Online gradebooks for teachers are gaining popularity in the eLearning community and schools worldwide because of the numerous advantages they offer, including better overall transparency, increased accountability for students, ease of use, and more.
Gone are the chalk and blackboard times, and gone are bulky paper gradebooks that used to give shivers to teachers and students alike.
But with so many different online grade books for teachers out there, how can you make sure you’re choosing the right one?
I’ve reviewed and ranked the best gradebook software applications based on a number of factors, including ease of use, features, cost, and more.
The list includes both free online gradebooks and paid options that have some extra features.
What are the Best Online Gradebooks for Teachers?
Here are our picks for the best gradebook software teachers can check out in 2022.
Thinkwave is a free online gradebook for teachers to keep track of student grades and report progress to parents. For a free option, it has a number of great features that make it one of the best gradebook software programs out there.
- Clear interface. ThinkWave Educator 3.0 comes with an easy-to-use interface that requires no extra training. Multiple classes are managed within a single gradebook, so you don’t have to switch to and fro when navigating.
- Flexible grading options. Teachers are free to use standard points-based grading or opt for letter grades, checks and other custom grading scenarios. Thinkwave also supports assignment weighting and the ability to create custom assignment types.
- Granular reporting. ThinkWave Educator generates streamlined, ready-to-print PDF reports. Reports can be branded with an image logo, header and other bells and whistles, if required.
- Upload content online. ThinkWave allows you to upload homework and handouts on the web (up to 25MB per file). The premium plan includes 100 GB of online storage.
- Collecting homework online. Likewise, students have an opportunity to upload their homework online so the files become immediately available for the teacher’s review.
- Access to grades for students and parents. Personal password-protected accounts enable students and parents to access classroom information. Daily progress summary involves overall performance, graded assignments and upcoming tasks for each student’s assignments.
- Classroom blog. ThinkWave features a built-in blog. Students, teachers and parents can exchange postings and news aimed at particular groups or the general school audience.
- A multitude of reporting criteria and data display styles
- Online distribution and collection of assignments
- Collaboration and communication tools
- Bulk student import using .csv files
- Customizable reports.
- As with LearnBoost, instructors outside the US may have issues adjusting the solution to their needs
- You can’t add students to the database in bulk, just one at a time. A CSV upload option would be nice.
The basic version of the software is free. A premium license available at $49.95 per year entitles you to technical support and 100 GB of storage space. Aside from the online gradebook for teachers, ThinkWave develops cloud-based school administration software. Feel free to sign up for a 30-day trial and make up your mind.
JumpRope is a free-of-charge web-based platform that helps educators embrace standards-based grading, convenient assessment, and quick feedback.
- Standards-based electronic gradebook. All scores and reports in JumpRope are aligned with a standard or learning goal, rather than based on formal assignment completion.
- Intuitive look and feel. The interface is clean and easy to navigate with familiar visual content to estimate student progress in real time.
- Elaborate reporting. JumpRope generates multiple types of reports – from a basic report card to a formative outline focusing on standards and perspectives.
- Assessments based on multiple scores. Like other online grading programs, JumpRope introduces various evaluation criteria so the teacher can get a better picture of one’s performance. For every assessment, you can enter more than one score, collect information and provide more accurate feedback.
- Customizable grades. The teacher can play with various assessment values, such as percentages, rubric scale, or more complex indicators such as meeting or exceeding certain indicators.
- Informative tutorials on creating classes and standards
- Nice look and feel, neat layout and clear overview of evolving grades
- Good attendance section to ensure easy tracking.
- The site runs on Adobe Flash, which means it’s not supported by major tablets. JumpRope offers a native app for download but it only covers the administrative part of the solution.
- JumpRope allows no student/parent access and falls behind on collaboration features offered by the competition
- The grading policy is standards-based by default, and there is no way you can switch to regular grades.
JumpRope offers solutions for instructors, schools and districts. Whereas it’s free for teachers, institutions pay their fees for product use and maintenance.
Schoology is a globally acknowledged LMS and social network. Having a somewhat Facebookish interface, Schoology is intuitively navigable and intelligible. Technology-wise, the solution includes pretty much everything the e-Learning industry has to offer: collaborative blended learning, content development and distribution, grading, attendance, and more to cut down on administrative tasks.
Schoology offers a clean interface for grading and annotation of student work. The grading tool allows teachers to access students’ papers, switch between different versions and submissions, provide textual or video response, and store grades in the system.
As with all major electronic gradebooks, score updates are performed instantly and automatically. Students and parents can easily gain access to a Schoology class, i.e. self-enroll, by entering an access code. Once they are in, the results are readily available for review.
The course analytics and mastery reports measure learners’ overall progress against standards (Common Core, NGSS, etc.) or predefined learning goals.
