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If students' work will be collected by hand, then to be able to enter the work into Gradescope instructors must first scan each student's pages to convert them to PDFs. We know that scanning individual pages can be time consuming. Whether you're scanning 10, 100, or 1000 exams, check out the video and tips below to help you scan pages faster and more easily. Then be sure to see our FAQ on the scanners we recommend.
- Tip 1: Know how many physical pages you will be scanning before starting.
Always know how many physical pages you'll be scanning in each batch. This way once you're finished, you can check the number of scanned pages on your computer or scanning app to make sure you haven't missed any. It rarely happens with modern scanning technology, but in case something goes wrong, it's much easier to re-scan right away than to find out later and have to dig through the exams and find the one that needs to be re-scanned. An easy way to keep track of how many pages and exams you have in one batch is to group together exams with the same number of pages. Keep any exams with an irregular number of pages separate and scan those last.
- Tip 2: Cut off the stapled corners of exams.
Most multi-page assignments will be stapled and pulling out staples to run students' work through a physical scanner takes forever. We recommend simply cutting the stapled corners off the papers. This can be done easily with scissors or a guillotine-style paper cutter. If the cut corners jam the scanner, scan the papers upside down and either use the scanner’s built-in rotation software, or utilize our rotation setting when the scans are uploaded to Gradescope.
- Tip 3: Automatically forward scans to a centralized location
Sending your scans to a Google Drive or any convenient centralized location will speed up the process of organizing and uploading your files to Gradescope. It will also grant access to any teaching assistants who may be helping with the process.
- Tip 4: Scan multiple exams in one batch.
When you're ready to start grading, you can upload a PDF containing multiple students' work to Gradescope and Gradescope will be able to split the pages into individual student's submissions. This means that you do not need to scan each student's work and save it individually in order to grade it on Gradescope. If you are using the assignment versioning feature (beta), it's recommended that you separate students' submissions into assignment versions first, and then scan them by version.
- Tip 5: Color code or number your exam batches
It may be helpful to differentiate between multiple batches of exams by placing colored paper or a number on top of each batch once they have been scanned. This will make them easier to refer back to.
- Tip 6: Re-staple exams after they have been scanned.
If you followed Tip 2 or removed staples another way before scanning, we recommended re-stapling exams once scanning is done. This is extremely helpful if you'd like to go back through and review the hard copy of the exam.
- Tip 7: Print/copy submissions double-sided.
If you need to print or copy exams before scanning them, be sure to print or copy each one double-sided. This halves the number of sheets that have to be passed through the scanner and accordingly cuts scanning time in half compared to single-sided exams.
- Tip 8: Scan exams double-sided.
Especially if you printed or copied exams double-sided, we recommend scanning them double-sided too. Students might write something on the back and we want to make sure to have it all captured in our scans.
- Tip 9: Teamwork! Multiple team members assist with the process
If you have teaching assistants or anyone able to assist with the process, form a line and assign roles. One person could cut the stapled corners off, another person puts the papers through the scanner and re-staples the exams, and a third could check the PDF files for accuracy. Depending on your number of helpers, you could apply these roles to suit your workflow or even use multiple scanners in parallel to speed up the scanning process.
- Tip 10: Use these scanner settings for quick, high-quality results...
- No page auto-rotation (you can rotate pages in Gradescope if needed)
- No blank page removal (you can remove blank pages in Gradescope if needed)
Creating Labeled Printouts (Beta)
Currently in beta for instructor-uploaded Homework/Problem Set and Exam/Quiz assignments, the Create Printouts feature on the Manage Scans page allows you to generate a PDF file containing labeled copies of your Template file. You can download and distribute the labeled printouts to give each student a copy of the assignment with a unique label on each page. Students will then complete their work on those labeled pages. When you scan in students’ submissions, Gradescope will use the labels to automatically group the pages of each student’s submission together, no matter the order they were scanned or uploaded in. To have this feature added to your courses, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Then, check out the steps below.
- Navigate to the Manage Scans page for the relevant assignment. If you are currently creating your Assignment Outline, once you click the Save Outline button, you’ll be taken to the Manage Scans page. If not, you can access the Manage Scans page from the left sidebar of the assignment.
- On the Manage Scans page, click the Create Printouts button in the bottom right. A dialog box will appear containing an explanation of the feature and thumbnails of your template file.
- In the dialog box, next to Number of Submissions, indicate how many copies of the assignment you’d like to have included in the printout file. This should typically be the number of students in your course or the number of students who will be receiving a copy of the assignment.
- When you’re ready, click the Create Printout button. Gradescope will then generate a single PDF file (or two PDFs if your printout is over 800 pages) containing labeled copies of your Template file. You can download, print, and distribute copies to students so they can complete their work on the labeled pages.Label placements: The label will be placed in the top right corner of each page of the printout, so please make sure that your PDF Template File has no important text there, such as name or date fields.
- Once you have your PDFs ready to upload, click Select PDF Files on the Manage Scans page.
- Select your files and they will begin uploading. You can also drag and drop submissions directly onto the Manage Scans page. While you can upload a PDF for each student submission, it's recommended that you upload PDFs that contain multiple student submissions for faster processing.
- Once the scans have been uploaded, Gradescope will attempt to create submissions by matching the uploaded pages to the template PDF (which you uploaded when you first created the assignment).Where do I go to change my Template PDF? Navigate to the Settings for the Assignment. Click Replace PDF and upload a new template.
- If Gradescope was able to break up the entire PDF into submissions, you’ll see a message that submissions were created automatically (see image below). You can click Show to double-check that everything was split correctly. Note that if the first page of your template file matches the first page of all students’ submissions, more of the submissions will be automatically and confidently split.
- If Gradescope was not able to break up the entire PDF into submissions, you’ll see a yellow error message above your uploaded file that says “Ready to Create Submissions (Unable to confidently auto-split)”. If you see that message...
- Click Show to expand the pages of your scanned PDF. Then scroll down until you find the pages that Gradescope couldn't split accurately. These pages will have yellow error messages above them.
- Hover over the thumbnails of the PDF pages in question. When it appears, click the magnifying glass icon to zoom in on each page and see what's causing the error (e.g., a student included an extra page in their submission).
- Reorder, split, or merge pages as needed (see next section). If you need to, you can also click the red X in the top left of a thumbnail to delete that page from the upload.
- Click the Create Submissions button when you're finished.To enlarge/restart the gif: Right-click on it > Select Open Image in New Tab.
Reordering, splitting, and merging submissions
Be sure to review the recommended splitting to make sure your scans turn into correct submissions. An easy way to check this is to look at the first page of each submission to make sure that it matches the template. If a proposed submission has out-of-order pages or an extra page, you can drag and reorder pages, as well as set your own split points by hovering over the submission and clicking Split. You can also merge submissions together by clicking Merge With Previous.
If Gradescope automatically split your scans and you need to rotate a page, a submission, or all submissions in your batch, first, select the Undo Automatic Split button at the bottom of the page. If Gradescope did not auto-split your submissions, you will already be able to rotate pages. To rotate a single page in a submission, find the submission, hover over the thumbnail of the page in question, and click the circular arrow the appears in the bottom right of the thumbnail. Keep clicking until the page is oriented correctly. To rotate all pages in a submission, find the submission and click Rotate Submission to the right of it. Keep clicking until the submission is oriented correctly. To rotate all pages in all submissions, scroll to the bottom of the Manage Scans page and click the Rotate PDF button.