Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GradeCam: Data Collection & Analysis

A FREE data collection and analysis tool for any content area.

As everyone knows, data collection and analysis is an essential and growing portion of teacher responsibilites.  Unfortunately for me, as a music teacher, finding effective ways to collect useful and trackable data has been a continuing struggle.

I have managed to create my own assessments based on the content I teach in each unit.  My assessments usually include a written multiple choice portion (music theory and history), a music composition portion (written applications) and a performance portion (application of theory, content and techniques).  I grade the first portion using a bubble-form submitted to the office, and the other portions using rubrics based in the elements being evaluated.

Until now, I did not have a tool to effectively track all of this data in one place.  Grade cam is an amazing tool that allows me to create unique assessment forms.  Most importantly, the online program makes data collection (scanning) and analysis extremely simple.  The best part is IT'S FREE!!!...

Here's how it works:

1.  Create your classes.

In Gradecam, this is extremely easy, and all that you need is the students' Names and Student ID numbers.  This allows you to create and print individualized bubble-sheets later on (so you don't have kids wasting time because they don't remember their ID numbers).

I did mine very quickly uploading a CSV (comma separated value) file, which is usually avaialable from any online grade-book roster, or you may generate in any spreadsheet program such as Excel or Numbers.

2.  Create your assessment.

You can take your assessment from Acutiy, use a previous state exam, or create your own completely original assessment.

3.  Create your Key.
Based on your assessment, you create a key on Gradecam.com.  You simply give the assessment a title and get started.  Gradecam allows you to adjust the point values for each question and even create more than one version of the same exam.  Best of all, it allows you to use a rubric for a question (which allowed me to track all parts of my test on the same scantron).

For a rubric based question, the bubble sheet will simply have 1-5 bubbles (letters like the others) and you give the question a point value.  For example, if you make the question worth 5, bubble "A" will be worth 1 point, "B" worth 2 and so on.  As an extension of this, for rubrics with multiple elements, you simply add an additional question for each element, which will allow you to track them independently.

Finally, Gradecam allows you to apply standards to each question, which is extremely helpful in data analysis and shaping instruction moving forward.  Although the standards don't currently include the arts (sadface), almost every core subject is represented, including the Common Core Standards.

Example Scan Key:

Example Student Bubble Sheet:

4.  Give your assessment

Have your students complete the assessment.  To save money, you can even laminate the forms, fill in the student number manually and re-use the form for the same task (this may also be useful for clinics/individualized/small group work)

5.  Scan the assessments.

This part is so much fun.  You can scan them yourself or have the students scan them.  All you do is hold the bubble form in front of your webcam, and the data is collected.  The best part (which the kids LOVE) is that they know how they did immediately after taking the assessment.

Example of Document scanning (in the box on the upper right):
You can check a list of compatible cameras by clicking here.

6.  Explore your data

As soon as you are finished scanning all of the assessments, Gradecam analyzes and organizes your data.  You can explore and track classes, standards, individual students.  You can also make comparisons between all classes, looking at larger trends.  For administrators, there is an option to use the program for the whole school or district (paid functions).  This allows data tracking on a larger scale.
Sample of individual question data:

Sample of Aggregate Student Performance:

Sample of question Analysis Across Selected Students (for identifying trends in populations): 

Sample of Comparison Data between Separate Classes (Again for identifying common trends).  This can be expanded across grades, contents, and even entire schools:

Finally, there is an option to allow students (or parents) to log in from home and follow their own data.

Overall, this program is really amazing for all kinds of assessments from informal quizzes to large-scale standards based assessments including multiple choice and/or rubric based elements.

Once you have completed all of your data collection, you are also able to share with other teachers, professionals or administrators.  This allows for collaboration and cooperation across a content, grade, school or district.

Sign Up for Gradecam HERE

Share your experiences and advice with me, I would love to hear how this or other programs have worked for you.

For more information on arts integration or to contact me directly, follow the little bull.


  1. WOW - this looks amazing! I'm a virtual teacher k-5. I'm very interested in this -but am wondering how I would make these assessments available online and then how to enter the data in if they submit virtually. Since you've used the tool - do you see this working for me? I love the tracking data portion. Currently - I'm using edmodo to make assignments as exit tickets out of my live classes. Then - I grade them within the grade book in edmodo. Any suggestions on how I could make your tool work for me? Much appreciated - Mrs. T :)

  2. This looks great! It seems similar to Mastery Connect. How time consuming is it to set things up?

  3. Thanks for sharing this tool! I have already used it with two classes, and the kids thought it was fun. (And they juniors and seniors in high school!)

  4. ¡BUENISIMO! I will be researching more on this. Do you have a video or something more visual to see and understand?

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