Grade book program page

Grade Book Program

by David W. Lyons
Mathematical Sciences
Lebanon Valley College


Freely sharable, weighted average gradebook program, available for downloading from this web page. Produces various custom reports, including grade records for instructors, grade records for students, class lists, and statistical summaries including histograms.


Last update: 3/2009
GBK version: 2.9

General information

Gbk (for "gradebook") is a simple program, written in java, for managing class grade information. My premise is that grading is a simple task (just tally up some averages and make some suitable output) which does not require graphical interface or all the bells and whistles of a typical spreadsheet program. This project was partially motivated by the frustration of having perfectly useful and simple spreadsheet programs become obsolete due to "upgrading", i.e., planned obsolescence on the part of commercial software companies.

If you find that you use the same grading methods each semester, your grade policy is to use simple weighted averages, and you have been frustrated with spreadsheets, you might like to try this program.

New Feature in Version 2.9

Sending individual grade reports to students by email is available in gbk version 2.9, March 2009.

Sample input and output files

Use your text editor to maintain a "latex" style data file . Grades for each assignment can be entered using gbk or by using your editor directly. Gbk then produces a grade display for the instructor , a grade display for the students, a histogram of score distributions, a statistical summary and a class list . You may choose to get a histogram of cumulative averages or of scores for any given assignment. I use the class list for my homework grader to write weekly scores and return them to me. I post the student grade display on a course information web page. In order to preserve anonymity, the order of the student records in the public display is randomly permuted each time you run gbk.

Source code and documentation

Here is how to download and run gbk.
  1. Create a grades directory, say, called "grades". Create a subdirectory called "GBK2_9".
  2. Download all the files in this web directory into your GBK2_9 directory.
    GBK2_9 directory with java and class files
    Previous version GBK2_8 is available here.
    GBK2_8 directory with java and class files
  3. Download the blank data file template into your grades directory and use a text editor to modify it appropriately for your class.
  4. In your grades directory, run the gradebook program with
    java GBK2_9/GradeBook [filename | -e filename| -h filename] 
    The -e option takes you directly to a grade entry routine. The -h option takes you directly to a choice of histograms. If no filename is specified, gbk begins with a menu of choices.
  5. Put shell scripts sendem and sendconfirmation in your grades directory. Make sure they are executable. These scripts are called by gbk to send individual email grade reports to students. You also need to configure and enable sendmail on your computer. For ubuntu linux, this is accomplished by installing the mailx package.

Here are descriptions of further details.

Let me know what you think of gbk if you try it, and please continue to share gbk freely.

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