Makeshift Reporting Software (Word)

Here is a low tech, low cost solution to generating school reports which can be insightful and informative rather than a mundane task. Feedback is essential in teaching; some may even argue that it is the essence of teaching. However, reporting can be a chore. Often three or four formulaic scenarios are written and then the students are pigeon-holed into one of these. Thus making the report of little benefit and rendering it a mere bureaucratic endeavour.

The solution provided proposes the use of rubrics to judge students on different facets. The more facets, levels and sub-level there are, the more robust and unique the report will be. In the screencast above I used a rubric given by a PE teacher to demonstrate, however, perhaps one may even use national curriculum descriptors of sublevels to form their own comment bank.

In the proposed solution (see demonstration above) I used the auto-correct feature in Microsoft Word 2007. In Microsoft Word, click on the Microsoft Office Button on the top left hand corner, then click word options, then proofing. Then under the auto-correct options section click the auto-correct options button. Under Replace text as you type, on the Replace box, place the code (such as C3 for confidence level 3). On the with box, place the relevant corresponding comment bank.

Now, simply note the levels in code in Microsoft Word (or in Excel for bulk) and write as normal. For instance, simply write Mariam E3, S4, T5, C3 and O1 and have an entire report. I pray this saves time whilst also adding more value to your work.

I recorded and uploaded the demonstration in May, 2012 from the first attempt without any edit and as such it may seems lengthy and repetitive. Nevertheless, it worked. The solution will work even in excel. Power users may want to use mail-merge, combining MS Word and Excel.

Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
London, UK
5 Rajab 1434
16 May 2013

Citekey: 130516501