What started life as a basic system for a single school has grown into GradeXpert, a comprehensive student assessment tracking, analysis and reporting tool that is currently used by more than 150 state, Catholic and independent schools (both primary and secondary) in Qld, WA, NSW, Vic and the ACT.
GradeXpert’s Anthony Sacker says: “A family member working at a school complained that she was having trouble tracking her students’ progress, so we developed an easy-to-use program to help her.
“Originally called Grades, the system was developed in 1999 and was used at the school for five years. Then, after several schools saw it and wanted to use it as well, it was rewritten from scratch.”
GradeXpert has been progressively revised and upgraded since, with many features introduced following suggestions and requests from schools. Version 6, which was released on April last year, added several new modules including student semester reports, individual learning programs and expanded benchmarks, the latter expanded to include state and national benchmarks which can be included on a single graph.
The Student Reports module generates student progress reports each semester for parents. By using the built-in Report Designer, different formats and layouts can be set up for different years or reporting periods, and teachers’ comments and graphs added.
The Individual Learning Program module allows many ILPs to be set up and the layout customised for each student, while the ILP summary report shows upcoming and overdue ILP review dates.
2013 innovations includes conditional colour formatting of results as a visual cue to alert the teacher to students who require help, a student attendance module to track absences and a “Head Office” module that enables area offices to aggregate and compare student and school performance data across a network of schools.
A fully-functional demonstration version containing all of the functionality of the registered version but limited to five students, can be downloaded from GradeXpert’s website www.gradexpert.com.au to enable schools and teachers to test and assess its capabilities and user friendliness.
Two free on-site training sessions per year are offered to each school. These cover the Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels, as well as refresher courses as needed. Free interactive online training sessions conducted by a GradeXpert trainer are also available.
The annual license cost is $3 per student excluding GST, with a cap of $2500 to keep it affordable and at the other end of the scale a minimum license fee of just $100. Users are invoiced in February in advance and the first license fee is pro-rata for schools registering during the year.
Following online registration and payment, the new user receives a registration code that unlocks the demo version.
GradeXpert may be installed on any number of teachers’ computers so multiple users can access the database to share and report on the same data.
Anthony Sacker says: “Instead of staying back after school to do marking and enter results, teachers can use a laptop or a PC at home to enter results and then upload the changes the next day to the school’s database. This is a very popular option with busy teachers who have to juggle school and family roles.”