Needless to say, Schoology is not just one of many free gradebooks for teachers but an all-around learning framework, including:
- Instructor tools. Standards-compliant course creation and management features as well as all-round analytics.
- International learning community. An impressive database of resources, best practices and guidelines from skilled instructors from all over the world. Schoology’s Resource Center and Groups allow educators to communicate with peers and share professional experiences.
- Detailed analytics. Performance-based analytics provide insights into overall class progress and possible ways of improvement.
- Mobile support. Schoology offers native mobile apps that replicate the functionality of the web-based versions.
- Online circulation and collection of assignments
- Embedded attendance tracker
- Unlike some competitors, Schoology caters to a wider geography and incudes customization options for schools outside the US and Canada
- Students need to self-enroll so teachers can keep track of their performance. This may cause certain hiccups before the process gets on the right track.
K12 and higher ed aside, Schoology also targets big corporate clients. The paid enterprise package enables web-conferencing, unlimited data storage, and other nifty Pro features. Feel free to contact Schoology for a quote.
TeacherPlus Web Gradebook by Rediker is another paid online gradebook designed for schools using Rediker’s AdminPlus SIS. Teachers are free to access their gradebooks any time from a large number of supported devices. TeacherPlus offers native iPad and Android apps for seamless mobile operations.
- Caters to elementary, middle and high schools
- Real-time dashboards, clear view of each student’s performance
- Weighted scores and automatic calculations
- Grades are available to parents online through the ParentPlus portal
- Intuitive interface, convenient filters, batch options
- Versatile reports, including progress layout, average indicators, birthday lists, etc.
- IEP Direct Interface that allows teachers to view individual education plans right in TeacherPlus Gradebook (for an extra fee)
- Attendance tracking and reporting by day/week/month, etc.
- Gradebook Management Site – a single location where administrators can manage, customize and analyze all gradebooks at the institution level.
- Easy to learn for new instructors, no steep learning curve
- Optimized user experience, smart interface
- Granular reports based on a wealth of criteria.
- Some users have reported performance issues when entering grades
- Limited views so just a few students remain in focus
- Limited availability of mass operations/global changes
- Works with proprietary AdminPlus Student Information System only.
TeacherPlus comes as a free add-on, yet Administrator Plus pricing may range widely based on the particular school and plan. Check with Rediker and see if you are on the same page.
Edmodo is a first-rate social e-Learning platform that connects students, teachers, parents, districts, and schools. Edmodo offers a friendly environment for knowledge transfer, enabling teachers to keep up online discussion, polls, gamification and motivation schemes, behavior performance, etc.
Like with other big suites, Gradebook is just one of the features. The functionality includes:
- An intuitive student interface, reminiscent of social networks
- Easy sharing of worksheets or handouts
- Web-based distribution and grading of assignments with nifty annotation tools
- Assignments with a due date and convenient task sheets
- Mobile support, easy annotating from tablet devices
- Engaging quizzes with a plethora of choices and options
- Student exit slips (“one thing I learned today”) available with Edmodo’s Note feature
- Smart document storage with dedicated sharable folders
- Social-network stance that helps engage with students in an instructor-managed environment.
- Online submission and collection of assignments
- A marketplace for free and paid apps to supplement Edmodo’s functionality
- Teachers can easily interact with their colleagues using Edmondo’s collaboration tools.
- Instructors outside English-speaking countries don’t have access to free apps
- The teacher has to wait until students enroll to access the gradebook
- Likewise, learners have to self-enroll using a code before they can start off with assignments
Edmodo is distributed on a freemium basis. Extra services entail the cost of $2,500 per school per year.
Alma is all-in-one cloud software that boasts to streamline the whole learning process from grade reporting to lesson planning and school-wide communication. Basically, a SIS and LMS rolled into one.
Like other reviewed solutions, the Alma online gradebook can calculate grades based on teacher-defined weights. Instructors can enter grades as scores or percentages, or use a grading scale.
This standards-based electronic gradebook enables teachers to gauge students’ mastery, track their progress on specific subjects, and monitor overall performance throughout the course.
- Cloud-based, no software installation required
- Supports traditional and progressive practices
- Nice collaboration tools, easy communication between all stakeholders
- Full interoperability with Google Classroom
- You have to additionally request a demo and quote.
The Alma pricing plans include three-tiered packages for Individual Schools and tailored pricing for Districts. The quote would depend on institution size and required modules.
7. Jupiter Ed
Jupiter iO is a comprehensive cloud-hosted product focused on improving students’ academic accomplishments and operating K-12 and higher education institutions more efficiently. The software allows you to assess students online, review results, track progress in real time, and communicate information to parents and other stakeholders.
The online gradebook software module enables the teacher to record standards-based assessments, manage attendance and maintain behavior logs, as well as grade assignments based on rubrics.
