Marking Schemes

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When teachers assess students in Accelerus, each assessment item they add results to must have a marking scheme. This is what defines what may be entered by the teacher for the particular item. For example, one item may have a comment marking scheme attached to it, another may only allow numeric marks, whereas another may allow only a value from a defined list of grades, eg an A to E grade, Satisfactory / Not Satisfactory, etc. As shown below, the assessment item column coded WHA1 allows an Always, Usually, Sometimes, Rarely, Never list of values.

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Marking schemes are set up once in the database and apply perpetually. It is not necessary to re-enter these each cycle, but you may add new ones as required. You may have as many marking schemes as you need, as your needs change.

As a minimum, a database will have marking schemes for all of the types of data that is to be added to assessment items which appear in reports. However, additional marking schemes should be added:

To record the values of student custom properties, eg the ESL status of students, Naplan scores, etc.
For assessment items that are to store student results that are not appearing in reports, where Accelerus is being used like a markbook, including calculated items.
To meet the needs of teachers who may want to use Accelerus as their markbook and set up their own class assessment items, Only schemes that have been created centrally by the Accelerus administrataor are available for teachers to use in their personal assessment record-keeping processes.

Marking schemes need to be defined before you are able to create assessment items or student custom properties, as each item must be linked to an already existing marking scheme. For example, a school may have a final grade item in each subject, in which only A to E may be entered. The A to E marking scheme needs to be created and assigned to the final grade item.



Schools in the Victorian Catholic and Government sectors do not need to create all of the marking schemes required for AusVELS reports. These will be created automatically when a school generates its AusVELS report parameters in the Quick Setup window. Only marking schemes for non-AusVELS reports need to be added, eg for non-reported assessments, term or interim reports, VCE reports, etc.



minusTypes of marking schemes

There are four categories of marking schemes, and you may have as many different schemes of each type as you require:


These schemes allow free form text, using any characters. They are usually used for teacher comments that appear on reports but may be used for any assessment items or student custom properties where any characters are allowed, eg in a field where the teacher is responsible for describing what was covered in the class that semester, or for a custom property containing details of medical conditions.

When adding comment schemes, you determine whether the comment is to have a specified maximum number of characters or not. Therefore, when teachers are entering comments, they will not be able to save a comment that goes beyond the maximum set. Teachers are informed of the maximum number of characters to which each comment is restricted when assessing their students, as shown below, in the status bar of a class results window.

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A school creates comment schemes for all of the different maximums that are required, each coded appropriately for easy identification. For example, you may have a COM400, a COM500 and a COM1500 scheme, which have limits of 400, 500 and 1500 characters respectively, as well as a COM that is not limited.

The appropriate comment scheme is then assigned to the different comment assessment items in the subject records. For example, in a primary school, COM1500 may be used for comments in the home group teacher's report, but COM500 in the specialist teachers' reports.


In the case of numeric schemes, only numbers can be entered by teachers, plus any exceptional non-numeric values that have been defined in the scheme, eg NA.

When a numeric scheme is added, the numeric parameters for the scheme are defined - the minimum and maximum allowed, the number of decimal places and the rounding. For example, a numeric scheme may allow numbers from 0 to 100, with one decimal place, rounded to 0.5, ie numbers such as 25.5 and 55.0 may be added.

Teachers are informed of the parameters of any numeric assessment items, as shown below. Also, if a teacher enters a number with the incorrect rounding factor, it will automatically be rounded up or down, as appropriate. In the case of the example numeric scheme above, 25.25 would be rounded up to 25.5 but 25.2 will be rounded down to 25.0.

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As many numeric marking schemes may be added as required, coded in a way to make them easily distinguished from each other. This is particularly important if if you two numeric schemes with the same parameters, but with different exceptional values. For example, one scheme that allows numbers between 0 and 100 may not have any exceptional values, but another allows ABS. Codes such as NUM100 and NUM100ABS might be appropriate here. Or one may round to full numbers and the other to 0.1, coded NUM100 and NUM100.1.

Another feature of numeric schemes is that, optionally, you may define ranges of numbers within the maximum and minimum, and assign text values. For example, 90 to 100 may be defined as Excellent, 75 to 89 as Very good, etc. Teachers do not see the assigned text values, except if printed in reports.


