Blog 4

When Curious Parents See Math Grades in Real Time

 

Summary

Many schools are switching to systems that allow parents to see their students’ grades online. Many of those systems are updated in real time, so that parents know immediately whether a child has turned in an assignment or passed a test. Some systems also send a text to parents when a student is marked absent or doesn’t turn in their homework. Benefits of these systems include more motivation for students to turn in work on time and the ability to see how a child is doing before it’s too late to fix the problem. Despite the benefits, there are a lot of issues with these systems, state both parents and students. One problem is that teachers don’t always keep the grades updated, or if they haven’t updated an assignment yet, the grade appears as a zero online. Other times teachers make typing errors and 100% easily becomes 10%. Students don’t like the system because they are constantly being monitored and their parents are being updated about it. Sometimes the parents are notified of a missing assignment before the student has even attended the appropriate class in order to turn in the assignment. Overall, there are still a lot of bugs to work out.

 

Q1. What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

Both sides of the argument make really good points. I have to say overall, I believe parents should have access to online grades but there is probably a better way to present the information. I don’t believe the grades need to be updated in real time, and notifying parents that an assignment hasn’t been turned in, really only works if it was turned in online. Otherwise, teachers have to take time during class to enter who turned in the assignment. There are a large amount of bugs in the system but I know that it can work because grades in my college classes are entirely online. I have several solutions to the issues I mentioned in the summary.

First issue: Before grades are entered online, the website inserts a zero as a place marker.

Solution: Use something else as a place marker until grades can be entered. Blackboard uses a dash and the values for that assignment aren’t added to the overall grade until the actual grade is entered.

Second issue: Typos.

Solution: Teachers, double check your work before posting it. Parents if you think it might be a mistake, then call. Understand that teachers are human too.

Third issue: Teachers don’t update the grades.

Solution: I can’t fix that. I’ve found that the teachers who don’t update grades online, strongly dislike using the computer and/or internet for their grades and classes. These teachers won’t change unless they can be educated to the benefits and instructed on how to use the system.

 

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