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Overview of grades per student


AnimatedApe
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I'm building what I have been told is a complex course management system.

I originally built the whole thing in Apple Numbers about 2 years ago and managed to cut my workload and that of others significantly by doing so. I am rebuilding it in FileMaker because it got seriously out of control, plus there are a lot of things that are obviously difficult to achieve in even a Numbers spreadsheet. I am also planning for this to eventually be accessible on iPhone.

I'm completely new to databases and Filemaker, but I've picked up enough to get me started, but now I could use some help, not sure if this is the right forum for the problem I'm having, so apologies for that.

At this stage I am trying to create the first most basic part of the Grading system, each student is assessed against 18 units and can have multiple assessments per unit and each unit is comprised of anywhere between 6 and 18 criteria.

I have Units working and I have assessments working, but I've hit my limit at making an overview of the grades for each student. I basically want a display of units against criteria that displays a tick if a criteria has an entry or a cross if it has not.

I've attached a picture, hopefully that will help explain what I need help with, many thanks in advance!

gradebook-help-01.gif

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About your data structure:

each unit is comprised of anywhere between 6 and 18 criteria.

I don't see a table of Criteria. Is each assessment is against a specific criteria of the unit? If so, your graph should look like:

Students -< Assessments >- Criteria >- Units

I'll say more about displaying your data after I understand why your picture shows 11 columns. In general, Filemaker is a database, and unlike a spreadsheet it's not flexible in the horizontal direction. Building a grid display for data, such as a crosstab, is not exactly trivial.

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Thanks for replying.

I don't see a table of Criteria. Is each assessment is against a specific criteria of the unit?

The Criteria are stored in the Units table, It was too wide to fit in the original picture and I didn't include 18 across on the mockup for the same reason. Here's the full table with the entry/browse screen.

Units-and-Criteria.gif

Each criteria is totally unique and only applies to a single unit, each unit is made up of between 6 and 18 of them.

Each assessment is for a unit and each of the criteria within it, here's the assessment entry/browse screen.

Assessment-Screen.gif

Each record in the assessment table 'UnitAssessments' is comprised of a text field for each assessment criteria for that unit 'P1Assessment, P2Assessment etc...' Students may have met unit criteria in many assessments or not at all.

Here is a report that shows multiple assessments entries made against the 'P#' criteria for unit 1, these would normally be statements or assignment titles.

Assessment-grid.gif

I'm aware that I don't really have the language to describe things yet, but hopefully that all makes sense.

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The Criteria are stored in the Units table,

I don't think that's the best approach. Suppose you wanted to produce a report of assessments, sorted by unit, criteria, student. You can't do that with your current structure.

What do "P", "M" and "D" stand for?

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I don't think that's the best approach. Suppose you wanted to produce a report of assessments, sorted by unit, criteria, student. You can't do that with your current structure.

What do "P", "M" and "D" stand for?

Hadn't really thought about it like that, what would you suggest?

I'm thinking that the Units table will just be; "pkUnitID" and "UnitName".

And the Criteria table will be "fkUnitID" , "CriteriaLevel" (P1, P2 etc...) , "CriteriaText".

P = Pass

M = Merit

D = Distinction

In order for a student to pass a unit, they need to achieve all pass criteria, in order to pass with merit they need to achieve all pass & merit criteria, to pass with distinction they need every criteria.

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what would you suggest?

What I did above: make each assessment a separate record, with foreign keys for StudentID and CriteriaID.

I am not sure criteria need to be numbered; it should be sufficient to mark them as "P", "M" or "D". In any case, I believe a numbering should go into a separate field, since it's not a part of the "pass/merit/distinction" attribute.

Now I have a question about your intended display. Suppose you have three units with the following criteria:

Colors {Red, Green, Blue}

Sizes {Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large}

Shapes {Circle, Rectangle}

The underlined criteria are designated as "P". How would this fit into the grid design shown in your original post?

---

BTW, do all students take all units, and will a student be assessed for every criteria of a unit?

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I am not sure criteria need to be numbered; it should be sufficient to mark them as "P", "M" or "D". In any case, I believe a numbering should go into a separate field, since it's not a part of the "pass/merit/distinction" attribute.

That's makes a lot of sense, since I can then report by criteria level, I'll have a separate number field.

Now I have a question about your intended display. Suppose you have three units with the following criteria:

• Colors {Red, Green, Blue}

• Sizes {Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large}

• Shapes {Circle, Rectangle}

The underlined criteria are designated as "P". How would this fit into the grid design shown in your original post?

I think I see what you're getting at, but then again I may have got it completely wrong!

Gradebook-Visual.jpg

BTW, do all students take all units, and will a student be assessed for every criteria of a unit?

All students take all 18 units. Assessments are done by unit, and a student is assessed for every criteria that is included in that unit. In the case that a student has not met a particular criteria, then an entry is not made against it during assessment.

Thanks for your help so far.

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a student is assessed for every criteria that is included in that unit. In the case that a student has not met a particular criteria, then an entry is not made against it during assessment.

That's not quite clear. If "an entry is not made", then there will be no assessment record for that student/criteria combination. Looking at your new mock-up, it's hard to tell if the student has not been assessed for Colors:P3 or perhaps (as it happens to be in this case) there is no criteria P3 for Colors.

I am also puzzled by the note at the bottom:

Tick indicates that the criteria has been met in at least one assessment

I was under the impression that there was only one assessment per student per criteria.

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That's not quite clear. If "an entry is not made", then there will be no assessment record for that student/criteria combination. Looking at your new mock-up, it's hard to tell if the student has not been assessed for Colors:P3 or perhaps (as it happens to be in this case) there is no criteria P3 for Colors.

I am also puzzled by the note at the bottom:

I was under the impression that there was only one assessment per student per criteria.

Well the way I was planning it would be that any heading that does not have a criteria against it for that particular unit would be filled a different colour. The columns still need to be there as some of the other units may have 18 criteria against them. Obviously this means that units that only have P1, P2, P3 for example would have a lot of blank columns.

Each student can have many assessments against each unit and subsequently criteria. For example, if the unit 'Colors' is covered in 3 assignments, it will need to be assessed 3 times, therefore some criteria for that unit will have upto 3 entries.

The tick would appear in Colors:P1 if a student has any kind of entry made in the Colors:P1 criteria for any of the assessments that have been made against it, the cross would appear if there is no entry made against it at all.

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I am afraid I am getting more confused as we go. What exactly is an "assessment"? If one assessment can assess a student in more than one criteria, then it needs to be split into 2 tables: Assessments and AssessmentItems (for lack of better name).

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