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What's new with Gradescope? Even more ways to grade fast and fair

As we close another year, we are thrilled to highlight a few of the latest Gradescope features that will continue to help instructors grade fast and fair.

Gretchen Hanson
Gretchen Hanson

Assessing students on their attainment of learning objectives is a fundamental part of the education process. Whether those assessments happen once through a final summative assessment or repeatedly over the duration of the course through smaller, low-stakes checks, these checkpoints are important intersections throughout the teaching and learning journey.

Instructors must develop fair, unbiased assessments that can be delivered in a variety of ways such as multiple choice, “show your work,” bubble sheets, short answer, or essay formats. Such a variety upholds inclusion of different learning styles and illustrates different components of student knowledge and skill attainment.

However, a great deal of time and effort goes into getting tests, quizzes, and assignments right.

And then, there’s the work and time that goes into grading them.

Gradescope by Turnitin is designed to help instructors create assessments and, more importantly, to grade them quickly and fairly. In the wake of the emergency shift to online learning, Gradescope fast-tracked the development of new features that help instructors and students adapt to online assessment.

As we close another year, we are thrilled to highlight a few of the latest Gradescope features that will continue to help instructors grade fast and fair.

New tools to manage assignments

Setting up courses at the beginning of the term is time-consuming and can be labor-intensive. Flexible tools to set up and administer assessments with ease can be a game-changer, allowing instructors more time to teach. The following two updates support these needs.

  • Duplicate your courses

Previously, instructors needed to recreate their assignments each term or request a duplicate course from the Gradescope support team. Now we’re putting that control in your hands to allow you to choose and duplicate the course yourself. You can make an identical copy of a course with the same assignments, rubrics, and course settings, saving you extra time and effort. Learn more about duplicating courses in the Gradescope Help Center.

  • Additional assignment extension options

Student life is busy and stressful. And during these complicated times, providing allowances and exceptions may be more important than ever. We now offer even more assignment extension options. Instructors can set student-specific release and due dates to accommodate individual students’ needs. Learn more about the options for extensions in the Gradescope Help Center.

New features to support fair and relevant feedback

The importance of timely, fair, and actionable feedback is well documented. Making sure that instructors have the tools to shorten feedback loops, provide even better and more relevant information to students, all while maintaining fair and equitable grading, is crucial to student learning outcomes. Gradescope fundamentally supports this philosophy through its design and workflows. And we’ re pleased to introduce two new features that will continue to ensure that feedback and grading is fair and relevant.

  • Reduce potential bias with Anonymous Grading

Instructors can choose to enable Anonymous Grading on any assignment. With this feature, students’ names, email addresses, and other identifying information are changed to randomized numbers and letters. Anonymous Grading helps to reduce any unintended bias.

  • Feedback linked to rubrics

Providing students with increased feedback is a goal most instructors wish to attain. This new feature helps reduce the friction between instructor time and providing feedback. Instructors will be able to link their comments to the relevant rubric item, or item group, making it easy for students to see why points were added or deducted and understand feedback. Early users of this feature have let us know that this reduces the number of re-grade requests they receive; such additional insight provides students with scaffolding to understand next learning steps in their individual journeys.

Great things are on the way in 2022

The above are a few new features we released in 2021. In 2022 Gradescope will continue to focus on supporting new and improved assessment types and meeting students where they are in their learning so that instructors can assess students with integrity. Here’s a sneak peek at a few features coming in 2022:

  • Improved Bubble Sheets

We’re making enhancements to our Bubble Sheets assignment type, including test versioning and improved statistics. This will allow instructors to continue to protect the integrity of their bubble sheet assessments by supporting multiple versions and giving deeper insights into student outcomes.

  • Student mobile app

A new mobile app will let students upload handwritten work right from their phone. Students will be able to snap a photo of their work and upload it directly to their assignment within Gradescope. This will enable students to upload their assignments with the device they already have in their hand.

Developing fair, unbiased, and informative assessments for your students is one of the most important things you can do as an instructor to support student learning. Gradescope is dedicated to making that process easier, faster, and better for instructors.