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Using a CSV file to upload grades and feedback to QMplus

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For: StaffApplication: Grading & FeedbackTagged: feedback , gradebook , grades

When marking student work, you may find it quicker to generate the students’ grades and feedback at once. This can be done by generating a spreadsheet file from the gradebook in your course area, filling in the student grades and feedback then uploading the data back into to the gradebook as a CSV file.

Some notes about uploading data to the gradebook:

If you are grading an assignment, you should use the offline grading form feature of the assignment for this rather than this method.

There is no “undo” once you have uploaded a CSV to the gradebook so ensure that you check your data thoroughly before importing.

You can only provide a grade and a small piece of textual feedback using this method. QMplus provides many more features for grading and feedback such as rubrics, grading forms, PDF annotation and feedback files.

Take extra care if there is more than one person working with the gradebook e.g. if you co-teach a course. If you are not careful you can easily end up overwriting each other’s work.

 

Exporting the spreadsheet from gradebook

To get a spreadsheet in the correct format for your marking, you should first download it from the gradebook in your course area. It is possible to construct a marking spreadsheet from scratch but in order to ensure you have the correct data for students, we recommend you generate your spreadsheet from the course area.

Under the Settings block, click on Gradebook setup.

Then expand the Export options and select Excel Spreadsheet. If you are not an Excel user, you can use the Plain text file option to download a CSV file.

A list of all the items in your gradebook will now display for you to choose which you’d like to export in the Excel spreadsheet. In this example below I have selected the top 4 grade items:

Once you have done so, you can then choose whether you wish to include feedback comments too, whether to include suspended users & in what format the grades are to be exported in:

Then, click the Download button to download the spreadsheet.

Entering grades and feedback

grade spreadsheet

After downloading a spreadsheet from the gradebook in your course area, you should now have a spreadsheet that looks something like the above. Since I selected to have the grade and feedback for Coursework 1 there are two columns in the gradebook to enter my data into. If you chose more than one grade item to download, you will have more columns in your spreadsheet. The Last downloaded from this course column contains an encoded timestamp which is the date that the spreadsheet was downloaded from the gradebook. You should take care not to change the values in this column. When you upload your spreadsheet again, QMplus will use this value to attempt to determine whether any gradebook item has changed since the download to prevent you overwriting any updated data.

Now you can fill in your grades and feedback for each student by filling in the relevant columns.

Entering grades

Once you have finished, save the spreadsheet as a CSV file by clicking on the File tab, followed by Save as and selecting the CSV format.

Importing the CSV file to the grade book

Once you have created your file and saved it as a CSV, go back to the gradebook in your course area via Gradebook setup and then click on Import and CSV File. Browse to find your file and upload it.

The default settings here should be fine in most cases. In order to prevent data loss, when you attempt to upload your spreadsheet, QMplus will attempt to check whether the Gradebook has changed since data was last exported. If it has then it will not import the new data. You can use the Force import option to force the upload.

If all goes well, on the next page you will see three sections:

  1. A preview of the data that is going to be imported into the gradebook.
  2. The user identification section – where you have to define how the data being imported will be linked to the data in the gradebook
  3. The grade items section – where you have to define the items in your spreadsheet which you want to be imported into the gradebook.

screen 8

You can use this preview for a quick check to see that things look as they should. Moving down the page, you come to the Identify user by section.

screen 9

These settings define how each row in your spreadsheet should be mapped to a row in the gradebook. The Map from drop-down shows the column names in your spreadsheet and the Map to drop-down shows some of the columns in your gradebook. In QMplus, every user must have a unique email address so you should select email in both cases.

Moving down the page again, you come to the Grade item mappings section.

screen 10

In this section, you define which of the items in your spreadsheet you want to upload to which items in your gradebook. In my example, I want to upload the coursework 1 grade and feedback to the gradebook.

  1. I want to upload the Assignment: Coursework 1 (Real) column in the spreadsheet to the Assignment: Coursework 1 grade item in the gradebook
  2. I want to upload the Assignment: Coursework 1 (Feedback) to the Feedback for Assignment: Coursework 1 in the gradebook.

I do not want to make changes to any other data in my gradebook so I leave all the other items set to ignore.

Once you are happy, click the Upload grades button.

Gradebook with uploaded grades

You should now see your grades in the gradebook in QMplus.

Note that your imported grades appear highlighted in a yellowish brown colour in the gradebook. This highlight colour shows grade items which have been changed directly in the gradebook, as opposed to through the activity itself. Also, once you have uploaded grades in this way, it is no longer possible to change the grade through the activity.

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: its-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the E-Learning Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
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