Scholaric Goals for 2012

Lets Think Big...

Functionality Improvements
Course Sharing - Share an entire course between students, all new lessons are shared by default.

Repeated Lessons Editing - Edit the text and date range of a repeated lesson.

Lesson Resources - Books and other resources needed by a lesson.

Advanced Bumping - Bump multiple times, bump all courses, or override the schedule of the lessons.

Lesson Templates - More advanced repeating lesson formula patterns.

Sharing between users - Share your lessons with your friends, or publish them to be used by anybody.  Search for lessons and use for your students.

Lesson Formatting - Bold and italic, lists, hyperlinks, and more in your lesson description.

Transcripts - Enter course descriptions and credits, calculate grade point average

Help for New Users
Videos - explain concepts, demonstrate features using screencasts.

New Marketing Pages - Show more information, give testimonials, videos, integrate social media links.

Marketing and Usage Goals
Advertising - Reach 5000 Homeschoolers through homeschool conference advertising

Launch Affiliate program - Give existing users credit for bringing in new users.

1 Million Lessons - From 149,000 at the end of 2011

Achieve 500 Paying Users - Please tell your friends about Scholaric!

Scholaric Goal Results from 2011

2011 was a great year for Scholaric.  On a post nearly a year ago, I outlined my goals for 2011.  Here are the results.

1) An LLC operates Scholaric
Green.  I formed Positive Slope LLC as the company behind Scholaric.

2) Customers happily pay for the service
Green.  I added payment capability, and we launched for payment in April 2011.  Now I hear from customers how much they like Scholaric for their homeschool.

3) Redesign of
Red.  Still is ugly.
4) Potential customers engaged with product tour video and share with others
Red.  No video product tour.  Did one video and hated it.  Was a lot of work and I didn't like the finished product.  If you are interested though you can find it here.
5) New marketing page with better descriptions, video link, testimonials
Yellow.  Marketing page is still bad, but it is less bad than a year ago.  No video, no testimonials.
6) New users given hand's on training during trial period
Red.  This was intended to be training videos sent to you during your trial period.
7) Lessons easily planned for and shared between multiple students
Green.  Lesson sharing was the most requested feature and was added in August 2011.

8) A gradebook view of lessons
Green.  Gradebook now shows how your grade is calculated and how it changes over time.

9) Improved tracking of core hours, home hours, hours by subject
Green.  I added goal tracking, which also shows attendance.

10) Community is giving so much feedback, I have to work hard to read it all
Yellow.  I do get lots of feedback, many suggestions for improvement and some people just saying thanks.  Its all nice to hear, but I'm not yet overwhelmed by it.  Compared to a year ago, it has been a great improvement.  I now have a much better understanding of your needs.

11) Meet 100 homeschoolers by attending homeschool conferences as a vendor
Yellow.  I attended one homeschool conference, but met far less than 100 homeschoolers there.

In total, of 11 goals: 5 green, 3 yellow, 3 red.  I knew these were ambitious when I made them.  More important than goal statuses, when I got requests from users which I felt were important, I chose to take care of customers rather than meet my goals.

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2011 a great year.  Keep your eyes here to see my goals for 2012.

Happy Planning


New Release of Lesson Printouts

I've just released a change to lesson printouts that I hope you will like.

Originally, all lessons were printed out.  I then changed it to only print out incomplete lessons, at the request of a user.

Afterward, some new users asked to be able to print all lessons - they printed out after the week was complete, and used it as a log.  This meant extra work on their part, something Scholaric tries to take from you.

Today, printing all lessons is a single click away.  I've added an option at the top of the printout screen to include complete lessons.

When you click this option, the screen will be refreshed, and you will see all lessons for the user, complete and incomplete.  Complete lessons appear with their check box checked:

In addition, any entered time and score will appear as well.

Happy Planning!

Reverse Bumping

UPDATE: See additional options for bumping earlier.

The bump lessons feature in Scholaric is quite popular, in that it pushes lessons back in time, preserving your schedule while skipping holidays and vacations.  Many of you have been asking for the ability to do the opposite - to bring lessons forward in time.  This has been called "reverse bumping" by many of you.  Unfortunately the names "bump" and "reverse bump" are ambiguous to a new user.  I have adopted the names "bump later" for the existing function, and "bump earlier" for the new reverse bumping.  You will see these both in the new bump menu:

Bumping earlier works like the inverse of bumping later: to use it, go to the latest lesson you want to bump earlier, instead of the earliest.  Select bump earlier from the cell menu, and it will move incomplete lessons to an earlier date, following their schedule.

One minor change comes along with this feature - limits on bumping.  I no longer allow bumping to proceed out of the current period, as a measure of protection for you.

Happy Planning...

Scholaric Grade Entry

There are now three different ways you can enter grades in Scholaric.

Grade entry has always been optional, you can enter no grade by marking a lesson as complete.  There is a shortcut for this by holding the CTRL key while clicking on the lesson in the planning grid.  This will mark it as complete if you have entered time for the lesson.

Grade entry has always been done by entering what I call a "Grade expression".  This means that rather than having a field for number of points and a field for the number of points possible, we have one field for grade.  This promises a lot of future flexibility in how we enter grades.

Up until now there has been two ways to enter grades:

First as a fraction - indicating number of points awarded and possible with a slash separating:
Note that partial credit is possible as well:
Second as a raw percentage - indicating a simple percent awarded:
Note that this is identical to entering as a fraction with a 100 denominator:

What's New:
As of today, you now have the option to enter your grades as a negative fraction - indicating the number of points missed and the total number of points possible.  Scholaric then does the subtraction for you.
This would be identical to entering 44/53.

Happy Planning!