Review of MyGradeBook.com

Things I don’t like.

First, while I was filling out the registration form, I wasn’t told whether I’d be able to change this information later if I wanted to.

I wanted to see information about whether I’d be able to edit the information later. I am sometimes a little bit suspicious of forms and websites because I know that many of them harvest your information so that they can market to you in the future.

One really appealing feature of MyGradeBook is the ability to link to its QuizLab site.

Emails sent to support:

How do I add a student to my school? I can’t seem to find a way from the Students tab.

Response:

Hi,

Log into your MyGradebook.com account and choose a class from the drop down screen. Once you have selected the class you would like to add the student to, click on the “Students” tab. Next, click on the “add” button. Fill the student’s information into the blank fields. Make sure you click “save” in order to record your changes. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a nice day!
Colleen Slyne
Family Education Network

My response:

Yes, that’s what I was afraid of.

But I want to be able to enter the students into a master student list. From that list, I’d like to add them to classes.

The point is this–I want to reduce the number of errors that could occur by entering students’ names manually each time we add them to a class.

Problems and things I don’t like

The help section

The help section isn’t very helpful. The first problem is that the help topics aren’t searchable; the topics are organized by category. For example, if you want to , you need to use the following click sequence: Teachers > Class > Students > Student Names and Passwords

  • Passwords seem to be limited to 10 characters, although I can’t find this stated anywhere.
  • Students’ passwords and email addresses are entered on two different screens.

Attendance

It would be nice if the attendance page showed the total number of students present in a class. I like to do a head count to double check the accuracy of the roll.

When you print the weekly attendance sheet, the sheet displays five days (Monday to Friday), even if the class doesn’t meet all five days. For example, I have a class that meets on Mondays and Wednesdays (i.e., only two days per week), but Monday through Friday are shown (i.e., five days). This is easy enough to fix, but a lot of teachers may get confused and may write the Wednesday attendance in the Tuesday slot, since it is the slot right after Monday. And yes, I can get the admin staff to manually cross out the days that class doesn’t meet, but again, this is an extra step that could easily be overlooked.

Dates are not displayed in the weekly attendance sheet; it would be extremely helpful to have dates displayed.

Student passwords: Students’ passwords aren’t true passwords. They are actually more akin to usernames. Let me explain. When students log in to see their grades online, they are asked to enter what MyGradeBook calls a “classword”. The classword is really just an identifier of the class; it’s like the name of the class. This classword has to be unique to the class; the name cannot be shared with any other classes. The student then needs to enter her password and click login. Using these credentials, MyGradeBook shows you your information. If you’d entered another password, e.g., the password of another student for example, you’d be shown different information.

This is problematic because I’m starting to see people who are entering similar passwords–password, imcool, testmagic, etc. The system won’t accept duplicate passwords, and the chances that two people in one class share a password are pretty low. I am therefore checking passwords when students give them to me; if they are too easy to guess or are not unique enough, I’m asking them to choose another password.

Also, students aren’t able to change their passwords; of course a student can always ask his teacher to change his password for him, but I believe it’s important for people to have control over their own login information.

Tips

  • If you can’t find something in the help section, check out the knowledge base that you can access when you click the contact link.
  • It took me a while to find out how to set the Meeting Days for classes. After a while of hunting and clicking, I found the link: Meeting Days

(Link: https://www.mygradebook.com/secured/days_of_week.cfm Navigation: Attendance > Meeting Days)

How to create a Master Student List

Wow, this is turning out to be quite a challenge.
Log in as a Group Manager: https://www.mygradebook.com/secured/authenticate_group_account.cfm
Click to enable District Integration: https://www.mygradebook.com/secured/group_integration.cfm?enable=Y

1st attempt to create a workaround

  1. Go to Add students’ contact information
  2. Problem: If I copy a student from the ALL CLASSES class, the two students aren’t ‘linked’; in other words, the information doesn’t appear to be pulled from the same field in the database. So if I need to update the student’s information, I need to do it manually in all places the student appears. Also, the student will get a new Student ID when her or his account is copied to the new class. Worse: I tried the District Integration feature, and I have the same problem. I can create a new student with the Group Manager tool, and a teacher can import that student. However, when the teacher imports the student, MyGradeBook appears to do the same thing, i.e., create a new database field for that student. I tested this by entering new information for the students as a Group Manager (specifically, I added hyphens to his phone number, and I shortened his first name so that only the initial of his first name would show). I then logged off, and logged in again as a teacher. The information was not updated.
  3. Problem: I cannot enter the passwords and email addresses on the same screen.

Questions sent to support

Question: Is there a limit to the number of students I can have in one class? I want to enroll several hundred people in one class and use this as my Master Student List.

Answer: The MyGradebook.com program allows a teacher to have up to 30 classes with up to 150 students in each class. We apologize for the inconvenience, but if you’d like to have more than 150 students, you will have to set up multiple classes. Have a greta day!

3 Comments

  1. Dear Erin,

    I am wondering why your post which is dated Dec.2013 on MyGradebook and you have a response from the Family Education Network regarding MyGradebook when it no longer owns it? MyGradebook was reacquired by its Founders on August 1st,2013.

    Just an fyi, MyGradebook in its 15+ years of existence, has not and will not ever share, lend, or sell etc. client information.

    MyGradebook is a full featured online gradebook for teachers public, private, or even homeschoolers and it is at the low price of $29.95 a year for a single license, less for teachers in a group. We are aware that the help section is not easy to use for everyone, it was written by a tech staff that really truly thinks like that and my support staff is working on modifying the help section for easier use.

    For some of the features you mention in your review , they are offered for groups and if the group manager turns on the feature. There are additional features for groups at additional nominal cost. There are even more feature for groups and teachers when districts integrate their student information systems with MyGradebook.

    I honestly can say that there is not one online gradebook out there with features added directly from teacher requests, requests that were offered as it was being created and throughout its existence for the last 15 years and at a price that is affordable. MyGradebook is now owned by us and we have a staff made up of former MyGradebook teachers in customer support and a tech staff that had previously worked in school districts from both coasts. MyGradebook has over 1 million users from all around the world, and we are growing. Feel free to contact us at anytime.

    Sincerely,
    Kristina Krist
    Cofounder and Owner of MyGradebook
    President of KMKVGK Inc.

  2. Hi there, Kristina. Thanks for the added information; I’m sure other users will find it useful.

    Interesting to hear that the product returned to original creators. Congratulations!

    I’d be happy to review the site again in the future, as I’m always looking tools to help teachers perform their many tasks quickly and easily.

    – Erin

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