Historical Grades Improvements
Based upon customer feedback, this year we’re investing to improve our Advanced Scheduling module. We just released new functionality for Historical Grades, described below. As the year progresses, we plan to release other scheduling upgrades. If you’d like to inform our efforts, feel free to click “Feedback” at the top of any page and share your thoughts.
Historical grades capture student coursework completed outside our system. This is typically used for students transferring into the district, or for everyone when SchoolInsight is first implemented. Future student schedules depend on previous learning. For course selection to work well, historical grades should be entered completely. Missing or incorrect historical grades can make scheduling more difficult.
In our original software, we offered users two paths when entering historical grades: choose an equivalent course from the catalog, or type in a course title and various information. We expected most customers to select existing courses, but many preferred entering exact course titles (to better control the wording on transcripts). This meant that many historical grades lacked course alignment.
This had negative consequences for scheduling. When historical grades aren’t linked to courses, the system lacks knowledge of specific coursework completed, and only has general information like credits and subject area. This causes prerequisites, academic tracks, and graduation requirements to function suboptimally. Advanced scheduling, which is complex under the best circumstances, becomes more difficult.
So the big new feature for historical grades is to allow users to enter a course title (for precise transcript wording) AND link it to a course in the catalog. They no longer need to choose one or the other. Improved historical grade data should smooth subsequent course requests and scheduling.
We tuned the new UI to allow users to easily choose courses. Users search and select a course. It fills all the data for that course. Individual fields can be overridden, like course name.
We also tuned data entry to be much faster. Once the page is loaded, users don’t need to touch the mouse to enter grades. Users can go through many grades without lifting their hands from the keyboard. This should help admins get through their daily work faster.
We made a short video to walk you through the new features.
Historical Grades in SchoolInsight
As part of these changes, we implemented an “override” flag for each field. When editing the course catalog, all linked historical grades will be kept in sync. If a particular field has been overridden, the system won’t update manually entered data (assuming that the human made these overrides for a reason).
We’re releasing the new functionality in phases. Basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) has already been released. Updated imports are currently in QA, and should be released soon. Mass entry pages to easily fix volumes of unlinked historical grades are in development, and should be ready in the near term.
Once all updates are released, our technical services team will reach out to selected Advanced Scheduling customers to provide training and help them with the new features. We’ll likely start with customers that have the most unlinked historical grades. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or are motivated to participate in the process.
We hope you enjoy the updates.
The Common Goal Team