Gradebook applications for teachers

A gradebook is where a teacher keeps grades and attendance records for his students. It’s important enough that Freshmeat reported in 2000 that “teachers say that if there isn’t a good Linux gradebook program, Linux will never get onto teachers’ desks. Period.” You would think that a decade later — I write this in 2010 — there’d be several mature, stable gradebooks for Linux. Not so. What follows are the offerings I’ve found; I hope one of them will work for you.

GTK1. Inactive project: no reviews or user chatter found, and the latest version was released in 2000. By default the .desktop file places it in the Accessories category rather than the more intuitive Education. Upon first launch it asks for a working directory, but selecting anything other than the default ~/gg/ crashes the application. Unable to accept non-ASCII characters (e.g. ñ), making it of limited use in non-English environments. No documentation and unintuitive in its use.

GTK. Beta and inactive: no project activity since 2007 and no reviews or user chatter found.

Qt. My current choice. Beta under active development.

Java. Project page exists but no files or documentation available. Unclear description. No reviews or user chatter found.

Tk. This would be my next choice if GradeL were to stop working for me. Beginning with version 3, can track attendance. Well documented. Requires perl-Digest-Whirlpool, even though the package I installed (opengrade-2.8.1-1mdv2008.1) did not list it as a dependency. Is unable to pretty print reports if a student’s name has a non-ASCII character (e.g. ñ), limiting its usefulness in a non-English environment.

Tab Completion Grade Book
Java. Inactive project: no reviews or user chatter found, and the most recent entry on the project page is from 2003. No documentation, no support, no user community, and usage not entirely intuitive. Appears full-featured; might be good if I could only figure it out. Make your own .desktop file for a menu entry or run with java -jar /path_to/TabCompletionGradeBook-1.0-beta4.1.jar.


About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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One Response to Gradebook applications for teachers

  1. Pingback: Using GradeL | A maze of twisty little passages

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