Marks now available online

By in News


ASHLEIGH MATTERN
Editor-in-Chief

 
    Finding grades online just got a little easier for University of Saskatchewan students.

    Both PAWS and the iUSask application for the iPod Touch and iPhone have been updated with new features displaying grades.

    In PAWS, the new feature can be found under My Grades and Transcripts in the Academics tab. The iUSask app already had a feature called Grade Book, but it previously only showed grades for computer science classes.

    “Every class on campus is supported and for final grades, all final grades will show up,” said computer science instructor Chad Jones.

    Teachers enter student information and grades into a specially designed website, which then sends the students’ grades to both PAWS and iUSask. Potentially, students could see their marks online for all quizzes, assignments, labs and midterms. The only hitch is that it’s up to the instructor to enter the information into the My Marks website.

    “We want to make it as simple as possible,” said Jones. “I know it’s a little extra work for professors and they don’t like that, but I think it’s good for everyone.”

    Jones says they are partially relying on students to put pressure on instructors to deliver their grades this way. Professors who are already using PAWS tools like Blackboard won’t have to do any extra work.

    While the iUSask update won’t take place until later this week, the PAWS feature has been up and running since Feb. 19. Amanda Mackenzie, project manager with the U of S Information Technology Services, says since then, 34 instructors have used the service, posting marks for 80 assessments. 

    “So far people have been positive about it,” she said. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

    Previously to check marks on PAWS, students had to open the unofficial transcript and scroll to the bottom to see current grades. Now current grades and the previous term’s grades are posted in the same section as the unofficial transcript for quicker access.

Other benefits Mackenzie pointed out include getting marks to students quickly, and the extra privacy it affords compared to posting grades on a door.

    ITS and the iUSask team have been working on the project since August, and they are already looking at ways to improve the update. They hope to add a feature that will notify the student when new grades are posted, on PAWS with a message or in the iUSask app with a special ring.

    “It’s a first step,” said Mackenzie. “We’re continuously improving it.”

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top photo: Mark Ferguson