List marking schemes generally make up the majority of a school's marking schemes. They are the schemes where a list of values is defined to which teachers are limited in selecting. Such schemes would include:

A+, A, B+, B, C+ …
Excellent, Very good, Good …
Always, Usually, Sometimes …
Yes, No

In addition to the list of allowed values, exceptional values may be assigned to each scheme also, eg NA, ABS, etc.

When setting up list schemes, in the Allowed Values table, you define three different fields for each value: entered value, displayed value and reported value.

All three fields are available for insertion in reports.

When teachers are entering results in items that use a list marking scheme, they may directly type in the entered value required or select it from a dropdown list. The dropdown list will also show the displayed value, where this is different to the entered value, as shown below.

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The order in which the values in a list marking scheme are entered determines the order that results sort when teachers are working on their student results in a class or subject results window.

Therefore, if you have a marking scheme as shown above, where E, V, A, N are the valid values, when a column of results using this scheme is sorted, the results will appear in this order and not in strict alphabetical order, ie not A, E, N, V.


plusDate schemes

Date marking schemes allow dates to be stored and output in a variety of formats. They are usually used for fields such as the date a test was set, or the date of birth of students stored in a custom property.

Date marking schemes have a maximum and minimum date. Also, you may stipulate different date formats for the displayed and reported value. For example, a date may be displayed in the teacher's class file as 15/04/2015, but in the student's report is reported in the format 15 Apr 2015 or Wednesday 15 April 2015, etc.

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A school may only need one date marking scheme, especially if it wishes to store and display dates in a consistent format throughout Accelerus.



minusAdding a marking scheme

The steps to add a marking scheme are similar for each type of scheme, to a point, and then they diverge. You should follow the steps below, but apply the appropriate steps for the type of scheme you are adding.

Go to File > New > Marking scheme and select the type of scheme you wish to create, eg List Marking Scheme.


From the Marking Scheme Explorer, click the appropriate one of the New icons in the bottom left corner, ie New comment, New list,New numeric or New date marking scheme.

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Insert a code for the scheme, selecting a code that is meaningful, eg COM750 for a comment of up to 750 characters, or AE for an A to E scheme, etc.
Enter a description of the scheme to make identification of it easier, eg Comments up to 100 characters.
Proceed according to the requirements for the type of marking scheme being added:
Click the Has limited length checkbox if you do not want to allow unlimited length comments to be entered when this scheme is used.
Enter the maximum number of characters.

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In the Allowed Values table:
Click the Add list value icon at the bottom left of the table or double click in the first row's Entered Value cell.
Enter the first entered value, eg E.
Press the Tab key to move to the displayed value column where the entered value will appear automatically.
If you want a different displayed value, type this, eg Excellent.
Press the Tab key to move to the reported value cell and the displayed value will appear there.
Enter a different reported value, if required, which may be special characters that allow symbols such as ticks and crosses to be printed on reports.
Tab to the next row and continue adding values that make up the scheme.

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Move the values into the correct order, usually from the best value to the lowest at the bottom, using the Move up and Move down arrows.

The order that the values appear determines the way results sort in the class and subject results windows.

If any exceptional values are required, in the bottom table in the window:
Click the Add exceptional value icon or double click in the first row's Entered Value cell.
For each exceptional value required, type in the entered, displayed and reported values required.

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Enter the minimum value allowed for the results that use this scheme, usually 0 or 1.
Enter the maximum value.
In the Decimal Places field, enter an integer for the number of digits to appear after the decimal place, eg 0, 1 or 2.

The numbers will always display the specified number of decimal places, even if the result is a full number, eg 10.0 if 1 decimal place or 10.00 for 2.

Enter the rounding factor, ie what rounding is to be applied to numbers entered, eg enter 1 if numbers are to be always rounded to an integer, ie with no decimal places, or 0.5 if rounded to the nearest .5, etc.

