What is GradeSpark?
GradeSpark is an online tool for students which is designed to mimic the online gradebooks that many schools have. Those gradebooks are a great way for keeping track of grades from anywhere; the problem is that they are controlled by the teachers. Therefore, students are stuck waiting for teachers to enter in assignment to see how it will affect their class grade. Also, students cannot experiment with how different assignment grades will affect their current mark in the class. GradeSpark is a solution to all of this, by providing a personal, private gradebook that the student has complete control over. Students can calculate their current grade to the one hundredth of a percent, and can experiment by putting in different assignment grades in to see what affect they will have. In short, GradeSpark gives the grading power that teachers have to the students.
How can GradeSpark help my grades?
GradeSpark is a tool that allows for a student to gain insight into their grade, and how it can be affected by other assignments. For example, a student can use GradeSpark to see what score they need to get on a test in order to raise their grade to an A. This helps the student learn how much they need to work in order to achieve their goal.
What can I use GradeSpark for?
GradeSpark has several potential uses, the first of which is seeing your grade at a more precise level. Many school gradebooks only report class marks to a rounded whole number, but GradeSpark displays all class grades to the one hundredth of a percent. This allows for a more accurate measurement when planning goals for the class. As mentioned above, GradeSpark can also be used to experiment with grades. For example, if a student feels that they did bad on a test, they can enter in an assignment with a score that they feel they got. Now, the student can have an idea of how their performance will affect their grade- before the teacher even got to grade it. Likewise, the student can do the same thing if they feel they did well on a test or other assignment. GradeSpark can also be used to stay one step ahead of the teacher's grading. Often times, teachers hand back assignments that have been graded, but do not enter the grade into the school's online gradebook. This leaves the student wondering how their grade will change. GradeSpark lets the student plug in a grade that they already know but the teacher hasn't put in the online gradebook. Now, the student is already one step ahead of the school's gradebook.
Why can't I just calculate my grades myself?
One of the main reasons GradeSpark was developed was because we discovered that many students who thought they knew how to calculate their grades were actually doing it incorrectly. While calculating grades is simple when all assignment categories are filled, most students do not know the proper formula when aggregating empty categories. This is especially a problem when certain categories, such as the category for Final Exams, do not have a value until the end of the year. Because of this, many students calculated incorrect grades throughout the entire semester. For this reason, we developed GradeSpark as an accurate calculator requiring zero math on the student's behalf, leaving no room for error. We are also asked how GradeSpark is better than just a normal calculator. First, using a calculator requires students to know the correct formula (it's not as simple as you think). Second, most calculators cannot store multiple class grades, allow for easy assignment score modification, have an intuitive user interface, or allow you to login from multiple devices. Therefore, you'll have to recalculate your grades from scratch for every class everytime you restart your calculator. GradeSpark provides a simple solution to all of this in one free, easy to use website.
Why don't I just use a different online calculator?
GradeSpark is unique from all other online calculators because it saves your data to your private account and requires no calculation on your behalf. Other online grade calculators require you to know the individual percent values for every single assignment, which is hard to calculate, and also tedious when you have several assignments. This is where GradeSpark is unique: you only need to know your assignment categories and how much you earned on each assignment; we do everything else for you. Also, those websites won't save your data, meaning you have to reenter your data everytime you want to test out a new assignment grade.
Why can't I sign in with my Google account?
If you cannot sign in with your Google account, chances are that the browser you are using is outdated. If that is the case, you need to install the latest version of a popular browser, such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Opera.
Why aren't any of the GradeSpark features working for me?
The grade I calculated with GradeSpark and my actual grade are different.
If this is happens, double check all the numbers you plugged into GradeSpark, and also check if all the assignments are in the correct assignment categories. If you are sure you entered in everything correctly, there are three scenarios causing this problem: First of all, lets say GradeSpark calculated 94.65% for your class grade, but you have a 95% in the class. This is due to the fact that most school gradebooks automatically round up from the tenths place. Therefore, GradeSpark isn't showing an incorrect grade; it's showing a more precise grade. However, if the grade you calculated with GradeSpark is completely different (by the difference of multiple points) than your actual grade, it could either be because your teacher manually bumped your grade (which cannot be calculated by us), or your teacher uses a completely different grading system. If your teacher uses a different grading system, please report it to us at GradeSpark@gmail.com. We are looking to help all students calculate their grade, so we need your help to include calculation support for multiple grading systems.
How do I sign in to GradeSpark?
Signing in to GradeSpark is as simple as signing in to your email. Simply click on the "Sign in with Google" button on the homepage, type in your Gmail address, and type in your Gmail password. When you are successfully signed in, you should be able to see your Gmail address in the top right corner of the page. Unfortunately, you will need a Gmail in order to be eligible to use GradeSpark. We use Google Sign In to keep your account secure. Your password and username are secured by Google, and we don't get to see your password when you Sign In. This keeps your information and account safe. In addition, we keep our members' emails confidential, and never share them with anyone else.
How do I add a class?