Students and parents have access to the system with the rights to check grades, submit homework, download content and receive announcements.
Jupiter iO channels data through its proprietary SIS (student information system) and integrates easily with third-party solutions to sync up students, courses, personnel, etc.
- Create your own rubric charts and share with peers
- Customizable letter/numeric grades
- Scores marked as points, percentages, rubrics or even adjustments
- Assignment weighting
- Multiple insights into performance fluctuations (grades lowering/raising stats, etc.)
- Different grade configurations for different classes, etc.
- Easy access for students and parents
- Online submission of homework
- Nifty mark-up of writing assignments
- Grades monitoring with the capability of quick intervention.
- It’s not easy to switch from standards-based to regular grades
- Cloud storage may be an issue for security-concerned schools.
The Jupiter software is available in two editions: Jupiter One – $49.95/year per single teacher, and Jupiter iO – $8 per student/year.
Engrade (by McGraw-Hill Education) is a comprehensive e-Learning solution that encompasses learning management and assessment systems. The two core modules are Engrade Instruct – for managing online curricula and interactive learning, and Engrade Inform – for delivering web-based assessments along with granular analytics.
Engrade delivers way beyond a standard gradebook. It offers the ability to tailor assessment categories to individual needs, and employ easy attendance tracking and lesson planning.
Key online gradebook features include:
- Straightforward interface and real-time grading
- Allocating different weights to different assignments
- Online collection of homework papers and assignment distribution
- Personal accounts for students and parents
- Convenient rubric builder (in the Pro version)
- An enhanced repository to archive and retrieve previously used content (in the Pro version).
- A wealth of options to keep track of mastery, store teacher feedback and comments, develop web-based seating plans, etc.
- Engrade includes apps for building engaging quizzes, wikis and flashcards for learners.
Engrade is a highly scalable solution, yet it may cause some issues on older browsers and OSs, so make sure to check your environment for compatibility.
The tool is shipped in a free basic edition for individual educators. However, the EngradePlus option, priced at $600/year for 100 students, broadens the functionality and scales up the system for institutions.
First in our paid category is GradeBookWizard, another feature-packed online gradebook and attendance control solution for teachers. Same as with other products in this domain, educators can use GradeBookWizard to release instructions, assignments, grades, news, handouts and information for parents. All these can be accessed via secure logins.
At the institution level, GradeBookWizard enables standardization of grading criteria across classes. Student records are stored in a centralized location, so any changes are applied automatically to the entire database. Grades can be exported in various file formats for better compatibility.
In a nutshell, Gradebookwizard offers the following functionality:
- Entirely web-based, no software installation required
- Secure login and authentication for all user groups
- Tabular-format grading, resembling the familiar paper-based gradebook
- Simultaneous grading of several homework assignments
- Full support for rubrics; scales and rubrics can be shared with other educators
- Personal grades can be published for students and parents to review.
- 30-day free trial and moderate pricing
- Convenient student and parent access to track performance
- Easy exporting of data for offline reporting
- Handy attendance and behavior logs.
- Slightly awkward look and feel
- Some users have reported performance issues.
License costs start at $4.95 per month/teacher or $49 per year/teacher. Significant discounts apply to school-wide subscriptions.
Markbook is available in two versions. There is a paid offline version for Windows. There is also a cloud-based version that works with both Windows and macOS, which is available on an annual subscription basis.
- Supports multiple communication formats. Teachers can communicate with students using hard copies, email, and send reports directly to smart devices using the CONNECT feature.
- Easy to create individual and class reports. Teachers can track and analyze student performance over time and select from multiple calculation methods.
- Allows flexible weighting. Teachers can use flexible weighting to enable more helpful evaluation and create a better projection of student success.
- Creates seating charts. Teachers can easily create seating charts with photos and the analysis of recorded attendance.
- Import class rosters. Class rosters can be imported from certain other school information systems (SIS).
- Teachers can use professional judgment to adjust final grades as needed.
- The cloud version is flexible and easy to use.
- Works well for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and international baccalaureate programs.
- The software license for both the PC version and the cloud-based version expires after a year and must be renewed annually for continued use.
- MarkBook® (PC version) and MarkBook® (cloud-based version) use data formats that are not compatible with each other. To move data between the two versions, a teacher needs to use the EXCHANGE feature.
- The cloud-based MarkBook® version does not display well on smaller smart devices that are eight inches. For the iPad, only the 12.9 inches Pro model has enough resolution to display the cloud-based MarkBook® version properly.
MarkBook® offers a free trial that easily converts to a paid version so that no entered data, used when setting up the system, is lost when a teacher decides to continue using the system.
Planbook.com offers a comprehensive web-based system, on an annual subscription basis, which includes a Planbook and a Gradebook with administrator tools, teacher tools, and student tools.
