Markboard Guide

Chapter 1: Setup For Markboard

Markboard brings both summative and formative assessment to your students. Get real-time insights into your students’ learning progress to provide the best feedback. Best of all, it’s free for individual teachers.

This learning guide will help familiarize you with the features of Chalk's Markboard app. While this guide will cover many of the features available, please refer to our extensive support articles for specific questions or reach out to us at support@chalk.com or through our in-app Live Chat service (available Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm EST).

The following chapter of our learning guide will go over how to:

  • Set up your school year
  • Navigate the Markboard app
  • Create and enroll your students
  • Customize your settings

Note: You will need to have created your account in your browser before you can access the mobile Markboard app.

How can I start using Markboard?

When you create your account for Chalk, you will be prompted to set up your planner. This setup is essential for being able to use both Planboard and Markboard. Setting up your planner involves a few things: picking your start and end dates, creating a name for your planner and adding classes. The planner holds all of your students, classes, and content for your Chalk school year.

Step 1: 

After creating a teacher account, the first thing you'll need to do is name your planner. It will automatically be titled with the nearest school year by default, but you can change it to whatever you'd like. We recommend creating a planner for the entire school year unless your school is strictly semestered and no classes are taught in multiple semesters.

Step 2:

Next, you'll want to pick your start and end dates. You can do this by clicking in the start and end date areas of the box.

Note: You can edit these dates at any time after you complete the setup process. See this article for more information on editing your semester. 

When you're done, click the Next Step button in the top-right corner.

Setting up your teaching schedule

Your teaching schedule is the number of days your timetable is, and how long it takes to repeat itself. For example:

  • if you teach the same classes every day, you have a "Daily" schedule
  • If you teach a different set of classes for each day of the week, you have a "Weekly" schedule
  • Some schools have 4, 5, or even 6 day rotating schedules that may begin on different days of the week

The next step of the setup process will have you select the teaching schedule that best suits your school year.

Step 1:

Click on a box that best fits your teaching schedule (Daily, Weekly, or Rotating) and then click Next Step in the top-right corner.

Note: If you are not interested in the lesson planner features of Chalk and only want to use the gradebook, we recommend selecting the Daily or Weekly to simplify the following steps.

Step 2:

If you selected a Daily or Weekly schedule, you will be asked to select your teaching days. These are the days that will be available during your school year for scheduling lessons. Click on the toggle buttons to add or remove teaching days from your planner.

If you selected a Rotating schedule, you will also see options to change the number of rotation days/weeks with a preview of how this schedule would appear in your planner. You can click the blue buttons next to the number to add or remove rotation days, or click on "I need a multi-week rotation" to add multiple weeks.

When your teaching days or rotating schedule look correct, click the Next Step button in the top-right corner.

Setting up your Subjects

Setting up your subjects is essential so that you know which classes you are grading and creating assessments for in Markboard.

Here is a quick breakdown of the difference between subjects and non-teaching blocks when it comes to scheduling in Chalk:

  • Subjects are relatively straight-forward. You might teach Grade 11 English, Grade 10 English and Grade 12 World History all in the same semester. These would get their own subject, making them easy to distinguish between for assessments, grading, and observations.
  • Non-Teaching Block is a period of time that you'd like to have in your schedule or timetable, but doesn't require any lesson planning. This could be Lunch, Recess or maybe Study Hall. If you are only using the gradebook feature in Chalk, you likely don't have a need for non-teaching blocks. For more information on adding non-teaching blocks, click here

Step 1: 

Click the + Add a Class button on the left-hand side.

Step 2: 

Select the Subject option in the drop down menu that appears.

Note: If you have classes created in Google Classroom or Schoology, you can import them into Markboard by clicking the Import Classes button in the bottom-left corner and following the instructions here.

Step 3: 

Enter a name for your class in the text field that appears.

You can click the colour picker icon to the left of the class name to select the colour you would like to assign the class.

Once you've chosen a name and colour for your class, click Create and you will see the class added to the list on the left.

Step 4:

Repeat these steps until you've created all the necessary classes for your school year.

Setting up your Timetable

Before you can get started on planning your lessons in Planboard, you'll need to customize your planner by setting up your timetable/schedule. If you are not interested in the lesson planner features of Chalk and only want to use the gradebook, you can click and drag any class you've created onto the timetable, then click the Start Planning! button in the top-right corner to finish the setup process.

If you intend to use both Planboard and Markboard for this school year, follow these steps:

Step 1:

After creating your classes, you will see all of them in a list with the word "Unscheduled" beside them. Now you can schedule them on the appropriate teaching days.

There are multiple ways to schedule classes on your timetable, so choose the method that works best for you.

Option 1 - Drag and drop method: Simply click on the subject you wish to schedule and drag it onto its desired position on the timetable.

You can edit the length of the class after it has been placed by dragging the two lines that appear on the bottom of the block. The next time you drag and drop a class, it will be the most common length used on the timetable so far.

Option 2 - Schedule in bulk: Click the scheduling icon to the right of the class you would like to schedule.

The following popup will appear for you to select the start and end times of the class, as well as the rotation days that you have this class in your timetable. You can enter the start and end times by typing in the time field or clicking the clock icons.

If your class appears on different times for each day, it may be easiest to schedule all instances at the same time and then move the blocks into the correct time slots.

Click Schedule when finished, and the class will appear on your timetable.

Option 3 - Draw method: Click and drag a box on the timetable to select a class to add, as pictured below. You can edit the start and end times in the window that appears.

Step 2:

Schedule the remaining classes on your timetable. Along with seeing the block now appear on your timetable, scheduled classes will also show in the side list with all of the Days they are currently scheduled on.

