Gradebook Sync Set Up Best Practices & How to Avoid Common Errors

A Note Regarding Gradebook Sync:

Gradebook Sync currently requires students to click on every Packback assignment link in your LMS course. This action establishes the connection between the LMS graded assignments & the corresponding Packback Score. If you are not comfortable with student-facing responsibility required for gradebook sync, this may not be the best tool for you. You can still utilize our automated Packback scoring system without turning on Gradebook sync.

The purpose of this article is to walk through all of the mistakes and set up errors that can cause small to large scale issues with Gradebook Sync down the road.

1. Review your community start date, end date, intervals, and grading requirements (how to here). Once your due dates and intervals are set, it can be potentially problematic to alter them! Once you’ve set up your intervals & grading requirements, turned on Gradebook Sync, and fully set up gradebook sync, no changes should be made. It could potentially unsync grades or make grades unsyncable.

Unplanned event or emergency & need to extend a deadline? Here’s what you should do instead:

          1. Merge intervals
          2. Override a whole-class grade
          3. Move late posts to a different interval

Even Better - Set up Packback to drop the “x” lowest scores so you never need to accommodate extensions or make ups!

2. When setting up your Packback gradebook and/or building your course syllabus, avoid making a single Packback assignment worth any multiple of 3 (i.e. Packback is worth 9 points weekly).

Why? This is an odd one! Even if your Packback gradebook is set to points, the LMS requires a percentage to be sent back during the sync process. Then, the LMS takes that percentage and multiples it by the “points possible” for that assignment. For example, let’s say a student receives 1/3 points for a Packback assignment. The LMS will not receive a “1” but rather a 33.33%. From there the LMS multiples that percentage by 3. Oftentimes, the LMS will round up or down, meaning that the “1” students see in Packback may transfer back to the LMS as a “1.98” which can be confusing!

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Again, to avoid this potentially confusing technical mishap, we recommend utilize percentages OR "points" out of 100.

3. When creating your LMS Packback assignments, make sure the assignment name matches the exact name as the Packback interval! This will ensure students know exactly where to click when syncing an upcoming, current, or past assignment. Definitely don’t name every Packback assignment in your LMS the same thing (i.e. “Packback”) as it will be challenging to link assignments and refer back to old assignments! 

NOTE: Every Packback interval (assignment) in Packback has the nomenclature “Packback #X: Due M/DD/YY”

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Example of real Packback Intervals & Nomenclature

4. When creating your LMS Packback assignments, make sure the “Points Possible” field is filled out to match the Packback gradebook perfectly!

We’ve seen a small handful of users forget to populate this field which leads to a bunch of “0”s in the LMS gradebook despite a successful sync. 

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*this is an image from Canvas - each LMS will look slightly different

5. When creating your LMS Packback assignments, populate the “due date” field but do not populate the “available until” field. 

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The due date field in the LMS assignment causes the assignment to show up in the course calendar (amazing - we want this!). However, the “available until” field alludes to the date in which the assignment link should be no longer accessible (aka, disappear). We want students to be able to access past assignment links to sync past grades. Don’t worry - students still need to meet Packback deadlines on time to get credit. Clicking a past-due link doesn’t let them complete the assignment retroactively, however, clicking a past-due link would sync the score that already exists in Packback!

6. DO NOT upload a roster to Packback and DO NOT distribute your community look up key! Instruct students to access Packback (for registration and continued use) through the LMS directly. This will avoid unsynced assignments and other possible potential technical issues.

If you download your Packback syllabus statement before you’ve connected your community via LTI, please remove the registration instructions provided and replace them with this:

How Students Can Register on Packback:

Note: Only access Packback through [INSERT LMS NAME] in order to ensure your grades sync properly (this applies for registration and the remainder of the term)

      1. Click the Packback assignment link within [INSERT LMS NAME] to access the community
      2. Follow the instructions on your screen to finish your registration.
      3. In order for your grade to be visible in [INSERT LMS NAME], make sure to click each Packback assignment link within our [INSERT LMS NAME] course as you post your Packback submissions.

Packback may require a paid subscription. Refer to www.packback.co/product/pricing for more information.

 

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