- Flexible class schedules. This system supports, weekly, two-week, A/B, and cyclical schedules, so that teacher can create gradebooks and schedule classes by the quarter, the semester, or by the year.
- Customized lessons. Lessons may have up to ten unique sections and a teacher can define weighted categories for assignments and assessments.
- Standards implementation. Standards are available for all 50 states. There are 75 national versions with 100 districts/dioceses and international frameworks.
- Online access.Administrators can view teachers’ plans online. Students can view lesson plans, upcoming assignments, and their performance online.
- Improved communication. Administrators can provide feedback to teachers. Students can communicate with teachers more easily and access links provided by their teachers to media and files.
- The system is very modestly priced for all the features it offers.
- Discounts are available for multiple teachers.
- Mobile app versions are available for Android systems and iOS.
- This system focuses on function more than being aesthetically appealing. It has a simple user interface.
- Software upgrades may cause problems with the mobile app versions.
- Requires an online connection to use the web-based system.
Planbook.com is very popular. This system offers a no-cost, no-obligation, free 30-day trial, which makes it very easy to try the system. Quick setup, in just a few minutes, is possible using the included standards as needed for a particular state.
Chalk is a plan maker and analysis platform for schools and districts. Chalk allows teachers and administrators to develop a useful, standard curriculum map for schools that offer classes from kindergarten to 12th grade. Participants in this system discover ways to improve instruction in real-time, uncover discrepancies in learning programs, and provide feedback for students to improve standards-based outcomes.
- Curriculum mapping. Using this system, teachers develop a standards-based, cohesive map of the curriculum through collaboration with other teachers.
- Data-driven insights. The integration between the curriculum, instructions sets, and student assessments, which is guided by the appropriate standards, allows data-driven insights that help teachers evaluate what is working well and what needs improvement.
- Cohesive curriculum. As students graduate from each grade and move from teacher to teacher, the seamless curriculum map helps eliminate instructional gaps and improves transitions between grade levels.
- Alignment. The entire academic system aligns to the standards. Grade levels align to the standards. Teachers align with each other’s efforts. School districts are empowered to provide consistent learning experiences across all schools.
- Real-time. Helpful insights evolve in real-time to help administrators make better informed decisions.
- A study by District Administration showed that using this system improved benchmark reading scores by 31%.
- This system is in use to support over two million students.
- When using this system, teachers report needing half the time as they needed before to complete their planning efforts.
- The initial setup is time-consuming but the steps are easy to follow.
- The learning curve for the collaboration features is a bit challenging.
- To be able to try the software, you have to go through a sales-pitch demonstration.
The Chalk system is for use by a complete school district for the collaboration possible between teachers and administrators, along with the implementation of district-wide curriculum standards.
TeacherEase is gradebook software designed to support the virtual classroom. Common Goal Systems Inc. created the program. A single teacher, a school, or an entire school district can use it.
- Web-based gradebook. Teachers save time by using the web-based gradebook when grading students.
- Improved student performance. Teachers can more easily communicate with students, provide feedback, and inform parents about a student’s progress. Parents are encouraged to check assignments, review grades, monitor class progress, and review attendance. Parents can login to the system to do this, using any Internet connection. This improves student performance because active parental participation encourages students.
- Supports traditional and standards-based grading systems. In addition to offering traditional grades, it is possible to align assignments to meet district or state standards. Then, use standards-based grades to evaluate student performance.
- Enables a standards-based classroom. This web-based, learning management system offers integrated learning targets, rubrics, curriculum mapping, lesson plans, assessments, and report cards.
- Centralized gradebook storage. Having a centralized gradebook system allows administrators to run reports that help identify students who are struggling and those who would benefit from having extra help.
- Offers school or district-wide pricing with free accounts for individual teachers.
- This web-based system does not require any software to download, install, or maintain.
- Administrators can easily send announcements to the entire school or district.
- Requires an Internet connection for use and occasionally the online system can lag or go down.
- Course setup is cumbersome and creating customized reports is challenging.
- Customer service needs improvement.
TeacherEase™ works with standard HTML-based web pages Users can log on from anywhere that has an Internet connection. The software design works well, even with older computers and slow Internet connections. Users can log on with a Mac, PC, or a UNIX system from a desktop computer, laptop, terminal, or tablet or use a web browser on any smart device. Individual teachers and software system evaluators can sign up for a free account to learn how the system works.
A Final Word on Online Gradebooks
I hope this list of free and paid online grading programs was helpful.
The products above are all different: some are standalone online gradebooks, others are e-Learning suites that cover most aspects of the education process, including content authoring and learning management.
And remember, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution here. What works in one learning environment might not be a good fit in another.
Define your goals and budget, and go for a product that supports your local standards and, ultimately, makes your life easier.
As always, I conclude the blog posting with a tiny survey.