Adding Courses To Students

To add courses to students, click on the courses label in top-left corner of the planning grid:

or select add from the courses menu.

This brings up the Add Course dialog:

Note: for new students, the dialog pops up automatically.

To add a course, take these three steps:

  1. Enter a course name and a subject name.  Scholaric will try to match existing courses and subjects for you automatically.  If it does find a match, you can select these names from a drop-down menu.
  2. If you'd like to add the course to multiple students, check the checkbox next to their names.  The student whose grid is displayed is automatically checked and disabled - to force that student to get the course.
  3. Finally, hit the Add button in the lower right corner of the dialog.

Hitting add performs a number of actions for you, including:

  1. Create the course, if it does not exist; otherwise, find the existing course by name.  If the course does exist, the entered subject name is ignored. 
  2. Create the subject, if it does not exist; otherwise, find the existing subject by name.
  3. Add the course to each of the selected students.

The new course is then displayed and highlighted for you, and a message indicating the results is displayed in the dialog.

Note: the dialog remains open so that multiple actions can be taken quickly.

How to create links in printouts

Scholaric searches through the text lesson printouts and looks for URLs - uniform resource locators, in your lesson text and turns them into clickable HTML hyperlinks, or "hot" links.

Scholaric finds two forms of URLs: 

  • a full URL, beginning with the protocol, such as
  • an abbreviated URL, beginning with www.  Scholaric will insert a http:// before the url for you.

I've also tested (successfully) with complex URLs, such as this example from wikipedia - 

  • foo://

Happy Planning

Reminder Pricing Change Goes Into Effect Next Week

A year ago, I announced a price increase for Scholaric, the effects of which were deferred for existing users.  To find out if you are impacted, or are already paying the higher amount, check you payment plan in the payments tab on the Scholaric Dashboard:

Any plan that starts with Old like Old Standard is subject to the change.

That time has come.  May 1st it goes into effect, but only when you renew your payment.  This is because you are protected from being charged a different amount than you agreed to under the subscription model I have chosen.  So the next time you add or remove a student, or have to change your card, payment renewal will be with the new amount.

So, if you need to add or drop students, do it now, and reauthorize payment before May 1st!

Happy Planning...

Generate Multiple Lessons Per Day

Unlike Grouping Sequences, where multiple lessons, or pages, or chapters, get grouped into a single lesson, you may want multiple individual lessons in a single day.  This would be desired, for example, to assign several lessons in a single day, but have individual scores and times on each lesson. 

Grouping Sequences has a special syntax to allow the day's group to have individual lessons.

Lesson {1-55**2} 

will produce two individual lessons per day.  Note the second asterisk.

Lesson 1
Lesson 2

Lesson 3
Lesson 4

Lesson 5
Lesson 6

Where the group sequence

Lessons {1-55*2} 

produces one lesson covering two per day.

Lessons 1-2

Lessons 3-4

Lessons 4-5

Happy Planning...

Changing Lesson Date

A lesson's date can be changed in several ways:

1. Drag the lesson to a new date and drop it.  Note this does not work on mobile devices.

2. Edit the lesson and click on the lesson's date.  Then select a new date and hit update.  This is useful to change the lesson to another week, or for any change on a mobile device.

3. Bump the incomplete lesson earlier or later using the cell menu. Note - this impacts other lessons.

Happy Planning...

Bump Earlier

Some times, the schedule must be shifted earlier in the period.  This can be done in two ways, either to move the entire remaining schedule earlier, or to open up a gap in the middle of your schedule.  The cell menu reflects these possibilities

Moving Entire Remaining Schedule

To move the entire incomplete schedule, we must bump from the end of the period.  Select the menu option bump schedule earlier from end of period. This is the equivalent of navigating to the last planned date for the selected course and student, and bumping earlier.  

Opening a gap by Shifting Earlier

To open up a gap at any point in the schedule, navigate to the date to become empty, and select the menu option bump schedule earlier from this date.  This will push the incomplete schedule backward from the selected date only.

Note that in either case, the bumping behaves according to the bumping criteria.  If your bump does not carry forward as far as you expect, your lesson schedules likely do not match.

Happy Planning...

Bumping Algorithm Details

To bump lessons, a cell must have at least one incomplete lesson. 

