What is Grading?

In essence, grading is an exercise in professional judgment on the part of teachers. It involves the collection and evaluation of evidence on students’ achievement or performance over a specifed period of time, such as twelve weeks, an academic semester, or entire school year.

Through this process, various types of descriptive information and measures of students’ performance are converted into grades or marks that summarize students’ accomplishments. Although some educators distinguish between grades and marks,most consider these terms synonymous. Both imply a set of symbols,words, or numbers that are used to designate different levels of achievement or performance.

They might be letter grades such as A, B,C, D, and F; symbols such as NA+, NA, and NA-, descriptive words such as Exemplary, Satisfactory, and Needs Improvement; or numerals suchas 4, 3, 2, and 1. Reporting is the process by which these judgments are communicated to parents, students, or guardians.The growing enrollment in education has increased student-to-teacher ratios and, therefore, increased the workload of the teacher.

This growing enrollment has resulted in mounting efforts to develop automatic grading system in an effort to reduce this workload. Computer education research has focused on automatic grading system for almost 50 years ( Whitelock & Brasher, 2007). There have been a few attempts to develop automated grading systems for assessing skills.

Waldman and Ulema(2008) brieffy described three different methods for implementing acustom grading program.

The first option requires writing a grading program in Excel using Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications.

The second option requires writing a program that interfaces with a running copy of excel.

The third method requires writing a program that simply utilizes the excel data of the students as a database.In the global arena of education, one of the most frequently cited grading system was developed by Hill (2003-2004), developed two automatic grading systems using Microsoft Ofce Applications, the first one is MEAGER (Microsoft Excel Automated Grader) which is built usingExcel, the second one is the MADBAGS (Microsoft Access Database Automated Grading System. Both of these system functions on specifc formula to be used, the feature is considered to be too restrictive, onesingle mistake within the formula could ruin the entire system.As a backgrounder, the municipality of Sta. Barbara in providingan afordable and accessible tertiary education to the youth residents ofthe municipality have submitted and signed an Ordinance No. 300which established the Mababang Paaralan ng mga Ulikba. It isthrough the efort of Mr. Piolo Pascual who have founded the school.

The school is located at a 10 hectares lot at Barangay Tinago, Di Mahanap Street. The school formally opened its doors in 1969 to the first 69students with 88 numbers of teachers, There on the number of studentand teachers continued to grow at an unforeseen rate. The MababangPaaralan ng mga Ulikba si aimed at providing quality tertiary education to those who are under privilege.

To date the school has anoverwhelming population of 10,000.The school employs a few numbers of staf and teachers in comparison with its growing population. Most teachers handle four to five subjects at three different grade levels and sections. Having these instance, school preparation has become increasingly stressful.

This stress is augmented further by a perplexing task of grade computation which is required to be accomplished at every school term. Grading is a very crucial part of school’s operations and goals. The current systememployed by the school is the traditional method of recording,calculating, in maintaining student grades and records. As such, a teacher allocates most of their time to carefully compute the grades of thestudent using their calculators, and to some teachers, manually solve the grades using paper and pen.

To a greater extent, some teachers have tobring their work home and spend sleepless nights in order to meet the deadlines and provide an immediate report which will communicate tothe students’ parents and guardians as well the student performance and progress.The existing system is very laborious and time consuming to accomplish. The teacher initially list down the names of the student perclass in a class record for every subject and section and records the students’ rating for every grade component. The teacher then manually calculates students’ grades which is very strenuous task and at times prone to human errors.

The manually computed grades are then submitted to the head teacher for verification and validation prior to submission to the school registrar.In this type of system, much of the schools resources have to beallocated for the purchase of papers, coupons, pens, envelopes, folder sincluding calculators, cabinets for safe storage instead of purchase for other useful resources such as library holdings. Safe keeping of theserecords does not guarantee that this pertinent student documents would last, the document are likely to age and degrade over time.

Additional security and safety of the documents administered by the learning institution is by reproduction of the original copy by means of photo reproduction. The system outweighs the beneft since it will require additional purchase of cabinets and would require bigger place for storage consuming more resources.