Emma K' 18

What’s The Deal With Engrade?

In BSGE, Engrade is an essential part to a student’s day whether it’s constantly checking for test grades or homework. Engrade was established by a high school student in 2003, and over the years has grown to more than 4.5 million users across the world. This really demonstrates how essential online grading really is in this day and age. Many of us see the use of it while others find that it causes a lot of stress.

More recently, teachers have taken percentages off of the scores shown on engrade in order to reduce this stress while still being informative. For a lot of students, this only seems to be more frustrating. Percentages were a way to monitor exactly where they were in a grade percentile, although a simple solution is going to the teacher and asking for a grade summary.

When asking some students about their experiences and opinions on online grading, mixed reviews were received. “It’s only good for when your grades are rising, but if you get one or two bad grades on tests you see it plummet and this puts a lot  of pressure on students” said an anonymous 9th grader, showing the real pressure it has on students. Others students favor Engrade such as Nadja M. ’18 who said “I really like that I don’t have to copy my homework for some classes because it is waiting on Engrade for me.”

Teachers seem to have a very similar perspective on this technology. When asking Ms.Lambrini, an active Engrade user, she responded: “The only online grade-book that I have used is Engrade. Besides posting grades, I use it to post homework assignments, write comments, record attendance and communicate with students and parents. From a teacher’s point of view and according to my experiences using engrade at BSGE, I like the fact that it is “green” as I use less paper for homework assignments.” She continued, “Moreover, I can send to my students other resources (such as videos and interactives) related to the topics that we study to further enhance their understanding and/or review if they have been absent”.

Engrade is also quite beneficiary due to its organization and accuracy, since the only source of error may be an incorrect grade being inputted. This small margin of error helps ensure that all information is accurate for students as Ms. Lambrini explains, “All information is nicely organized and it allows me to see patterns in students’ reports and track their progress… Averages are calculated automatically which saves me a lot of time and I do not have to worry about errors.”

Many parents have also taken a liking to Engrade because it allows them to monitor and be aware of their child’s grades. “Besides the student account, parents and/or guardians can create an account to keep track of their child’s homework assignments, tests, grades and messages. That type of monitoring can be beneficial for some students,” explains Ms.Lambrini. She added, “On the other hand, sometimes students and parents demand to know the grades shortly after an assessment is given. For some students, monitoring their grade can make them work harder to achieve their goals, where others get stressed about grades. In the worst case scenario, they might give up.” Although Engrade may place a lot of stress on student, it is sometimes better to be informed of a child’s progress in a class and know how to improve it rather than to be shocked when report cards come in, and it is too late to make changes.

BSGE’s Engrade expert, Ms.Lambrini, concluded: “Overall, using an online grade-book has its benefits and frustrations. Personally, I tend to put more focus on the benefits and deal with the frustrations. It is a challenge, but I like challenges….sometimes.”

While Engrade may have its challenges, it does help both students and teachers to connect and improve their ways of communicating and learning together. Despite the problems that this may pose, it seems as though this technology is here to stay and will improve as time goes on.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher