April 2, 2012

Online Grading FAQ

By Matt Saavedra



What is online grading?

Faculty can submit grades using UWIT GradePage or GradeBook tools. Online grading became available in 2009 and replaces the traditional paper-based Faculty Grade Reports (FGRs), affectionately known as “bubble sheets,” which are no longer used as of Spring 2011. Grades can be submitted using either of two tools available to you:

  • GradePage: For direct online grade submission.
  • GradeBook: For online grade submission and the tracking of assignments, quizzes, papers, and other grades.

Return to Top


How do I start using online grading?

To get started, log in to the Catalyst GradePage or GradeBook. If using GradeBook login to catalyst.uw.edu and select the “%” icon and “Create a grade book.” The system automatically knows the courses you are teaching and the list of registered students, so this data does not need to be entered manually. Once you have created a grade book, you can begin entering grades there immediately, or export it to Excel. The Excel file can then be imported back into GradeBook to submit grades into the grading system at the end of the quarter.

Either an Excel (.xls) or comma-separated value (.csv) file may be imported into a grade book. The initial file with the correct fields is available for download from the Catalyst GradeBook as described above.

To access Catalyst GradePage or GradeBook and find detailed instructions on how to use it to submit grades online, follow these links:

Return to Top


Who do I contact if I have questions about using Catalyst GradePage or GradeBook?

E-mail the Catalyst Help Desk at catalysthelp@uw.edu.

Return to Top


Can I still submit paper-based grades? When will paper-based grades end?

Spring Quarter of 2011 was the final quarter that FGRs were printed and are no longer available for use. You can submit grades via Catalyst tools even if you have not used it to track grades throughout the quarter. Catalyst provides help on getting started with online grade submission.

Contact fgr-retirement@u.washington.edu for any questions you might have regarding the retirement of FGRs.

Return to Top


If I submit grades online, do I need to submit the paper-based FGRs (bubblesheets) as well?

No, FGRs are now retired and no longer in use.

Return to Top


What about off-calendar courses?

Grades for off-calendar courses cannot be submitted through Catalyst GradePage or GradeBook at this time. Please use the online Grade Change form. Enabling online submission for these courses is under review.

Return to Top


Why is the deadline for submitting grades online so early? Isn’t that really the beginning of the grade submission period?

Retirement of paper-based grading has allowed for the extension of the grading deadline an extra 24 hours beginning Summer of 2011. Instructors should be aware that late grade submission can have severe negative effects upon students. (See “Why is the grade deadline so early?”)

Return to Top


How secure is online submission of grades?

The security of grade submission is taken seriously by the Registrar and its campus partners. Submitting grades online using Catalyst GradeBook represents a significant security improvement over the paper-based process. For example, online grade submission eliminates the need for people to process paper-based grades, which reduces unnecessary observation of, or interference with the grades.

All online grade submissions:

  • may only be made by the instructor(s) of record or the approved delegates;
  • are made over a secure Internet connection (https);
  • pass through the Catalyst system and are stored only in SDB ;
  • cannot be changed online via Catalyst GradePage or GradeBook change requests must be submitted to the Registrar’s office to be changed, see the online Grade Change Request Form; and
  • are logged and archived to provide the audit trail required by the University’s Department of Audits.

Additionally, the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer reviewed and approved the security of the Catalyst Tools system prior to the campus-wide release of Catalyst GradeBook, and the system is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) data strictures.

Return to Top


What are the deadlines for online grade submission?

The deadline for online grade submission is 5 p.m. on the Tuesday following the final day of the quarter.

This deadline is posted in a number of places, including the University’s Academic Calendar and within Catalyst GradePage and GradeBook.

Return to Top


Why is the grade deadline so early?

There are a number of processes that rely upon student grade information, including Low Scholarship cancellation, Honors calculations, student financial aid eligibility, prerequisite cancellation, and conferral of degrees.

Some of these processes (such as prerequisite cancellation) occur right after the grade submission deadline, so timely grade submission is important. Other of these processes occur soon after the grade submission deadline (within the week) and students and faculty need time to see their grades and correct any submission errors before the processes are run. Failure to submit grades by the deadline can result in a number of severe problems for students.

Return to Top


Can I turn in grades late with Catalyst GradePage or GradeBook?

No. Please submit late grades using the online Grade Change form.

Return to Top


What do I do if I miss the grade-submission deadline?

Once the grading period for the quarter has ended, grades cannot be submitted online through Catalyst Web Tools. However, change of grade requests or late submissions can be submitted through the Office of the Registrar online Grade Change form. Due to the need for manual processing for submissions through this form, it will be 2-4 business days until the new grades appear on the student record.

For questions on change of grades or late grade submission contact ugradoff@u.washington.edu.

Return to Top


Can someone besides the instructor submit grades online?

Yes; Catalyst GradePage and GradeBook includes a delegate system for this purpose in exceptional circumstances.

Return to Top

Comments are closed.