Increase Your Grading Productivity: Assessment with Gradescope —
What is Gradescope?
Gradescope is an online grading platform available to all instructors at OU and is integrated with Canvas. Gradescope allows for faster grading and more consistent feedback to students, particularly in courses where the work is short answers or handwritten completion of problem sets.
You can create assignments within Gradescope for online delivery, use Gradescope templates for AI-assisted grading, or have students take pictures of their submissions [see how to use your existing paper exam] and upload them to Gradescope using the Gradescope Mobile App. Once graded, students see their feedback directly in Gradescope. There is no need to "return" things to students.
“As instructors, we are always having to choose between assignments or activities that are great for students but labor intensive and the reality of finite time. There are very few tools that both save time and provide a better experience for students. Gradescope is one of those tools. I grade faster, yes, and it makes coordinating with my TA team much easier, but with Gradescope I also grade more consistently, give more detailed feedback to students, and can better mentor my TAs about their grading practices so that they become better at assessment. It is win-win-win.” Dr. Keri Kornelson, Department of Mathematics
*Important Notice Regarding Scantron Exams*
OU’s scantron scanner (previously located in Carnegie Hall, Room 308) is decommissioned as of the 2022-2023 academic year. OU is among other universities that are utilizing other easier and more convenient technologies for grading, such as Gradescope. Here are additional resources to help you make the change from grading with a scantron scanner to Gradescope.
- Gradescope hosted a one-hour webinar on changing to Gradescope.
- To use Gradescope’s Bubblesheets, you’ll utilize a two-sided bulk scanner. UNC has a short two-minute video that demonstrates how to scan Gradescope’s Bubblesheets to a PDF for upload to Gradescope using a very common printer with scanning capabilities.
- UT-Austin has step-by-step instructions for what to do to create the Bubblesheet assignment, how to administer the exam, and how to manage the scans.
Gradescope is designed to make grading written student work more efficient. Here are a few of the key features.
- Gradescope's default for grading is to navigate through all the responses to one question, so you can grade Q1 for everyone, then move on to Q2, and so forth.
- The rubric for a graded item is adaptive, so changing the rubric will immediately and automatically apply the change to all previously graded problems.
- You can add comments directly on the students' scanned work, either via text box or, if you are using a tablet, via a writing tool.
- If you have a grader or team of TAs, you can all grade simultaneously, each from your own computer.
- Group work is also supported when students turn in work – they just match the names of the group members to the submission.
- Students access Gradescope directly from Canvas, so they don't need an account from a new place. Thousands of OU students already have experience with Gradescope.
- Students can use the new Gradescope Mobile App to upload handwritten assignments directly to Gradescope.
- Students see their feedback directly in Gradescope, so there is nothing to return to students.
- Grades are published and transferred to the Canvas gradebook with just a few keystrokes.
- Rubric items and comments can include LaTeX for mathematical symbols.
- Gradescope retains data on student performance on each question, and also on the use of each rubric item. This can be useful for assessment of the course or the particular assignment.
- Multiple choice or T/F questions are grouped automatically as well (only in quiz/exam mode).
- Timed assignments, with ability to give some students (e.g. ADRC students) extra time.
- You can create online assignments that students take directly in Gradescope. This is similar to the capability in Canvas, but you will be able to use LaTeX here.
- Gradescope also offers bubblesheet answer sheets for multiple choice exams, replacing the need for ScanTrons.
Gradescope is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 at Level A and Level AA. Details about accessibility and Gradescope are updated through their website and includes what this means for both the student view and the instructor view.
Gradescope is an embedded tool within Canvas. Follow instructions on Using Gradescope with Canvas as an Instructor to learn how to create an account, link Gradescope to your courses, sync your roster, creating and linking your assignments, as well as submitting and posting grades.
How Faculty Use Gradescope
We talked with five faculty who are Gradescope enthusiasts to hear why Gradescope is their program of choice for grading and how it helps them. We’ve also linked directly to Gradescope instructions at various points where you may be wondering how to utilize the faculty tips here. Click through our questions to hear their responses and start benefiting from Gradescope too!
