You are on page 1of 8

Nova Scotia Public Education System

Quick Reference Guide





Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 1

Setup of Categories & Assessments in PowerTeacher Gradebook
Grades 7-12

At the end of each reporting period, grade 7-12 teachers are responsible for generating a
percentage grade for students that accurately reflects achievement of the learning outcomes
addressed. To this end, the initial setup and the ongoing tracking of student assessment
information must be purposeful and should be a reflection of the teachers planning process.

Teachers are encouraged to configure PowerTeacher Gradebook at the beginning of a
reporting term to reflect the instruction and assessment that will occur during the reporting
period. The first step is to create organizational categories that relate to the major
components of the curricular outcomes such as strands, modules or units.

Teachers are encouraged to enter assessments in their Gradebook at the beginning of an
instructional unit based on their assessment plan and in response to feedback from student
progress. Both formative and summative assessments may be entered, each linked to the
appropriate curricular outcomes.

Using Points: Points possible for each assignment should be determined so that each
summative assessment has an appropriate impact upon the percentage generated for
students. In determining points possible for an assignment, teachers should consider the
complexity of the task, the number of outcomes being assessed, the time spent on
instruction and the timing of the assessment itself. The weighting feature should always be
set to 1.00 to eliminate another layer of weighting not visible to parents or students in the
student/parent portal. Here is a sample setup of an assessment using points.


Nova Scotia Public Education System
Quick Reference Guide



Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 2


Using Achievement Levels: Points are always set to zero for each assignment. When assigning
achievement level scores under each outcome, teachers should consider the depth of
understanding and skill application being assessed in each assignment. Here is a sample
assessment setup using achievement levels.


























PowerTeacher Gradebook can be a very effective tool for teachers as they track and
communicate student achievement over time. The remainder of this document offers
considerations for its successful configuration and use for teachers of grades 7 through 12.





Nova Scotia Public Education System
Quick Reference Guide



Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 3
Steps for Successfully Configuring PowerTeacher Gradebook Gr. 7-12

Develop a Yearly Plan for the course using the Curriculum Document and any
other supporting documents
Identify units, modules, strands, curricular outcomes and a timeline for
instruction
Consider instructional methods and strategic assessment, both formative and
summative as part of the Assessment Plan.
1: Plan
In PTGB, create Categories to reflect the Yearly Plan
Category names should be specific to the major components to the course, such
as names of specific units, modules, or strands.
New categories can be created, unused categories can be deleted and existing
categories can be renamed, however the data stored in the category from
previous years will remain attached.
2: Create
If using points by assignment:
In the Grade Setup in PTGB, categories can be assigned percentage weights that
reflect:
teacher's yearly plan
the complexity and number of outcomes in a unit
the instructional time required
If using achievement levels by outcome:
Under the Outcomes Tab in the Preference section of PTGB, final outcome scores
are calculated using one of the following settings Mean, Weighted Mean, Mode,
Highest, or Most Recent (recommended) If using the Most Recent setting,
teachers can modify the number of most recent scores and the weight of each
most recent score to reflect their classroom assessment practices.
See Weighting sections below
3:Weight

Develop an Assessment Plan for each unit. Consider both formative and summative
assessments and ensure evidence is collected using a variety of methods-
Conversations, Observations and Products/Performances (COP)
Enter assessments in PTGB using points or achievement levels to reflect student
achievement
Formative assessments need not be included in Final Grade Calculations.
If using points, formative assignments should have the Include in Final Grade box
unchecked
If using achievement levels by outcome, leave the Include in Final Grade box
unchecked to communicate to parents the assignment is formative and exempt the
outcome score in PTGB
4: Assess

Nova Scotia Public Education System
Quick Reference Guide



Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 4
Weighting Categories

Category Weights in an Outcomes-Referenced Framework








































Based on the Yearly Plan,
categories have been
created in PTGB to reflect
the specific components of
the curriculum for each
course.

In this example, two
categories will be addressed
in the first reporting period
Q1 (or T1). As there are
more complex benchmark
learning outcomes in
Numbers & Operations, it is
weighted more heavily.

Based on the Yearly Plan,
three additional units will
be addressed in S1.
Categories have been
added and weighted
according to the number
and complexity of
outcomes within each unit.

With this configuration,
the ongoing grade
generated by PTGB more
accurately reflects student
achievement of outcomes.



Nova Scotia Public Education System
Quick Reference Guide



Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 5


Weighting in an Outcomes-Based Framework

A new feature in PTGB now enables teachers using an outcomes-based framework to assign
weights to outcomes in determining a final percentage grade. In the Grade Setup, under the
Standards Weight option, teachers can add outcomes (standards) based on the yearly plan
and assign weightings to each outcome according to the complexity and importance in the
development of the course curriculum. Weightings of outcomes should always be reflected
in a teachers Assessment Plan and clearly communicated with parents and students in the
Communication Plan.











Nova Scotia Public Education System
Quick Reference Guide



Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 6

Weighting Assessments

A. Weighting Assessments in an Outcomes-Referenced Framework
Based on the Assessment Plan, assessments have been entered into PTGB. With equal 1.00
weights, the Points Possible value of each assessment reflects the relative importance or
worth of the assessment in the final grade. Quizzes scored out of 10, for example, are
worth twice as much as weekly assignments scored out of 5; and a major unit assignment
scored out of 20 is worth 4 times as much as the weekly assignments scored out of 5.


In the example above, some formative assessments are entered and have 0 Points Possible.
These check ins are used by the teacher to collect anecdotal evidence and communicate
progress using the Comment Box without numerical scores. Formative assessments can also
include points possible but coded as not included in final grade and may or may not have
anecdotal comments attached. Formative assessments are for practice and provide
feedback to inform teaching and learning.







Nova Scotia Public Education System
Quick Reference Guide



Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 7

B. Weighting Assessments in an Outcomes-Based Framework

In an outcomes-based framework outcomes are attached to assignments and achievement level
scores are used to indicate the level of achievement by outcome or clusters of outcomes. Points
possible are always set to zero.
Achievement level scores that reflect more recent evidence of learning, depth of understanding and
complexity of the outcome being assessed are weighted more heavily in determining the final
outcome scores. Final outcome scores are used to determine a grade.

Nova Scotia Public Education System
Quick Reference Guide



Revision Date: 10/14/2014 Page 8

To setup Final Outcome Scores in PTGB go to Tools, Preferences, and select the Outcomes Tab.
Final Outcome Scores are generated using one of the following selected settings Mean,
Weighted Mean, Median, Mode, Highest, or Most Recent (recommended). When using the setting
Most Recent, teachers can modify the number of most recent scores and the weight of each
most recent score to reflect their assessment practices as shown in this example.


Formative assessments are entered and also
have 0 Points Possible. These check ins can
be used by the teacher to collect anecdotal
evidence and communicate progress using the
Comment Box or can include achievement
level scores under the outcomes addressed
but should be exempted from inclusion in final
outcome scores and coded as not included in
final grade by leaving this box unchecked. The
scores will still remain visible and aid teachers
in tracking learning trends over time to inform
professional judgments about student
achievement.