Oral Medicine & Periodontology: Use of Gradebook – Assessment, Categories, Weighting & Monitoring

Dentistry lecturer, Dherendra Dhaya has made use of a blended online environment to support learning and teaching practices for his 4th year Oral Medicine and Periodontology (OMP 400) students.

Various assessment activities are set-up online for students to engage in. These assessment activities include submission of assignments and online tests. Theresults of these assessments are linked to the Gradebook where all marks are recorded and can be adjusted accordingly and downloaded into one spreadsheet.  The online environment further enables students to access and download relevant learning material; view important announcements, as well as keep track of submission dates via the Calendar eTool.


Online Assessment activities

The assignments are related to Oral Medication Case studies and students were expected to submit written assignments (Word format), including a reference list as well as their PDF Turnitin plagiarism report.

Two online tests were conducted which related to various topics such as: Periodontitis and smoking, gingival disease, and pathogenesis. These tests made use of varied question types such as Multiple-Choice, Short Answer/Essay, and True/False questions. In addition, the questions were drawn from a pre-createdQuestion Pool. The question pool allows for randomisation of questions, ensuring that the test differs slightly from one student to the next in order to prevent academic dishonesty.

Furthermore, an anonymous 5 minute survey was created. This allowed students to give feedback regarding the learning value of the assessment; and if it actually allowed for better understanding of the course content. The survey also posed a question asking where students took the test (at home, on campus, hostel etc.); and what students preferences are in relation to the venue when doing an online test. Students’ feedback and concerns are important in this regard, as infrastructure and internet access can be a concern for some students. Hence the lecturer is able to take this information and prepare accordingly, depending on the needs of the students.

Gradebook for monitoring student marks

The Gradebook tool has been extensively used by Dr Dhaya in order to record, calculate and distribute marks to students. The categories included in the OMP 400 Gradebook course are: Assignments, Tests, Final Examination, and Clinical Skills. By organising the Gradebook into various categories, the lecturer is able to provide weighting for each assessment or activity, and thus makes it possible to auto-calculate an overall course grade.


Students are only able to view their own grades for the course. Furthermore, the lecturer is able to restrict which grades will be visible to students, such as those pertaining to the final examination. Students are further able to monitor their own progress, plan and prepare accordingly for assessments using the Gradebook.

As all marks can be recorded in the Gradebook (even for offline activities), lecturers can export the marks into a spreadsheet, which can be further captured within the institutional Marks Administration System (MAS).

Please contact the CIECT team to assist with the effective design and development of your blended online environment and the further explore the possibilities that exist.

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