· “I teach large (more than 150 students/semester), first-year classes. I started using Gradescope because it saves me and my teaching assistant’s time. In my class, it saves about 60% of the grading time. Instead of having to turn pages from one student’s paper to the next, you just hit Z. Common comments are kept in a repository for reuse, so you don’t have to enter the same comment multiple times for different students. [see giving feedback and reusing comments]” Dr. Deborah Trytten, School of Computer Science
· “I find Gradescope efficient, allows more consistency in grading, saves a huge amount of time, and gives very useful statistics on the % of students who made certain mistakes [see assignment and question statistics] (no more mistakes adding grades up and inputting grades into an excel file and then uploading it to Canvas; this used to take more than 2 hours of TA time, and some of my time double checking to make sure there were no mistakes).” Dr. Mashhad Fahs, Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering
· "Gradescope reduces my grading time by a factor of four. There is a bit of setup: scanning in tests, typing in a rubric (Gradescope accepts LaTeX equations!) [see rubric basics and LaTeX], etc. However, once all of that is in, grading is simply so much faster and easier. Gradescope auto pulls up the question from each student's test (no flipping pages), I can re-use comments, it's just clicking a radio button (or a keystroke) instead of writing, and Gradescope auto-tallies scores. I will never go back to carrying around a huge stack of exams to painfully grade in every spare moment of time (or worse - passing around a stack of exams between TAs and me). Multiple graders can grade a set of exams simultaneously in the Gradescope system. Once they are in the system, we can all access the exams just with our computer and an internet connection!” Dr. Jessica Ruyle, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
· “All graders can access to the student work when and where they wish to work. Also, the rubrics and point assignments can be changed as needed as grading proceeds and after reviewing the results. When grading is complete, students can immediately review the results, without having to pass back hundreds of tests, and can ask questions about their work directly through Gradescope.” Dr. Bruce Mason, Department of Physics and Astronomy
· “In a class of 48 students, Gradescope helped me to grade and provide feedback on exams in about one hour after the exam was finished! The feature of grouping by similarity saves a huge deal of time when grading large amounts of exams. Additionally, the exams are saved digitally for the students and the teacher for future use.” Dr. Sina Saneiyan, School of Geosciences
· “Student names and ID numbers are matched to the Canvas gradebook after the exam score is automatically (and correctly) calculated for one button uploads to Canvas [see auto-matching submissions to names].” Dr. Deborah Trytten, School of Computer Science
· “In addition to linking multiple Canvas courses to one Gradescope course, you can link multiple Gradescope courses to one Canvas page [see linking your courses]! This way, individual instructors can give section-specific assignment and still benefit from all the features Gradescope allows! Students can submit things at their convenience, and once items are graded and published, they have instant access to the grade and feedback. No need to wait until class next Tuesday to give students a chance to start applying review and revision strategies to Thursday’s homework! No more notebook paper fringe, missing staples, or nameless assignments! And clumsy people like me never have to worry about dropping a stack of exams!” Candace Andrews, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Department of Mathematics
· “Gradescope saves a digital copy of student responses to an exam. When I grade, I split up the different steps that receive points in a rubric and apply them as necessary, which in itself creates an answer key that all students can access. I can easily give out partial credit that remains consistent for student #3 and student # 55 and they can see where they missed points. With all of this information at hand, the students can also ask for a re-grade of a problem by noting their reasoning within a timeframe you choose. Gradescope’s system for re-grades and directs the grader to the digital copy of the original test answers, removing any possibility of students changing answers or adding content for this purpose. The grading results are all tabulated through Gradescope, which provides statistics for the professor that may be helpful in documenting student understanding for ABET accreditation.” Clara Smith, Lecturer, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and Associate Director, Research and Creative Activities, Center for Faculty Excellence
· “Students take the exam in person on paper. I import the exam template into Gradescope and import the scans of the student exams (instructor upload); you cut the stapled corners and scan all the exams at once, not one at a time [see managing scans]. The software automatically assigns each exam to the associated student. For other daily class assignments that students either solve in class (could be teams of two) or solve at home, they can solve it on any piece of paper and then take a picture with their phone and upload it into Gradescope (student upload) [see Gradescope Mobile App]. If it’s a team assignment then they can add the names of their teammates [see Adding Group Members]. The grading is also very easy and the students get immediate feedback once the grades are published. No more wasting time having to scan their submissions and email it to them or waste valuable class time passing the papers back to them (same for exams! Used to take 30 minutes to pass the tests in class…) and no more losing papers for those who don’t show up to class. Also for team assignments, they both see the submission and feedback online and they don’t have to rely on the other person passing it to them.” Dr. Mashhad Fahs, Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering
· “For the weekly discussions, one student from each group is responsible for scanning the work (easily done using any one of several phone apps), uploading the scanned work to Grade Scope, and listing the group members with the submission [see new Gradescope Mobile App]. This allows the student to keep the original work. It also means that stacks of paper solutions do not need to be passed from the students, to their discussion TA, to the grader, and back. The use of Grade Scope for tests provides similar advantages. On written tests, students submit their work on template pages with a place for names and student IDs [see the template PDF; and how to use your existing paper exam]. The pages are scanned to pdf files and uploaded. Gradescope does a great job of assigning work to the correct student using the templates.” Dr. Bruce Mason, Department of Physics and Astronomy
