Veracross offers several approaches for configuring and managing qualitative grades. Schools can choose to set them up in Axiom using the specific qualitative grading component records or use the Qualitative Configuration Tool. It is also possible to use a combination of both Axiom and the Configuration Tool, depending on school’s preferences.
It is important to understand the hierarchical organization of Qualitative Grades in Veracross. Read more about this in the Qualitative Grading Overview article. The basic hierarchical organization of Qualitative Grades is:
- Rubric Category (e.g., Kindergarten Math)
- Rubrics (e.g., Kindergarten Math – Counting), including rubric comments
- Rubric Criteria: (e.g., can count to ten, participation), including Rubric Scale (e.g., Satisfied, Good, Very Good, or numeric)
Regardless of the configuration method chosen, rubric scales should be configured first because this must be done in Axiom.
Rubric Scales are configured using Axiom. Hover over the “Add” button on the System Homepage and select “Rubric Scales.”
- Add a Description of the Scale.
- Add an Abbreviation for the Proficiency Levels. Teachers will see the abbreviations when they begin to enter the proficiency levels. These abbreviations can also be used on the Report Card document, depending upon the school.
- Add a Description of each Proficiency Level. Teachers will see the description of the levels when they hover over the criteria when grading in the Teacher Portal. These descriptions can also be used on the Report Card document.
- Some schools have numeric values that they assign to rubric criteria so that they can add up the grades received and provide the student with a total for all of the rubric criteria. For example, the scale may be Satisfactory, Good, Very Good, Excellent and the equivalent numeric values may be 1, 2, 3, 4. If the student receives a grade of Satisfactory then they receive a numeric value of 1, if the student receives a grade of Good then they receive a numeric value of 2, and so on.
- Schools can add notes for each Proficiency Level as well as overall notes for the Rubric Scale. These Notes fields are for internal use only.
- Schools can determine the order in which the Proficiency Levels will appear on the Teacher Portal dropdown using the Sort Key column.
Qualitative Configuration Tool
Schools are able to use the Qualitative Configuration Tool to easily configure Rubric Categories, Rubrics, and Rubric Criteria. Access the Qualitative Configuration Tool on the System homepage under “Qualitative Grading” and log in when prompted (administrative access required).
Adding a Rubric Category
- To add a Rubric Category, select the “Create Category” button at the top of the page. The newly created category will appear at the bottom of the list. Categories can be reordered easily by dragging and dropping the category bar to wherever it should appear within the list.
Note: Reordering by dragging and dropping also applies to rubric and criteria as well. The order they appear in the Qualitative Configuration tool determines the order they appear on the report card and in the Teacher Portal for grade entry.
- Select the Edit Icon within the category bar to set up the category.
- Description: name of the rubric category
- Report Card description: enter an alternative name for the rubric category that will appear only on the report card. This should be used if schools would like a category description to be different for parents. For example, the Description might be Kindergarten Math, but the Report Card Description might simply be Math.
Adding a Rubric
- To add a Rubric, select the button “Create Rubric” button in the rubric category bar.
- Select the Edit Icon within the newly added Rubric bar to configure the following information:
- Belongs to Category: the rubric category to which this rubric is assigned. This should already be preselected because the rubric is being configured within an existing category.
- Description: name of the rubric.
- Report Card Description: name of the rubric as it will appear on the report card if it should be different than the description.
- Comment: select the “Use Rubric for Comments” if teachers should be allowed to enter comments in addition to the rubric criteria.
Adding Criteria and Scale
- To add a Rubric Criteria, select the “Create Criteria” button in the rubric bar.
- Select the Edit Icon within the newly added rubric criteria bar to configure the following information:
- Belongs to Rubric: the rubric to which the rubric criteria will be used to grade. This should already be preselected because the criteria is being configured within an existing rubric.
- Description: name of the criteria.
- Report Card Description: name of the criteria as it will appear on the report card if it should be different than the description.
- Criteria Scale: use the dropdown menu to select from the list of available rubric scales (see directions above for adding scales) that will be used to evaluate the rubric criteria.
