Online Markbooks module
Straightforward, powerful, online markbooks for continuous tracking and formative assessement
GO 4 Schools takes a fundamentally different – and better - approach to tracking: we make it genuinely easy for you to collect 'signpost',
subject-specific assessment data from the classroom and we show you meaningful, real-time statistics based on the very latest data available.
And of course, because GO 4 Schools is a web site, you can do all of this 24/7 no matter where you are.
Why collect classroom assessment data instead of just summative grades?
We do this because we've spoken to senior leaders, subject leaders and data managers who want to:
- Plan interventions based on today's data rather than summative grades collected at the last reporting cycle – these can be weeks, or even months old and very 'stale'.
- Identify students that need help and where they need help. Our online markbooks can provide a level of detail that summative grades can never do.
- Allow students to be more engaged in their education by seeing subject-specific marks online, e.g. for coursework, projects, modules etc. and see formative assessment comments to support how to improve.
Why use GO 4 Schools to collect classroom assessment data?
We know many schools that have tried to use Excel to supplement the summative grades in their MIS with classroom data.
They quickly run into problems with the sheer number of spreadsheets, 'broken' calculations and colour coding, out of date class lists,
and the lack of any real way to see what is happening across a student's curriculum.
GO 4 Schools removes these problems entirely.
Key features and benefits:
- Markbooks are really easy to set up, taking just minutes in most cases, with no need to be an expert in Excel or your school's MIS. In fact, markbooks are so easy to set up that subject leaders can have ownership of them. They determine what makes sense for their subject, their particular scheme of learning and their exam courses and GO 4 Schools works out each student's summative grade as assessments are recorded.
- Online markbooks can be used to record grades, marks and short notes and you can use checkboxes to record the completion of work. The flexibility makes them great for tracking mid-unit and end-of-unit tests, coursework, homework, progress on personalised learning checklists etc. etc. Or you can just use them to collect a summative grade every half term. It is up to you.
- Once set up, it is also easy to adjust markbooks by adding, removing, renaming and changing the weightings of the assessments etc.
- Markbooks apply to all groups taking a subject so they bring consistent recording of assessments between groups and allow like-for-like comparisons.
- The class lists are automatically updated from your MIS every night. There is no problem when a student changes group – their marks follow them automatically.
- The markbooks are available to teachers online, 24/7, from school or home.
- Online markbooks bring transparency. If a teacher is absent, you still have access to their marks and if a new teacher takes over a group they can see where the students are from the outset.
- Markbooks can be re-used, year after year. You can even copy a markbook, plus all of the marks if you want, between academic years and build up a 2-year portfolio of marks for students. This is great for GCSEs and vocational courses.
- The calculations and traffic-light colour coding in GO 4 Schools online markbooks can't be accidentally 'broken' by teachers when they are entering marks.
- Summative grades calculated by GO 4 Schools markbooks feed straight into school statistics, giving all staff an up-to-the-minute view of each student, group, subject, department and year group.
- Our markbooks provide immediate access to additional information about students in a group such as SEN, G&T, FSM, language and ethnicity, as well as the grades they have earned in previous academic years and at reporting cycles within the current academic year.
- If you use GO 4 Schools for producing progress reports, summative grades calculated by markbooks feed straight into these, so there is no need to copy marks between systems or 'guestimate' summative grades when report-writing time comes around.
- You can enter descriptive text for a subject to provide context for students and parents to help them understand the structure and assessment rules for each course.
- Pop-outs allow a wide range of student data to be instantly viewed by the classroom teacher to support effective planning and individualised learning. Pre-defined data includes: Progress reports, Core subject grades, Attendance, Behaviour, Documents, Demographic and SEN.
- The addition of formative assessments to markbooks enables a direct response from teachers to inform students about the next steps to improving their learning.
The GO 4 Schools Online Markbook module removes the need for Excel spreadsheets scattered all over the school. It puts subject leaders in control and allows the whole school to benefit from real-time, evidence-based statistics.
And for the more technical:
- You can use markbooks to collect marks or grades/sublevels and you can control how assessments are combined, right down to controlling the weighting for each assessment if you need to.
- There is no limit to the number of marksheets you can have within a markbook or the number of assessments within a marksheet.
- You can set 'due dates' on assessments so that overdue marks are flagged to teachers.
- You can adjust grade boundaries for the course as a whole and for each marksheet and individual assessment if you need to.
- You can have zero-weighted marksheets to track things like homework. The marks collected are recorded, but are not used when calculating a summative grade.
- Each markbook is linked to a specific qualification, so GO 4 Schools knows what grades or sublevels are available, GCSE-equivalences, APS/SCAAT points etc.
- Special BTEC, OCR National and NVQ markbooks make tracking vocational subjects a breeze.
GO 4 Schools enables teachers to instantly view any aspect of student data within their markbook so they can plan effective lessons and individualise learning for students.
Predefined 'Pop-outs' give immediate access to key information that support teaching strategies and methods.
If our predefined sets do not hold the information a teacher requires, they can choose their own data column sets to see in their markbook, or the school manager can set up sets to match school priorities i.e. intervention groups, CAT scores, etc. Thus unlocking the rich data resource often held by schools that can be visible for all staff.
Tracking student progress through assessment recording is made easy in online markbooks, but with the additional function of adding formative feedback to a specific mark GO 4 Schools maximises your students' potential to succeed:
- Students and parents can view formative feedback
- Show specific strengths and targets for improvement
- Link assessment feedback to skills or specific curriculum content
- See the most recent and relevant subject specific feedback
Headline grades such as target and current grade can be supplemented with a 'Residual indicator' (e.g. on target, ahead of target, etc.) which is used by many schools in a life-without-levels context at KS3.
Residuals can be displayed as labels such as on, above or below target and these groups tracked to support intervention planning. These labels can also be used in Progress reports to parents, to support communicating more complex school based grading schemes more effectively. You also have the option to display residual values for fine grade tracking key groups to analyse changes in residuals over time.
GO 4 Schools is supplied as a managed service, charged annually. The annual price depends on the size of your school and the modules you select.
You can read more about pricing on our Pricing page, or contact us using the GO 4 Schools enquiry form.
Links to other GO 4 Schools modules
The Online Markbooks module provides real-time assessment information to other GO 4 Schools modules. Information entered into online markbooks: