I have been using the rubric in Blackboard to record absences. There are advantages to keeping this data in Blackboard. I have heard another option is to record each day as a separate grading column and there are some advantages to that. However, due to the simplicity of presentation to the student, only having to deal with one column during the semester and only having to reference one column for calculated columns, I am going to stick to this method this semester.
There is some setup involved but it can be made easier by following this trial and error advice:
- First, rubrics can be saved and used again. This will make only the initial rubric the most time consuming.
- Second, a smart view of just the absences column can appear on the left hand side of your grade center.
- Third, a “no entry” column is needed to make corrections to days. For example, if a student is recorded to have missed but then it turns out it was incorrectly entered then that cannot be unchecked. Instead a new selection has to be checked. In this case, the “no entry” column will be checked to correct.
- Fourth, a subtractive method of record keeping can be used where points are assigned for missing rather than attending. That is, I assign 1 point for missing one day, and .5 for half a class (leaving early or coming in late).
- Fifth, the rows are the days and the columns are ‘Unexcused’, ‘Excused’ and ‘no entry’. I make the point values 1, 0, 0 respectively. I can enter partial values manually. But I should add a tardy/leave early column which is point 5.
- Finally, one just needs to be aware that to edit it, one has to click Edit Grade on the right hand side rather than just View Rubric after the initial recording. However, the initial record for the student will be View Rubric (see below).
- A rubric set up cannot be edited once it is assigned its first grade. So be sure to get all the dates/rows correct and also the necessary columns. Though if an odd case happens where a student needs to be assigned point 3 or something, that could be done manually.
- It is also a good idea to show the students on the first day what it will look like so they will know their missed days will appear as highlighted rows when in Grid view etc. That will avoid confusion.