Important New Echo Feature: Grading Periods

Echo is about to release a significant upgrade to the way terms and grading periods are handled.  Currently, terms and grading periods are defined at the course level only.  On November 30th, Echo Admins will be able to define terms and grading periods at the domain level which can be inherited by courses.  

YOU DON'T NEED TO DO ANYTHING NOW
In the coming weeks, NTN will update our documentation and provide specific information on how to best help your staff successfully use the new grading periods feature.   Although the update will roll out next week, users won't see a difference until an Echo Administrator configures the domain to use the new feature.  It will be important to work with the staff on an implementation plan before configuring the domain.  Echo Administrators will be sent information and resources to help insure a smooth transition.

Here is a sneak preview of the upcoming changes:

 

New settings on the “Course Options” tab for Echo Admins

After November 30th, a new section will be available on the “Courses Options” tab.  This new section will allow schools to:  

  • Define the school year / term
  • Define the grading periods
  • Set the current grading period as the default for all views
  • Set the course card to display just the current grade or to display both the current grade and the weighted final grade (only available for courses using weighted grading periods)

A traditional school year with a Fall, Spring and Summer session might be configured like this:

A school that weights grading periods to calculate the final course grade might look like this (note: the grading period weighting is defined at the course level):

Inherited Values During Course Creation

Once the grading periods are set in the domain, teachers can now select to use them in their courses.  When creating a new course, the current school-year, start date and end date will be auto populated.  If properly used, all courses will now have consistant values for school year and grading periods.

New Filter on Course Pages

Once the grading periods are defined in the domain and teachers have used them in their couse, a new menu will appear at the top of many course pages allowing teachers and students to filter the course by grading period.  The default grading period (set in the Admin App) will always be applied when the page is opened.

Next Steps

As stated at the top, you don't need to do anything right now.  In the coming weeks, NTN will update our documentation and provide specific information on how to best help your staff transition to the new grading periods.  Stay tuned!

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