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Grade Reporting

Jasig would like to add a dedicated grade reporting view to the courses portlet.  While the current portlet can display a grade in each course's detail view, it would be useful to have an overview with the following features:

  • Grades and credits for each course in a term
  • Term GPA and credit total
  • Ability to navigate between terms for which the user has completed courses
  • Overal GPA and credit total

In the initial phase of this feature, term and overall GPA and credit number will be provided by the remote service and will not be calculated by the portlet itself.

This use case will require adding data representations of academic terms, GPA, and course credits to the portlet, as well as adding new views.

UW-Madison Implementation

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is working on an implementation of this portlet as a Final Grades portlet going against a PeopleSoft Web Service end point. The following is a screen shot of our current design.

GPA Calculation

In the longer term, some institutions may want the portlet to be capable of calculating GPAs itself.  This would help support use cases where a student could enter hypothetical grades for current courses to get a preview of the resulting GPA.

An in-portlet GPA calculator would need to take into account a number of institution-specific rules.  Different schools use slightly different numerical values for GPA fractions (for instance, mapping an "A-" to a 3.67 vs. 3.667 or 3.66).  Other schools do not use letter grades at all, instead assigning numerical grades directly.  Institutions may also vary in their treatment of re-taken classes.

Eventually the portlet may also need to distinguish between different enrollment periods and degrees while calculating overall GPA (e.g. undergraduate degree vs. medical school).

This functionality should be optional, as some schools might wish to continue to allow the external system to calculate a student's GPA.

Share data with other portlets

Jasig would like to have course-related information available to other portlets.  Some examples where this would be useful are

  1. Calendar portlet that can integrate a student's or teacher's course schedule into their calendar
  2. Map view that obtains the current list of courses and their locations to display a visual map to the student.

To accomplish this we'd like to have the courses portlet DAO code split into a separate module so it can be included in other portlets to access course-related information.

Course Details updated Data Model

UW-Madison is looking to add more details to the Course Details page. This will require additional data elements. The question is how should these additional data elements be added to the Data Model. Should there be more or less Structured Data in the Data Model. The move is to be toward keeping the Data Model as Generic ans Simple as possible so it is easier for more organizations to make use of the Data Model and the Courses Portlet.

UW-Madison specific data updates

UW-Madison tracks Courses (think of a factory), as well as Classes (think of an instance of a Course for a specific point in time such as Spring 2013). UW-Madison also tracks information associated with both Courses and Classes. In order to do this additional data elements will need to be added to the data model.  The first cut at the Data Model xsd is to add the new data elements as structured data items. The thought is this will show what additional data elements are needed first. Then, upon examination, a more generic approach can be explored.

Added a simple type with enumerations to the Course Meeting definition in the commons.xsd to differentiate between a CLASS meeting and FINAL EXAM meeting.


Added a host of information to the courses.xsd file to represent the Class-level identifiers and Resources. Resources are basically URLs very similar to Course Updates but of a more permanent nature.



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