This free software takes students’ grades from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and makes them available on the internet to a student with a password. The distribution of scores in the course may also be viewed. To see the output that the student sees, click the button below. When asked for a password, enter a number between 1 and 30.
Hope you clicked the score distribution button while you were there. If you entered an invalid password, the program waited ten seconds before telling you about it. This is to discourage guessing. If you click the back button in Internet Explorer 5.5, it will not redisplay the “Scores Distribution” page or the “Student’s Scores” page, and will redisplay the password page, which doesn’t have anything confidential on it. This is the desired behavior. Unfortunately, Netscape 6.0 redisplays all the pages.
Part of the Excel spreadsheet from which the scores came looks like this:
Row 3 contains format codes that specify font attributes. For example, the two test scores were in green because the format code is “t”; the test total was also green, but in a heavier font because its code is “T”. A note to an individual student can be submitted by using a format code of “n” (or “note”, or anything beginning with an n) in a column (several note columns may be present, in which case the notes are concatenated). A note to the whole class may be entered in the cell above the password column heading (that is, above “ID #” in this example). The row below the format codes contains descriptions of the test items that appear on the web page. For example, the quiz 1 heading actually says Quiz 1, 8/25 (7 possible).
To send the spreadsheet data to the web server, the GetGrades package uses an Excel add-in. The add-in needs four pieces of information for each batch of scores it processes. This information could be put on the scores sheets, though I put it on a separate sheet in the workbook. Below is shown a workbook with three sheets of scores and a sheet to hold data to send to the add-in. For convenience, column headings were added over the four pieces of information. I selected the information for two of the sheets: the 10-11 AM sheet and the 1-2 PM sheet. (To select multiple regions, select one, then hold down the control key to select a second, etc.).
Actually, only the first column needs to be selected, so it’s faster to select just two cells, as shown below.
The add-in is run by clicking onunder the menu.
The add-in takes the specified range in the specified sheet(s) and saves the data as a text file. It also processes each test item column into data for a histogram and saves all the histogram data in a second file. Both files may be automatically sent to the user’s web site. All this takes about 3 seconds for the add-in to complete.
To get the program, go to the “Download & Installation” page. Once the program is installed, you will want to go to the “Setting Up a Spreadsheet” page.
Page last updated on May 5, 2005. Send comments to Chris King.