Switched-On Schoolhouse Series: Automatic Grading

I write the Switched-On Schoolhouse Series twice a month to share our family’s experience using this software based curriculum in our home.

One of the “chores” of homeschooling on an administrative end is grading.  Amber has three subjects that we use formal text books for.  I do have answer keys to mark the assignments, but it’s rare that I get to them daily, and they tend to pile up.  Once I get around to grading them, I admit to feeling a little overwhelmed.

As the teacher, I really like the automatic grading feature of Switched-On Schoolhouse.  It makes my job much more enjoyable

The way automatic grading works is; the student has true/false, multiple choice, place in order or fill in the blank questions.  The software automatically grades those answers for you. It the daily lesson assignment only has those types of questions in it…woot!  You’re done!

Parents/teachers still need to go in and mark any “paragraph” questions (those would be when a student is required to type in a response of one or more sentences).  For the most part those are quick and simple to grade.

Once you’re logged into the Administrative Dashboard, you’re informed that there is an assignment where grading is required.

You simply click on that, and the first question in the assignment that needs grading is loaded on the screen.  If there is more than one, you just navigate to the question numbers that are in black.  (Green means the student has answered the problem correctly, red means that they received a below average grade).

There’s no concern on whether the software is “correct” though.  Naturally it’s not human, so it is only as good as the coding.  A parent or teacher can still change an automatic grade, as they see fit. 

I just did this the other day with a question Amber had in FACS.  It was a fill in the blank question and she put in what she thought was the correct answer.  We have it set up that she is allowed to try again (with a small grade penalty) if she gets it incorrect the first time.  She changed her answer slightly (thinking it was semantics), and the software still said she was incorrect.

Amber vocally voiced her opinion on why she thought she was right, and after reading the lesson, and seeing her answer, and then the answer that the curriculum was looking for, I made an executive decision and decided that the answer was open to interpretation, and Amber’s could be considered correct.

I went into the lesson and changed the grade.  So ultimately the administrator still has the authority to change even an automatically marked grade.

So far after having used the Switched-On Schoolhouse curriculum for a month, I have to say the Automatic Grading and being able to Change Your Calendar mid-stride are my two favorite features.  However, I’m sure there will be more that I come across as we continue to use it!

If you’re interested in learning more on Switched-On Schoolhouse or would like a discount on a purchase of curriculum, click through on the button in my right hand sidebar, and you’ll be taken to the publisher’s site.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned above for free for review purposes from Alpha and Omega Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review and this product may not have the same results for all people, please do additional research of your own when purchasing products mentioned in reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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