Friday, April 17, 2015

GradeCam: A Quick Summary

If you're interested in exploring GradeCam, think of this post as a starting point.  There are video tutorials and webinars available if you have time to watch them but if you're like me, you just want to understand the bones of a program and then unleash your mouse clicking skills onto it. I usually click every. single. button. until I figure out how a program works. This is not the most refined approach I admit, but I've learned many programs just from exploring them!

I debated even posting this watered-down "tutorial" because I haven't used GradeCam in my classroom yet (I'm on maternity leave you see). However, you don't need to have used the program with an actual assessment to understand its usefulness. You'll see what I mean when you start clicking around. So, let's get to the bones of GradeCam. I've compiled what I think are the most important things for you to know to get started.

What do you actually use GradeCam for?
GradeCam is basically a glorified scan tron grading system. It allows you to gather data from your students instantly without ever having to use a red pen to grade. The program is web based which means it is hosted on a webpage. You create an account on the website, free or paid.  GradeCam allows you to grade your students via the GradeCam version of a scantron by simply holding up the student's answer sheet in front your web cam or document camera (I have heard of people using iPads and iPhones but I've also heard there are glitches with these devices being used as cameras). The camera scans the worksheet simultaneously inputting the child's score. Once you've scanned all your kids answers, you will have a complete list of their data for that particular assessment.

Here's what the GradeCam form looks like:
Very much like a scan tron right? You create the answer key within the program on this form and you also administer your test with it. You access this form by going to the Forms tab. You can print it from there as well. But we're getting ahead of ourselves!

Before you can use GradeCam to collect your test results, you will need to create your class list. GradeCam gives each of your kids a student number, which will need to be bubbled onto their test form. You could also use your own numbers or import a class list with numbers (I haven't imported but there are video tutorials out there that will show you how!). GradeCam also has this cool feature that allows you to print forms with the student numbers already bubbled in for each student. This works well for younger grades! You can create your class list under the Classes tab. You can also have multiple classes which is great if you're departmentalized or if you teach middle or high school. 

Once you have a class list, you can create your assignment. Go to Assignments>Create
You'll name it, assign the amount of questions, the date given, and manually input your answer key. 

You can also print your forms from here with or without the student numbers by clicking the button that says Forms (on the main Key screen). Super easy!

Once your answer key is inputted you're ready to start scanning the students' forms. You just hold each bubbled in test form in front of the camera and the results will be inputted. You can also change the view to Student View and let your kids scan their own tests without seeing their peers' scores.

Student View option

Once all of your kids' tests have been scanned in, you're ready to analyze the data. Click Summary to see the results. This is where I think GradeCam is very useful. You can actually see data by TEST QUESTION! I can see this data being very handy for Learning Team Meetings where we try to pinpoint areas of weakness and strengths of our students.

To sum up...
Step 1: Create an account
Step 2: Create or import your class list and student numbers 
Step 3: Create an assignment (you'll be prompted to set up/install your camera once your answer key is completed)
Step 4: Scan student forms 
Step 5: Analyze your data 

Miscellaneous Tips

  • If you'd like to alter your forms simply go to the Forms tab and click Advanced Options. You can change the format from letters (ABCD) to numbers for example. You can also enlarge the form.  
  • Installing your camera should be very easy. You'll be prompted to install your camera within the assignment tab, after you fill in your answer key. There's a simple install process and your camera should easily link to the program. If it doesn't... I can't help you here unfortunately. There is a help page of course within the webpage and this company seems to be pretty grass roots, so I don't think it would be hard to get someone on the phone if you needed assistance.
  • You can change your answer key even after the test has been given and results have been scanned in.
  • You can assign Common Core Standards to individual questions when you are creating the key for your exam.
  • With the free version of GradeCam, you can only create ten question exams.
  • You can use your document camera as a camera supposedly. I haven't tried it but this is what I am hoping will work in my classroom since I don't have a laptop with a camera and my school PC doesn't have a camera. The GradeCam website lists all compatible doc cams.

Overall, I think this program is awesome for collecting on the spot data and for testing one or two standards. I don't see how it could work for extended response questions but maybe I'm  just not thinking outside the box. As a data collection tool, it seems wonderful. You could use GradeCam to grade homework in the morning and give feedback then and there! You could use it for exit tickets as well.

I hope this short summary helps you if you decide to check out GradeCam. I do think it could be a really useful tool! If you have any insight on this program, please share in the comments!

*I'm not affiliated with GradeCam in any way.

1 comment:

  1. Hello.. This is a good scantron .. and Good Article, as I also looking for this product. However, I want to ask whether the offering price from
    Is good enough or not ? please kindly advice me, Thank You very much..