longer be used.)
Teachers should select either the “Letter Only” or “Both” option for score entry. For assessments, such as rubrics or checklists that can be completely translated to letter grades, “Letter Only” is the best option. For other assessments that will describe student performance with points, “Both” is the best option.
The reason for using either “Letter Only” or “Both” is that it allows teachers to enter the scores “NY” or “NO”. These scores cannot be entered using the “Numeric Only” option.
Assignment Default Grade Scale
In addition to selecting the correct Entry Mode for each assignment, teachers should also ensure that the correct Grade Scale has been selected for each assignment. Previously, teachers were able to create specific and different grade scales. As a result, teachers may have multiple grade scales listed under the accounts in Aspen. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the District Default Grade Scale should be used. While this should appear by default on assignments once a category is selected, it will save teachers time to quickly double-check this setting prior to beginning to enter student assessment data.
The “Grade Scale” setting appears directly below the Entry Mode setting. As pictured below, the “District Standard Approved Scale” should appear in that field.
If the “District Standard Approved Scale” does not appear, simply clicking on the magnifying glass to the right of that box will bring up a new window that will allow you to select that option.