The Admin Console in JumpRope is designed to provide school- and network-based staff with advanced controls over the implementation of JumpRope. When we first get started working with you, we will create a couple of user accounts that have access to the Admin Console and provide you with a set-up consultation from a member of our support staff . It's then up to you to use the tools available to add user accounts, upload your schedule, and choose the options that will get JumpRope running just right for your school.
Before I dive into specifics, I'd like to take a brief moment to explain the fact that JumpRope has literally dozens of options that must be set before beginning to use the system. As a designer and developer (and, most importantly, as a teacher), I've come to understand that simplicity in tools is the most important desirable feature. It is also the biggest factor of the success of a system. Too many options, and people get lost in them.
That said, schools always have a particular way of doing things, and we have no desire to undo years of work that you've already done to establish a culture and language of assessment and learning at your school (see here for more on this). Therefore, JumpRope has been designed to meet at a specific spot between simplicity and power. In particular, the teacher-facing tools have as many settings defaulted and pre-set as possible, while still allowing advanced users to override and explore more complex reports and features. The Admin Console, however, purposefully exposes many features to administrators for the express purpose of making sure that teacher tools are as simple, consistent, and "branded" with your school or network's desired functionality.
For this reason, the Admin Console walks you through each setting necessary to get going. With a few rare exceptions (complex combinations of features that may require support from our staff), you can customize and tweak the implementation to your heart's content.
Getting Ready for Your Admin Console Set-Up
At your Admin Console Set-Up, one of our support team members will guide you through the choices available to customize in JumpRope. In preparation for this set-up, you will want to have given some consideration to a number of important factors that are fundamental to standards based grading. To help facilitate your decision making, take a look at some of the feature descriptions and philosophies below:
Mastery-based grading surfaces a number of important issues about grading. For example, traditional grading systems typically incorporate academic knowledge with demonstration of character into a single grade (a simple example is when a teacher "takes points off" an assignment because it is late - does this really reflect on the student's mastery of the academic standard?)
True mastery-based grading, in order to gather meaningful data, should separate academic mastery from character mastery. For this reason, JumpRope supports multiple types of standards that can be assessed.
The most typical use case is to have Academic standards and Character (or Habits of Work) standards, and to choose how much weight each type gets when calculating overall grades (tip: the "purest" form of mastery gives zero weight to non-academic standards).
For more about Standard Types, see this document: Standard Types (or Academic vs. Character)
JumpRope supports three different methods of entering grades. Since school-wide reports need consistency, this choice must be made at the school level.
The first method, Rubric, allows teachers to enter scores on a rubricized scale. Often done from 0 to 4, this scale is closely associated with the concepts of mastery for teachers and students who are accustomed to giving and receiving feedback on rubrics. In this mode, users are more likely to enter scores that correspond to mastery levels instead of "the number of questions they got correct," which is flawed from the perspective of mastery data. If you choose to use this mode, be prepared to communicate with teachers, students, families, and other external audiences about the meaning of each rubric level. You must also consider the conversion scale to convert to final transcript scores.
The second method, Percentage, allows teachers to enter scores on a 0-100 scale. A score of 0 denotes no mastery, and a 100 denotes full mastery. This method is simple and easy for most teachers, students, and families to understand. In addition, conversions to final grades and transcripts are relatively easy.
The third method, Meets/Exceeds, allows teachers to enter scores using codes such as N, P, and H (Not yet mastered, Proficient, and High performing) or N,M,E, and A (Not yet, Meets, Exceeds, and Missing). This scale is designed primarily for schools who have previously communicated feedback on this scale. Please note that choosing this option will affect future options within JumpRope.
When grading based on mastery, it is always important to carefully consider external audiences. In most cases, we will ultimately need to report a "final grade" for each student and course in order for it to be stored on a permanent record or shared with external audiences such as colleges. As much as we may work to educate those around us on mastery-based grading, there's often no getting around the "label the kid with a number" dilemma. We recognize this, and provide several options to help you and your staff arrive at a final grade conversion that most closely matches your philosophy.
For more about Final Grades, see this document: Grade Conversions and Final Grades
One of the strongest points of friction when implementing a mastery-based grading model is how to handle missing work. If a student does not participate in or hand in an assignment or project, we technically have no evidence of mastery (or the lack thereof). Some educators feel very strongly that missing work should not count against a student's mastery, as it is the teacher's responsibility to provide other opportunities to demonstrate mastery. Other educators feel strongly that reducing a "grade" or mastery level when work is missing is a more accurate indicator of mastery - or at least an important motivator - for students.
At JumpRope, we feel that the best way to model mastery in the case of missing work is to leave the academic score "blank," which means that it doesn't contribute positively or negatively to the student's mastery score. In addition, we believe that the missing work can be accurately recorded by aligning each assessment that has a due date to a character (or habits of work) standard with language such as "I can turn in work on time," and scoring the student low on this specific standard. The result is pure and reliable academic mastery as well as an accurate picture of how well a student follows deadlines - the best of both worlds!
Optionally, you can enable a second missing work code (must be a different letter, such as X or I or U) which counts as a special value (e.g. 0, 1, or 55) that you can specify. This empowers teachers to distinguish between "missing, no evidence" and "missing with evidence of no mastery" in various scenarios.
For more about Missing Work please see this page: How does missing work fit into mastery based grading?
As much as we may hope to perfectly represent student mastery by continually updating assessment data, the reality is that computers can help save us a great deal of time by calculating averages and aggregates. At JumpRope, we have worked hard to make it easy for teachers to enter multiple assessments of student learning on any given standard, and we highly encourage this practice. However, it isn't always best to simply average students' scores over all assessments of a standard, since this doesn't encourage pre-assessment or the resulting growth (ideally, students *should* start out with a low level of mastery and progress towards a high level, and a regular average does not properly reflect this).
A good deal of thought and research has been put into the options that our system offers. The options in the Admin Console set the DEFAULT calculation type for new standards created by teachers in the planning tool and allow you to enable or disable specific options. However, teachers can still have the ability to override this since different standards lend themselves to different calculation types (depending on the length of time, specificity, and other factors).
For more about Mastery Calculation and Calculation types, see this document: How are mastery values calculated in JumpRope?
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or questions!