You can click on any existing block on your timetable to edit its details, including switching it to another subject.

Once a class has been added to your timetable, you can move the block on your timetable by clicking on it and dragging it into a new position.

To edit the length of a class on your timetable, you can click on the two lines at the bottom of each block and drag then up and down.

If you need to remove a class from your timetable, simply move your cursor to the scheduled block and click the X that appears in the top-right corner.

Note: Planboard supports overlapping classes! Simply schedule classes with overlapping start and end times and they'll appear side-by-side on the timetable. You can find more more information about overlapping classes in this support article.

Step 3:

Double-check your timetable. At the end of scheduling your classes and blocks, your timetable might look something like this:

Step 4: 

When you're ready, click the Start Planning! button to save your schedule and continue to Planboard.

Note: You can come back and edit your timetable at any time, but changes to your timetable only apply from the present and future. Past timetables will not be affected. 

Please use the web browser to complete the setup process for your account before using the Markboard mobile app.

Please use the web browser to complete the setup process for your account before using the Markboard mobile app.

How do I navigate Markboard?

To access Markboard, click on the Markboard menu at the top of the page, then click All Classes.

You will see the classes you are teaching, and the number of students enrolled in each class.

Note: If you are a free user, you will have set up your subjects and enrolled students yourself. If your school has subscribed to the Assessment Solution, your admin will have set up your subjects, students and classlists. If any of these are incorrect, please contact your school administrator directly.

By hovering over a class and clicking it, you will be brought to the Assessments tab, beside it is Students, and  Settings. Let’s quickly discuss each tab:

1. Assessment

  • The assessment tab is where you can create, and grade assessments. Assessments are broken into 4 styles (Score, Rubric, Binary & Observation). 

2. Students

  • From the students tab, you’ll be able to create and enroll students, generate a class roster, or view the assessment information for the students in your class. If your school is subscribed to Chalk's Assessment solution, your students will already be entered by your school administrator, so clicking that tab will show you a list enrolled students.

3. Settings

  • This is where you enter categories of assessments that you’ll be grading (homework, projects, test, etc) as well as the weight that each category makes up.

How do I create and enroll students in a class?

In order to mark students within Markboard, you will first need to create and enroll your students into your classes. This article is a quick overview on how to do so.

Note: To find out how to import students from Google Classroom, read this support article.

Step 1:

Within Markboard, select the subject that you would like to enroll students in. 

Step 2: 

From the class's main page, select the Students tab along the top. 

Step 3:

If you have yet to create the student or group of students you would like to enroll, select the Create button.

Note: If you have created the students you would like to enroll already in a different class, skip ahead to Step 7 for how to enroll existing students. 

Step 4:

The Create New Students option will appear. In order to create a student enter their name First Last, Student ID.

Note: The student ID is an optional 

Step 5: 

When you've finished entering your students it will look like the picture below. When you're done, select the Add Students button.

Step 6: 

Your students will then be created and enrolled to the class automatically. 

Step 7: 

To enroll existing students that you've already created in another class, select the Enroll button. 

Step 8:

There are two options to enroll students. To enroll individual students, ensure that you're on the Individual Students tab and then select the Enroll button beside the student you would like to enroll in the class.

If you would like to enroll an entire existing class, select the Class List tab. Here you will be able to select the Enroll Number of Students button to enroll all of the students in that class into the current one.

Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available for mobile.

Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available for mobile.

How are grades calculated in Markboard?

Assessments in Markboard are grouped by categories for marking. Categories are averaged based on the weighting assigned on the settings page to get a students average. For example, if you have 2 categories, Quizzes and Homework, the average would be calculated as "studentAverage = (QuizAverage * QuizWeighting + HomeworkAverage * HomeworkWeighting) / (QuizWeighting + HomeworkWeighting)". If a category has no assessments it is not included in the average.

Now, let's take a look into how each category average is calculated. Within a category, each summative assessment is averaged -- formative assessments do not contribute to the overall grade. To customize how much a given summative assessment is worth within the category you can assign a custom weighting to it, by default this is set to 1. These weighting act like a multiplier and an assessment with 2x weighting will affect the average twice as much as an assessment with 1x weighting.

Extra credit assessments are a way that you can acknowledge when a student goes above and beyond what's expected. An extra credit assessment does not add itself to the number of assessments in a category. This means that if you have 3 regular assessments and 1 extra credit assessment, then the sum of the 4 assessments would be divided by 3 to get the category average. Note: When you have extra credit assessments it is possible for your students to have a grade of > 100%.

For each assessment, the last attempt for each student is taken for their final grade. If the last attempt is either omitted or ungraded then the assessment will not be counted towards their average.

How do I customize weighting and categories for a class?

Customizing weighting and categories can assist in keeping your marking organized and coherent. To learn how to customize weighting and categories, continue reading below.

Step 1:

From Markboard, select the class you would like to edit.

Step 2:

From the class, select the Settings tab.

Step 3:

All classes by default start with the following categories:

  • Homework
  • Quiz
  • Test
  • Assignment
  • Formative

You'll see each of these categories in a list on the left and visualized in a pie chart on the right as seen below:

You can adjust the name or weight of each category by simply clicking on it and typing. Wait a moment and you'll see the pie chart automatically update when it saves.

You can also create additional categories clicking the Add Category button at the bottom.

Deleting a Category

You should see an X to the right of each category weight, click this to delete that category.

Note: once a category is deleted it can not be recovered, you'll also need to specify what category assessments created in this one will be migrated to 

For example if you delete the Assignment category you'll need to migrate all existing assessments in that category to one of the other categories for this subject. (i.e Homework) 

Note: Each subject must have at least one category.

Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available on mobile. 

Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available on mobile.