Sunday, 18 January 2009


I like to use my own spreadsheet program on my own computer for grades, rather than Oncourse's, but Oncourse is useful for letting the students see their grades as the course proceeds. Here is how to do that.

1. Download the roster from Oncourse as a *.csv file, using the export feature.

2. Open it in Excel or some such program. Create a new column for each item to be graded. Make sure to put a number at the start of each item's name, because Oncourse will resort them in alphabetical order. Also, you need to put a blank space plus [nc] after each item's name. Thus, your items might be "01quiz1 [nc], 02quiz2 [nc], 03midterm [nc], 95final [nc], 99coursegrade [nc]". The [nc] entries turn off a bothersome Oncourse feature that tells students the total number of feasible points.

3. Add whatever excel features you want-- things such as widening the name columns so you can read the entire name or putting a formula in to specify the total point score the semester. Save as a *.xls file.

4. Add grades as you go along. I put the full email addresses in there too.

5. Do NOT delete the original Oncourse columns with the names and the userids. Oncourse needs these to upload your changed file.

6. When you want to upload to Oncourse, delete any columns that you don't want students to see or that have more than 8 characters in a cell (e.g., email addresses). Then save as a *.csv file. This new file will not have any of your formulas or formatting.

7. Upload your new *.csv file to Oncourse, using the import feature in the Gradebook.

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