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In most numeric marking schemes the Allowed Values table is not required. Only if ranges of numbers are to be translated to text values proceed as follows:
Click the Add numeric range icon in the bottom left of the Allowed Values table or double click in the first row's Minimum cell.
Enter the minimum and maximum value for the first range of numbers, making sure you take into account the number of decimal places and rounding factor for the marking scheme.
This example scheme rounds to 0.1. Therefore, the maximum value of the first row is 9.9, the highest allowed value before the next minimum. If 9 had been entered and the next row started at 10, the values between 9 and 10 - 9.1, 9.2, etc - would be missing.
Continue adding rows until all numbers between the minimum and maximum for the marking scheme are included.

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If any exceptional values are required, ie any non-numerics such as NA or ABS, in the bottom table in the window:
Click the Add exceptional value icon or double click in the first row's Entered Value cell.
For each exceptional value required, type in the entered value, displayed value and reported value required.

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In the Minimum Date field, enter the earliest date that may be entered in any location where this scheme is to be used.
Enter the maximum date that may be entered, taking into account future usage of the marking scheme.
In the Displayed Format field, select from the available formats in which the dates will be displayed on screen.

A sample of the format will be displayed, once a selection has been made.

In the Reported Format field, select from the extensive list of formats in which the dates can be converted for reporting purposes.

Again, a sample of the format will be shown beside the selection.

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If any exceptional values are required, ie any non date data such as NA or ABS. in the bottom table in the window:
Click the Add exceptional value icon or double click in the first row's Entered Value cell.
For each exceptional value required, type in the entered value, displayed value and reported value required.


Click the Save icon, or press Ctrl S to save the new scheme.


minusTypes of values fields

List and numeric marking schemes have an Allowed Values table and an Exceptional Values table. Date marking schemes also have an Exceptional Values table.

The exceptional values are also allowed values in that teachers are allowed to enter the values that appear therein. However, exceptional values usually have a special meaning and fall outside of the ordered set of values found in the Allowed Values table. For example, NA for Not Assessed and UG for Ungraded. These exceptional values may be excluded from calculations, eg from a summation or average.

The Allowed and Exceptional Values tables have three different fields which must be inserted for each value of the scheme. Each of these has a very specific use and meaning:




Entered value

This is the result entered by the teacher, eg A, B, C;  Y,N;  NA, etc.

It is recommended that these values are kept to one character, where possible, to minimise data entry.

Displayed value

The displayed value contains the meaning of the entered value, eg the entered value of S may have a displayed value of Satisfactory, NA may be Not assessed, etc.

In a list marking scheme, this value is displayed to teachers in a dropdown list when assessing students. The Displayed value may be the same as the entered value or may even contain an explanatory note, eg only use in special circumstances.

Reported value

Teachers do not see the reported value field when entering results. This is only used for printing purposes and is only required where a different value needs to be printed on the reports to the entered or displayed values.

It is most often used for graphical representations of the entered results, such as a tick box. In such graphical marking schemes, special control characters are inserted in this field.

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minusDeleting and modifying a marking scheme

You cannot delete a marking scheme from your Accelerus database if it has been used for any results at any time. Only delete a scheme that has been entered in error. As with all entities in Accelerus, deletion is via the entity's Explorer, in this case the Marking Scheme Explorer.

Also, you cannot change the following critical aspects of a marking scheme once there are results using it, as this would affect the integrity of your results data:

Decrease the maximum length of a comment scheme.
Change the entered value of a list marking scheme's Allowed Values or Exceptional Values tables.
Increase the minimum value or decrease the maximum value of a numeric marking scheme.
Change the entered value of a numeric or date marking scheme's Exceptional Values table.

Note that displayed and reported values may be changed in list, numeric and date marking schemes. However, do so with care, particularly if reports that used these fields have been printed in previous years or cycles as the changes will be reflected in the past reports as well as future ones.



Keep in mind that, although there may be no results in the database currently using a marking scheme that you want to delete or modify, if teachers are working on offline files that contain assessment items using a marking scheme you want to delete or modify, when they synchronise their offline files, errors will occur if the marking scheme or value no longer exists.


minusPrinting a list of marking schemes

You may preview and print a listing of all of the marking schemes set up in your school's database:

Go to the File menu and select Data Listings.
Highlight Marking Schemes in the table of listings available.
Click the Preview button.
From the Preview window you may view the listing and/or print it out if required.




Graphical Marking Schemes

Graphic Functions