Attaching Criteria to Courses
Rubric Criteria are attached at the course level. This means that when a criterion is attached to a course, all classes within that course will be graded using it. Ensure classes are setup properly within courses before assigning criteria.
To attach rubric criteria to the course and ultimately the class, use the “Courses” button on the Rubric bar. Before courses are attached to the rubric, a “0” (zero) will display next to the “Courses” button indicating no courses have been assigned. Once a course has been assigned this number will change to reflect how many courses are attached to that rubric.
- Select the “Courses” button in the Rubric bar. A window will appear that displays all courses available in the system. Use the “All Schools” dropdown to filter the list of courses by school level.
- Select the desired course and click the “Add a Course” button.
- Select “Save” when all courses have been added.
Now all rubric criteria under this rubric will be applied to the classes within the associated course.
Applying Rubrics to Grading Periods
The last and final step is to indicate the grading periods to which the rubric applies. For example, if a class only meets for one semester, the grading period should be set to that specific semester in order for the right qualitative grades to be created for the correct grading period. To set the appropriate grading period per rubric, go to the “Courses” section at the top of the Qualitative Configuration Tool, which displays a list of all courses and classes with their assigned criteria. Filtering options such as school level, grading method, and more are available at the top of the Course page to help narrow down the list.
To indicate which grading period to use for the rubric, click on the desired course name. Use the dropdown menu at the top to select the desired grading period group. Indicate which grading period to which the rubric criteria will apply by selecting the checkbox under that grading period. This creates grade records for each student enrolled in the class. For example, if a rubric should be used for grading across all grading periods, than every box under that course should be selected.
Disassociating Rubrics from Courses
Any change to Rubric Criteria, Rubrics, and Rubric Categories, (e.g., changing the description or order) will affect historical report cards. However, rubrics can be disassociated from courses and marked as obsolete without affecting previous years’ report cards.
To do this, start from the Rubric Categories query on the System Homepage. Pull the “Obsolete” field into the query, run the query, and batch update all categories that should be marked as obsolete. This will ensure that historical report cards do not change. Then, create new rubrics and criteria. New grade records will get created for students in the overnight process (or you can expedite this by running the “Create Missing Grade Records”). However, if old criteria exist on a student’s record, they will need to be manually deleted by going to the the “Qualitative” tab of the student’s class enrollment record and removing criteria, in which case note that you must disassociate a rubric with the course before deleting old criteria from the student’s record, or the system will put the criteria back.
Qualitative Configuration in Axiom
Qualitative grading configuration can also be setup directly in Axiom. Use the “+ Add” button on the System homepage to select either the rubric category, rubric list, rubric criteria, or rubric scale link depending on what element of qualitative grading is being configured. This will open a new record from which you can add the new category, rubric, criteria, etc. It is recommended that each component of qualitative grading be added in order of the organizational hierarchy: rubric categories, rubrics, criteria, and scales. From each record an input grid will be available to add the next layer down on the hierarchy.
Note that for each option, both a Description and and a Report Card Description can be entered. It is highly recommended to add both. The Description is the internal name for the category or rubric and the Report Card Description is usually a shorter version of the name that will only appear on the report card document. Learn more about best practices in naming for Qualitative Grading Configuration.
Adding Criteria to a Course
Rubric criteria are added at the course level. To add criteria to a course, start by finding the course by using the “Course List” link on the System homepage. From the Course record, select the “Qualitative Grading” tab.
- Click on the green “Add Record” button at the top of the input grid.
- Search for the desired Criteria by selecting the magnifying glass in the Rubric Criteria row. This opens an Advanced Search Query from which criteria can be found and added.
- Use the search filtering options on the left to narrow down the list of available criteria (displayed on the right). Filter by rubric category, rubric, or search for a specific criteria name using the “Description” field and the run the query.
- Select the checkbox next to the criteria.
- The criteria will now appear populated in the Rubric Criteria row in the input grid. Select the “Update” button at the top of the page to update the record. The remaining fields such as Category, Rubric, Scale, etc. will populate automatically based on the qualitative grading configuration that has already been set up.