· “In one class last fall, I had 80 Gradescope assignments [see Assignment Types]. It was a flipped class where students watched a video and took a short quiz before class each day, using the online assignment feature. Next, during class, they worked mostly in groups and turned in their work to Gradescope using the homework setting with groups enabled. There were weekly homework sets that they turned in as well. The midterm exams and the final exam used the exam setting where I scanned in their pages for grading. I really appreciate all the different kinds of assessment Gradescope can manage. I never would have been able to do all this if I were grading by hand or using Canvas alone.” Dr. Keri Kornelson, Department of Mathematics
· “Gradescope makes it possible to do fine grained analysis of student errors. [see assignment and question statistics] You can tell how many students made a particular mistake quickly using an easily editable rubric [see modifying your rubric]. This helps me identify which misconceptions are prevalent and allows me to adjust my teaching using data instead of my guess at what the data might be. My guesses turned out to be surprisingly inaccurate.” Dr. Deborah Trytten, School of Computer Science
· “The grading proceeds one question at a time. You build the rubric as you go [see creating a rubric while grading] when you notice various mistakes if you are using negative grading (you have the option of positive grading) [see positive and negative scoring]. Say in the middle of grading you notice you are too lenient or too harsh with points, you can simply change the points in the rubric and it applies to all students [see adjusting points assignment-wide]. You can go to a specific rubric item for a mistake and see all the students who made that mistake and review whether you were consistent in the grading.” Dr. Mashhad Fahs, Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering
· “Grade disputes with Gradescope are so much easier. The students can submit a grade dispute through Gradescope [see regrade requests]. The person who graded the test gets notified (the TA or me) and the dispute is completely handled in writing in the system.” Dr. Jessica Ruyle, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
· “Without Gradescope, usually after grading 20 papers, a teacher usually gets tired and pays less attention to details and the grading scheme changes consequently. My strategy is usually to stop grading after a few papers and getting back to it the next day. However, with Gradescope, this is not needed anymore, because the AI based algorithm finds and groups the similar answers; therefore, the factor of tiredness in grading would be removed and all similar answers will receive the same attention to the details and thus same grade.” Dr. Sina Saneiyan, School of Geosciences
· “The way I do it is that the TA has the first go at grading (I would have provided them a solution and a grading key of how many points various types of mistakes are worth) then I go and revise the grades. In the past we could not do it simultaneously unless the TA and I are in the same room with all the exam papers but now the TA can be grading question 4 while I’m already reviewing question 1. No need to coordinate passing papers around and losing copies of the exams.“ Dr. Mashhad Fahs, Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering
· “I use Gradescope for the multi-section course I coordinate. We upload common assessments like quizzes and exams and share the grading. You can link multiple Canvas courses to the same Gradescope course so the entire population is in one place instead of instructors having to jump from section to section. Grading this way, we do not have to be in same room sharing physical copies of the assessments and we can grade when it is convenient for our individual schedules. Once we are done, we can all look over the different questions and have productive conversations about grading practices and we can see trends across the entire course instead of just one section! Since the rubric is so easy to edit, if we make any changes, they can be applied instantly across all the submissions at once!” Candace Andrews, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Department of Mathematics
· “The course TAs, grader, and I can then view and discuss the students’ work and create rubrics for grading. The grading process is then quick, with the grader selecting the rubrics and adding individual comments as needed. When grades are published, every group member to see the graded work.” Dr. Bruce Mason, Department of Physics and Astronomy
· “(1) You can zoom in and out on student work, so you can easily read the paper from the student with microscopic writing [see Zooming tools]. (2) Gradescope has the best interface and the best technical support. On the rare cases where there has been a problem, they own it. They once fixed a bug for me in 15 minutes after midnight, and apologized because it took so long. They take user suggestions very seriously. They have already implemented at least four of my suggestions for improvement. This is one of the reasons that their product continues to get better each semester—and I do mean better not more complicated.” Dr. Deborah Trytten, School of Computer Science
· “Gradescope helps the students to receive their grades electronically and see how they have performed in the class by providing exam statistics. This ultimately will be motivational for the students to improve their performance during the semester. This is helpful to the teacher as well!” Dr. Sina Saneiyan, School of Geosciences
· “ (1) Since students can turn in assignments at any time until the due date, I can make decisions that are in the best interest of the students without inconvenience or confusion on my part. For example, if students are asking productive questions about an assignment, I can extend a deadline an extra day to allow them to incorporate their new understanding in their work [see Release Date, Due Date, Late Due Date and also Extending assignment release dates, due dates, and time limits]. Also, a student can turn in assignments even if they cannot come to class, which is more equitable in my opinion. (2) Since Spring of 2020, I have thought a lot about what parts of the student experience are necessary and what parts are habit or tradition. I have started grading assignments with student growth in mind. They can turn something in, get feedback, reflect and revise, and then resubmit. In most cases, if the students are turning in homework or classwork multiple times, I do not keep a record of their previous submissions because the course policy is “last score” not “highest score.” For assessment assignments that are collected by me, like quizzes or exams, I do create separate assignments in Gradescope (e.g. Quiz 1, Quiz 1 Retakes) so that I can have records of multiple submissions. Multiple Gradescope assignments can be linked to the same Canvas assignment, so I push grades over from Quiz 1 and then any student who chooses to retake a quiz will have scores in the Quiz 1 Retakes assignment and it will overwrite when I sync them. Any student who does not choose to retake that quiz will not have their score changed because they do not have a submission in Quiz 1 Retakes! If I didn’t have Gradescope, collecting different assignments at different times would be an administrative nightmare. Now, a student can turn in an assignment and it is automatically organized: I don’t have to worry about losing it, or forgetting how I graded it before. It’s in the correct assignment and the rubric is still there. And we can repeat this cycle as many times as the *student* wants to.” Candace Andrews, Department of Mathematics