To add a class in GradeSpark, simply sign in and navigate to the "Your Classes" page by either clicking on your username in the top right corner, or the "Your Classes" button in the top left corner. From there, click the long green button with the words "+Add Class" to open the "Create a New Class" box. Now, enter in the name of the class, the class instructor, and the assignment categories and their corresponding percent values. All this information is typically available on your school's online gradebook, or given by the teacher on the syllabus. After this, click the green "Submit" button and your class will be successfully created. You should now see the class in the "Your Classes" page.
How do I edit or delete a class?
To edit or delete a class, sign in and navigate to the "Your Classes" page by either clicking on your username in the top right corner, or the "Your Classes" button in the top left corner. You should now see all the classes you have created. Click on the name of the class you would like to edit or delete. You will be brought to the class assignments page. Once here, click the long green button with the words "Edit Class" to open the "Edit Class" box. To edit the class, simply make the changes you want in the textboxes and click the "Save Changes" button. To delete the class altogether, click the red "Delete Class" button. Be careful when deleting a class, because once it is deleted, it cannot be recovered. Keep in mind that deleting a class also permanently deletes all the assignments it contains.
What if my class doesn't have any assignment categories?
Some classes don't utilize assignment categories in their grading. While this is generally rare, GradeSpark has an easy solution for this problem. To create a class with no assignment categories, keep only one category and give it a weight of 100%. This way, all assignments in the class get added to one category that is worth 100% of the grade, which is the mathematical equivalent to having no assignment categories (an equal average versus a weighted average).
How do I add an assignment?
To add an assignment, navigate to the class you wish to add an assignment to (you can navigate to this class by signing in and either clicking on your username in the top right corner or the "Your Classes" button in the top left corner, and then clicking on the name of the class). Then, click the long green button with the words "+Create Assignment" to open the "Create New Assignment" box. Now, type in the name of the assignment, select the assignment category, the date it was graded, and the amount of points earned on the assignment and the amount of points available. If you omit the date of an assignment, GradeSpark will automatically put in today's date. If you omit the amount of points earned or points available, GradeSpark will automatically put in a 0 for the omitted field. After you type in all the information, hit the green "Create Assignment" button. You should now see your new assignment in the class Assignments table.
I have a ton of assignments, and I don't want to enter all of them into GradeSpark
Certain classes will have a fairly large amount of assignments, which is why we recommend using GradeSpark from the beginning of the semester. That way, you don't have to enter in all your past assignments if you kept up with them. However, if you just joined us, there's no worries. A simple shortcut to entering in tons of assignments is to enter in the point values for your assignment categories in a class. Many school gradebooks already provide this information. For example, let's say you have a Homework category, and you earned a total of 200 points out of 225 points (if this type of information is not provided by your school, you can calculate it by adding the Points Earned of all assignments in a category and adding the Points Available of all assignments in a category). Then, create a new assignment called "Homework" and put it in your Homework category. Finally, type in a score of 200 out of 225 points. Repeat this with all your other categories. GradeSpark will treat the entire category as a single assignment, which can save you tons of time by significantly cutting down the amount of assignments you need to enter in. Now, you can just add any upcoming assignments to a category as you normally would, and the total grade in the class will still be accurate. If you do not understand, click this link for more information and a video tutorial.
What if I have a single assignment that's worth a percentage of my grade?
Many big assignments, such as Final Presentations, Final Exams, Term Papers, etc., have defined percentage values by the teacher. These assignments require their own individual category. For example, let's say you have a Final Exam worth 10% of your grade. When creating a new class, simply create a category called "Final Exam" and give it a weight of 10%. When entering a grade for your Final Exam, create a new assignment in the class, name it "Final Exam," place it in the "Final Exam" category you created, and enter in your score. GradeSpark will calculate your new class grade for you. If your final has multiple parts, just add those parts to the Final Exam category.
How do I add an extra credit assignment?
To add an extra credit assignment, simply follow the steps for adding a new assignment. Some extra credit assignments are just like other assignments; if that is the case, follow the necessary steps above. However, some assignments are nothing but additional points towards an assignment category; in other words, they have a quantity of points earned, but there are no points available. If this is the case, simply type in the amount of points earned on the assignment, and leave a zero in the points available. When the assignment is created, GradeSpark will identify it as "Extra Credit" in the score column of the Assignments table.
How do I edit or delete an assignment?
To edit or delete an assignment, navigate to the class containing the desired assignment. Once you're in the class, scroll down into the Assignments table and find the assignment you wish to edit or delete. Click on the name of the assignment to open the "Edit Assignment" box. If you wish to edit the assignment, make the changes you want and save them by clicking the green "Save Changes" button. To delete the assignment, click the red "Delete Assignment" button. Just like with classes, once an assignment is deleted, it cannot be recovered.
How do I delete my GradeSpark account?
As of now, there is no way to delete your account because your account is held through a third party service (Google sign in). However, you can clear all the data on your account. To do this, simply delete all the classes in your account by following the steps for deleting a class above.
How can I contact GradeSpark?
If you have a question that is not answered here, a suggestion, complaint, or story you'd like to share with us, feel free to contact us at GradeSpark@gmail.com. You can also do this by clicking the Contact Us link in the top menu or footer, and then clicking the "Email Us" button.