Bumping is performed according to the schedule of the lesson, which visible on the schedule tab when updating.  The schedule is set by the repetition schedule when a lesson series is created, or defaults to the course default schedule.  

When bumping, scholaric targets the next available date, or previous available date, of the lesson depending on the bump action (earlier or later).  The date will naturally skip holidays and vacation days, but not event days.  Note that when bumping a cell with multiple incomplete lessons, they could have different schedules, resulting in different target dates.

The date of the lesson is updated and then the process is repeated within the target date, if the target date has incomplete lessons, and only for those incomplete lessons that have the same schedule as the original lesson.  In this way, Scholaric won't continue the bump chain, for example, a MWF lesson scheduled on Wednesday, when the previous lesson was a MTWTF lesson, scheduled on Tuesday.

Happy Planning...

Scaling Printouts

Some users have regular schedules which take up just a little more paper than they'd like.  Others may want to scale the printout larger for easier reading.  These users can scale their printouts.  This is available in the print header:

Here you see an entry to scale the size of the printout, in percentage terms.  To scale it down, enter a size smaller than 100:

And to scale it up, enter a size larger than 100.  This scale is reflected in the printout, and the setting is saved for all students.

Happy Planning

Grading Scales

Grading Scales are used to convert a raw percentage score, such as 83.4% into a letter grade, such as B on a report card.  

Grading scales are also used to derive a number of grade points on a transcript (yet to be released).  Your grading scales can be seen by clicking on the Grading Scales tab on the dashboard:

This tab allows you to see and edit your grading scales.  When visiting it you should first see a scale automatically created for you:

This scale is a standard 10 point scale.  It indicates the various grade levels, such as an A being >= 90.0 and 4 grade points, a B being >= 80.0 and 3 grade points, and so on.  The final level, shows <= 60.0, and naturally goes down to zero, and is worth 0 grade points.

You can change it by clicking the various parts of the scale, including the scale name, the level names, the level ranges, and the level grade points.  Click, type and submit inline.  

Note that when you edit a range, you cannot move one outside the range of the level above or below it. In the above example, I could not edit the C range, and make its limit >= 85.0 without first modifying the B range higher than that.

To add a level, click on the "Add level" button and plus icons are shown between levels:

You must then decide where to insert the  new level, but clicking on the appropriate icon, and then editing the default level information.  If you change your mind, and decide to not add a level, click on the icon again to remove those icons.

To remove a level click on the "Remove level" button, and X icons will appear next to levels:

Select the appropriate level to delete by clicking on the X next to that level.  Again, clicking on the "Delete level" button a second time will undo the operation.

The yellow star indicates a default scale.  Unfilled stars indicate other, non-default scales.  Change your default scale by clicking on an unfilled star to make that scale the default one.  

Your most common scale should be the default scale.  This scale will be automatically chosen for grading purposes, unless you take action to assign a different scale.  Changes to the default scale take effect to all report cards, past and future.

Other scales may be used due to advanced courses, or other circumstances that dictate an alternate grade range, or grade-point assignment.  For example, an advanced course may use the same point ranges, but higher grade points.

To create a new scale, click on the "Add a scale" button, and you will then be able to rename it, and edit its levels.

Using Grading Scales in Report Cards

Again, by default, all grades calculated for all report cards will use your selected default scale.  The calculated grade can be seen in the report card.  If alternate scales are created, you will want to assign them to specific course or subject grades.  This is done by selecting a different scale using the grade menu on the report card:

Note, this menu option only shows up when you have multiple grading scales.  This selection is for a specific student, for the subject or course of the report card, for the report card period.

To view your current scale selections, select the grade menu option "show grading scales" and all the scale selections for the report card will be displayed.

Happy Planning!

Upgrade Results

The infrastructure upgrade is now complete.  Some minor issues were found and fixed.

For now, you should see a faster Scholaric - due to these changes:

  1. Ruby 2, an upgrade from ruby 1.9 with many speed improvements
  2. Cedar, my host's latest application platform
  3. Rails 3, which has many speed improvements over rails 2
  4. Unicorn, a faster web server
  5. Javascript and stylesheet minimization, and combination into a single file per request

This should make the platform generally run faster for you.

Happy Planning