Grade & Comment Review Process

Overview

It is common practice at many schools to institute a review process for teachers’ grades and comments before they are published to progress reports or report cards. Grades and comments may be reviewed by many different people in the school, such as principals, peers (other teachers), or other staff and administrators. Veracross facilitates this process by providing a space for dialogue between the teacher and their reviewer(s) along with the ability for the reviewer to make edits directly to the grades/comments. Administrative Reviewers complete their reviews from the Grade & Comment Review homepage in Axiom, while Teacher Reviewers complete theirs from a dedicated Grade Review System Screen within the Teacher Portal.

This article outlines the review process, detailing the workflows for teachers, administrative reviewers and teacher reviewers.

Learn more about configuring Grade & Comment review.

Learn more about the various reports available to administrators of the Grade & Comment Review Process.

Teacher Portal (for the Teacher)

The review workflow is managed by teachers in the Reviews section at the bottom of the Grades & Comments tab for each class. This section displays review comments for each grading period. By default, it will be set to the Grading period marked as “Review Active.” Here, each teacher can see who is reviewing his/her grades and comments. Comments from each reviewer will appear below the reviewer’s name. All conversation between the teacher and reviewer will take place within the text box that is available in that reviewer’s section.

To initiate the review process, teachers enter their grades and comments on the Grades & Comments tab of the portal (the report card form) as usual. Then, teachers click the green  button at the bottom of the screen. This updates the status of the Review record to “Ready for Review”, which indicates to the reviewer that grades and comments have been completed by the teacher and are awaiting their editing and/or approval. In the Teacher Portal, the green button becomes  once clicked, allowing for teachers to retract grades/comments if they still need further editing by pressing the “Here” hyperlink. This reverts the grade review status from “Ready to Review” back to the original “Not Ready for Review.”

When a reviewer writes a message back to a teacher about potential changes that need to be made, the Review record status in Axiom updates to “Next Action: Teacher” and a flag will appear in the Teacher Portal next to the open review indicating it is the teacher’s turn to respond. The teacher will also receive a notification email alerting them that the review has been “handed back to them,” with a link back to the grades and comments tab. The teacher can then respond to the reviewer’s suggestions within that same box.

Any comments or changes made by the teacher in the comments box will change the review status to “Next Action: Reviewer” so the reviewer knows it is now their responsibility to follow-up. This may also trigger an email to the reviewer, if that e-mail is enabled for the reviewer in question.

This passing back and forth can (but hopefully won’t) continue indefinitely. When the reviewer is satisfied, at any point in the process, they can mark the review as complete. They may also lock the grade record from this screen if their review configuration allows it. Locking the record will keep the teacher from making changes to the grade or the comment after the review has been completed.

Grade Review Tab

Teachers can track their review progress for each class through the Grade Review tab of the class page. This tab displays a summary view of the reviews for each student so teachers can quickly see when further action is required by them. The “view reviews” button under each students’ name links back to the Grades & Comment tab for that student for quick access.

Teacher Portal (for the Reviewer)

Two platforms exist as options for Reviewer workflow. If some or all of a school’s reviewers are not Axiom users, then those reviewers should be set up to complete their reviews in the Teacher Portal. The Portal System Screen for Grade Review, where this workflow is managed, may be placed anywhere within the teacher portal.

Upon arrival at the Grade and Comment Review screen, reviewers will see a visualization of their personal Review pipeline. Depending on how the school assigns reviews, reviewers will want to choose one of the two visualization options: Teachers, which displays reviews organized by teachers and classes, or Students, which displays reviews organized by student.

Regardless of which visualization the reviewer chooses, there are  similar components on the screen to help them navigate the review process. A drop-down menu displays all Grading Periods, with the default option being the Grading Period marked “Grade Review Active”. Five columns dictate how many reviews are in each stage of the reviewing process. The columns that require reviewer attention (Ready for Review and Reviewer Action Required) are highlighted yellow and orange to more clearly draw the attention of the reviewer. The toggle between Dashboard and Review allows quick navigation between the main pipeline page and the actual reviews that the reviewer needs to complete.

Review tab

A reviewer may navigate to the review tab by clicking on the tab itself, by clicking on the class/student record, or by clicking on any number in the five Review Stages columns. Regardless of how the reviewer arrives, the Review Tab is the location where the actual grade and comment review process takes place. A drop-down menu in the upper left hand corner of the screen allows the reviewer to navigate between classes in the “Teachers” view or students in the “Students” view. The column on the left side of the page indicates the names of the students that have grades and comments designated to be reviewed by the reviewer. 

Axiom (for the Reviewer)

If some or all of the school’s reviewers are administrators, Axiom may be the better location for those reviewers to complete their reviews. If a reviewer is looking at thousands of grade and comment reviews, Axiom is far better equipped for managing that kind of workload. Everything a reviewer will need for their review process in Axiom is located on the Grade & Comment Review homepage.

My Reviews

The My Reviews section of the Grade & Comment Review homepage contains the workflow queries for the administrative (axiom-based) review.  The three main queries are displayed for both teacher-based and student-based review processes (review setups where the group of assignments are made by teacher or by student).

  • Assigned To Me: Displays all active grade reviews for which the user is currently responsible (in the status of Ready for Review or Reviewer Action Required). Since the query is designed as a URL preview, the user can actually complete their reviews directly from this query, as the same portal image detailed in the portals section above appears in the right half of the screen. The default URL preview screen is the embedded reviewer view of the report card form screen. In the top right corner, the reviewer can toggle the URL preview to display the academic report for the grading period in question. This gives the axiom reviewer the ability to quickly preview how the report card or progress report will look when published.
  • Review Summary: Displays a summary report of all students that the user has any responsibility for throughout the Grade & Comment review process, organized into columns based on the current stage of the review process for that particular student. This is the equivalent of the review dashboard tab of the Portal System Screen.
  • Active Reviews: Displays a list of every active review record for which the user is the reviewer, regardless of its status. The URL preview view of the query allows the user to view these reviews directly from the query.

There are two other queries provided for the Axiom based reviewer:

  • Curriculum Comments: This type of comment is not reviewable within the grade and comment review record because it is not attached directly to the students’ enrollment record. Instead, this query shows a list of curriculum comment records for the review active grading period, for whichever reviewers are responsible for these comments.
  • My Review Comment History: Displays every review comment that the user has made through the feature. This is intended as a quick way for a reviewer to look up historical review comments they have made for a specific student or teacher.

Multi-Tier Review

Some schools may have a multi-tier process, where after the first review is completed (maybe a peer reviewer), their needs to be a second review (maybe by an administrator). To facilitate this process, there is a section of links on the Grade Review Homepage titled 2nd-tier review. These queries are identical to the “My Reviews” queries above them, except that they are filtered to only display reviews for grades and comments for which another review has already been completed. 2nd-tier reviewers should use these queries, instead of the “My Reviews” queries, to complete their review process. This only works if all first-tier reviewers are diligent about marking their reviews as complete.

If a school has a third tier of review, the review manager will need to create queries for the third tier reviewer. To do this, navigate to the design screen of the “Assigned to Me” query from the 2nd-tier review section. Change the filter on the last field of the query (# of completed reviews) to 2 and save the modified query in the reviewer in question’s workspace.