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Quality of life improvements

I recently posted about how I'm not going to recommend GradeCam to anyone at my school but my post got deleted so I figured I would try this again with some more specific examples of how I think that GradeCam needs to improve before I can be satisfied with it. To be clear - I am fully subscribed since last October (that's 14 months of usage) and that's a lot of money to be using a product which can be frustrating to use at times. I have mentioned these things multiple times to the developers but responses have been lackluster and demonstrate an unwillingness to address them. I hope that others can chime in with me and agree that these are not insignificant concerns for how expensive of a product GradeCam is.

1) Editing questions on tests is frustratingly difficult and makes no sense. Let's say that I want to change one of my answer keys because last time I gave the quiz there were too many questions. If I had 30 questions originally and want to  delete 5 questions I have to "edit" the answer key, change the number of questions to "25", and it automatically removes the LAST 5 questions, so I have to look at the test answer key that I created and figure out which questions I wanted to delete and adjust the answer key accordingly. If I had multiple sections (like multiple choice and then short answer questions) and only wanted to remove questions from one section, it automatically removes the last 5 questions so I have to go back and adjust the formatting and answers for every question affected by the change.
Why can't I just select the questions on the answer key and click a "delete" option and the other questions adjust accordingly? This is how every other software works - including my test generator from 1999. How does software 20 years later not have this functionality?

2) Scanning a form gives no visual or tactile feedback that a scan was successful (only auditory). Granted, when you get to the last page of an answer form, a handy pop-up tells you the current grade and student you scanned, but if I have multiple pages of forms, that doesn't help me as I'm scanning each page. The number of times I've had my phone camera staring at a page, with no feedback (because my phone is on silent all of the time because I'm usually teaching), only to have a notification finally pop-up saying "you've already scanned this form." GREAT! Why didn't you tell me BEFORE I stood there for 5 minutes? I understand that there are multiple devices to use, but why isn't there a "vibrate on successful scan" OPTION? Android and iOS must have easy functionality and if the app already plays a sound effect on a successful scan (the satisfying "bloop") then why can't it also vibrate? Even more frustrating is that you can upload a custom sound to play(!) but you can't select a "vibrate device" option!? This cannot be that difficult to implement and I've been suggesting this for over a year.

3) The order of operations in adjusting answer keys is quirky, in a bad way. If I want to adjust the weighted points values of my multiple choice questions on a new answer key, I need to enter the answers for the questions first before I can adjust the point values. Why? Similarly, if I clone an existing answer key and want to change the answers, if I "deselect" the right answer, the point value for the question resets to 1. Why? Why does the question *need* an answer before I can adjust point values? This is a weird quirk that can result in unnecessary troubleshooting and frustration.

4) Scanning tests should just be as easy as tapping a "scan form" option instead of scrolling through the list of answer keys, selecting the correct one, and THEN scanning. I've found myself just selecting the first one and scanning and then the app tells me "this is the wrong form, we've switched to the right one" which is fine, but why not just start scanning right away in that case? Why do I even have to select an answer key in the first place if it detects it automatically? This is a minor quip compared to the others above, but it still demonstrates to me that the user experience has either not been questioned and/or improved. I find it hard to believe that no one else would find it easier to just start scanning first, thus reducing the number of clicks.

5) There's no way to change the default sorting method of answer forms and, if there is, it's incredibly difficult to find. This is again a minor thing but is just the capstone on my overall point: GradeCam is great but weirdly difficult and quirky to use and needs real quality of life improvements. When I log-in, all of my forms are sorted by the date that I made them. This seems great, at first, but for a multi-year user, it's incredibly annoying because if I want to recycle a form I used last year, I have to scroll down the list to find the form I am looking for. I have named all of my forms so if I sort by name then I can easily find what I'm looking for, but when adding forms for a new class which copy existing forms, it can look messy and confusing. Either the program should remember how I sort my lists of keys or there should be an option to change the default sorting method. Again, this one is minor, but it would be a nice change.

I like the functionality and customization of GradeCam and I will likely stick with it in the future BUT I am constantly on the lookout for alternatives and, if these suggestions continue to be ignored then I am ready to fully switch. Additionally, I would love to recommend GradeCam to my entire institution as I think many faculty would appreciate its features, but until these changes are made I think that the program would be too frustrating to use and I will not recommend it.

Also I hope the developers can take this feedback seriously and not just delete this because I'd hate to share this feedback in a more public forum.

Matthew Jandreau

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Hi Matthew,

Rest assured, we did not delete your post but promptly replied that very day and only one hour later.  Here is the link to your post and our response for reference.

https://gradecam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360026610693-I-m-done

We do know that GradeCam is not perfect, but we do our very best to listen to our users, vet requests and add features that impact all users.  For instance, we heard a great deal from our users requesting more editing options when it comes to the answer key.  On July 31, 2018, we added help for teachers to the insert, delete, move up and move down questions providing much more flexibility to the application.  

While scanning forms, you do hear the wonderful and satisfying "beep" as well as a visual of the student's scan.  You see correct answers, incorrect answers, students name, ID, # correct out of the # offered, percentage and a time stamp.  Scanning both in teacher view or student view, the visual feedback is provided.  We have discussed adding vibration to Android and IOS devices.  It just has not been implemented yet.

The answer key editor tries to help avoid answer configurations that are incomplete. In the case of multiple choice questions, this means resetting the points to 0 whenever the answer is removed, and not adding points until an answer is specified. This is to avoid situations where the answer key is saved in such a state and students are awarded points for not filling any bubbles on those questions.

Not all users create unique forms for assignments.  Many users create forms that are generic in nature, laminate, and reuse.  Selecting and opening the assignment then scanning allows scanning in any scenario to be successful.  

Sorting assignment information can be done by clicking the headers on the assignment page.  If you prefer to group or tag your assignments for quick reference, use Labels.  I am including tutorials for your reference.

6k. Use Labels to Organize Assignments in GradeCam Go!

2c. Manage Labels in GradeCam Go!

I would also suggest using the Archive option.  This removes the assignment from your everyday view and tucks it away for safekeeping to easily use again.

We listen very closely to our users, unfortunately, not every request can be implemented.  To see helpful tips and tricks and new features of GradeCam, register for Tip Tuesday.  This is a weekly email that arrives in your inbox with helpful suggestions and usage strategies. 

Thank you,
Debbie

 

 

Debbie Delaney 0 votes
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