In the last post, we looked at one way to display information about non-academic behaviors in the classroom---things like work ethic, participation, and attendance. These are student attributes that we value and want to report on, but need to be separated from grades and other measures of learning.
Even though I am sure that I will revisit these ideas and fine tune the data displays over time, I thought I would lift the curtain to reveal the workbook innards. No doubt some of you would like to play, too.
Before we jump into the guts, I want to say that all of the attributes and scales are just examples. We could have a lively discussion about which attributes to measure, how you (or your students) could collect these data, and what the cut scores should be in order to be in the range of performance we'd like to see. These are critical pieces to consider...ones that I hope you ponder and kick around with your colleagues and students. I am going to set them aside in this post and strictly focus on the nuts and bolts.
On the Report Sheet, I set up a data validation for the students last names. I started by selecting the range of last names on the Attendance/Grade worksheet. I named the range "LastName." Then, on the Report worksheet in the cell where I wanted the dropdown to appear, I chose Data Validation on the Data tab. In the dialogue box, I selected List from the "Allow" dropdown and then in the "Source" box, I added a formula using my named range. For the "First Name" area on the Report worksheet and the selections at the bottom of each of the other worksheets, I used our old friend, the INDEX/MATCH formula.
6:AF6,"A")). In other words, count the A's in a particular row (in this example, row 6 for Cathy Andrews) and subtract that number from the number of available days in the grading period (30). However, this swap won't work for creating the graphs. I need numbers to work with---not text. But a simple IF statement makes short work of that: =IF(C18=0,1,0), where "C18" is the cell from the INDEX/MATCH result for a particular student.
I also used a nested IF to have Excel convert the number of days attended (or points earned) into a level of performance. For example, here is the one that goes with the worksheets for Work Ethic, Participation, and Behavior: =IF(AG6<=59,1,IF(AG6<=79,2,IF(AG6<=99,3,IF(AG6>=100,4))))
It looks worse than it really is. (Don't most things?) Notice the repeating "AG6," which is the cell with the total number of points I want Excel to use as a comparison. In the first part of the statement, we tell Excel that if that number is less than or equal to 59, to put a 1 in the cell. If not, Excel moves on to the next part of the statement. Even though we know that "30" is less than or equal to all of the cutoffs in the equation, Excel considers only one at a time.
Anyhoo, after you select your data for the graph, don't fall apart of it looks like this:
I won't go into detail with the line graph. What I will share is that it does take time to create the labels, standardize the sizes, and get everything in place. Take your time. Don't assume that Excel knows best. It's important to make things look good---otherwise, you are missing your chance to truly communicate with the data.
I would suggest that if you select this type of chart to use with students (or parents) that you spend some time talking about how to read them. Show them how to look at the connections between the spokes and the area covered by the graph. Why did I choose it, given the difficulty in interpretation? Because the attributes of student performance are not simply about comparing them. There needs to be a broader view of what is happening in a classroom---how is the student performing in light of the overall goals...and more importantly, how might non-academic factors be affecting one another (as well as student learning)? I think that you lose some of these capabilities with a clustered bar graph.
this workbook and these graphs? Would you choose to put the line graphs all on one chart for easier comparison? Do you like the idea of bar charts better than a stacked bar...and clustered columns instead of the radar graph? How would you organize the workbook?