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Gradescope Evaluation


The College of Engineering asked OIT to evaluate Gradescope, a grading software that improves management of paper-based exams and homework. 

CEAS implemented Gradescope on a trial basis in 2018 and usage has steadily increased since then, particularly as a solution during emergency remote teaching. CEAS expanded access to the tool outside their department and saw some usage in STEM and STEM-related fields such as Applied Math and Physics. As such, they asked if OIT would consider centrally supporting the tool and obtaining a campus license beginning August 2021.

The Academic Technology Applications and Design team (ATAD) assessed the software for its pedagogical value and its support implications. Its improvements in the grading process managing paper, as well as its dynamic rubric feature, both of which could potentially be extended to non-STEM disciplines, led us to recommend OIT adoption of the technology, but on a usage-based license rather than an institutional, full-campus license. Additionally, Gradescope recently acquired GradeHub, a bubble-sheet grading technology about to be implemented by the Testing and Assessment Center at CU Boulder. Adopting Gradescope centrally would have enabled the TAC to continue with implementation rather than renegotiating a contract or starting over with a software search.

Evaluation results

Due to the high cost of the software, which increased significantly between last year and this, OIT has opted not to adopt the software centrally. Most of the usage remains in CEAS departments, and adoption in other departments has been comparatively smaller. An additional factor in the assessment is the uncertainty of whether pandemic-driven usage will continue at the same level over time, or whether usage might decline as faculty return to in-person teaching. 

OIT will work with campus leadership to explore how consortium academic technologies (those used by a subset of the campus with advantages of cost, quality or expertise) can be funded, given the pedagogical and administrative value that Gradescope provides to students and faculty. 

Project Team

  • Rebecca Kallemeyn, Learning Experience Designer
  • Viktoriya Oliynyk, Academic Technology Services Program Manager
  • Emily Nicholl, Applications Administrator