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MIS Systems Thread, Lots of changes to marksheet columns every year - any way round it? in Technical; Can anyone help with this? Our sixth form classes use tracking sheets, which have a generic pattern of aspects: Autumn ...
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    Lots of changes to marksheet columns every year - any way round it?

    Can anyone help with this?

    Our sixth form classes use tracking sheets, which have a generic pattern of aspects:

    Autumn Term assessment 1 teacher 1
    Autumn Term assessment 1 teacher 2
    Autumn Term assessment 2 teacher 1


    etc

    Last year, before I started the job, the column headings (rather than the aspect names) were edited to

    Autumn Term assessment 1 [teacher initials]
    Autumn Term assessment 1 [second teacher initials]


    Which makes it all much clearer for the teachers to identify their own aspects, but means that this year, because staffing has changed, all of the column headings need to be changed. As far as I know (and I would love to be corrected), this means they need to be changed by me, and each aspect needs to be changed individually on each template.

    Now they are saying they would ideally like the column headings to be along the lines of

    Autumn [description of assessment, e.g. "Romeo and Juliet essay"] [teacher initials]

    Which makes them even clearer but means they all need to be changed, AGAIN.

    Is there any way I can include these nice, useable column descriptions, without needing to be constantly fiddling with them in the templates? I assume that teachers can't change the column headings on their own marksheets (unless I give them some kind of AM permissions, which I don't want to do) - can they add notes to them in any way? It would be so helpful if they could somehow annotate them themselves, so that they can have generic names at the template level but still include the meaningful descriptive names that they want to see.

    Thanks to anyone who can help or suggest anything.

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    HI ICTLady,

    Firstly, I'd simply say no. Personalising columns is fraught with difficulties as you say - just a load of work for a little aesthetic pleasing to teachers.

    Even ignoring the Teacher initials bit, it's possible that next year they'll be doing Macbeth instead of Romeo and Juliet!

    This will just become a(nother) millstone for you to carry round.

    Perhaps they would be happy if you were to change the Notes in the template. This box appears at the top of any related marksheets when the teacher opens one.

    Then make sure that the teachers send you an email with the text that should go there, perhaps along these lines:

    AutAssess1a: Romeo and Juliet (GPS)
    AutAssess1b: Macbeth (ABC)
    AutAssess2a: Reading Skills (XYZ)
    AutAssess2b: Writing Skills (GPS)


    Regards

    Gary

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    ICTLady (31st January 2014)

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    Agree with gazkeltz on this. I use the generic title but also have a read only aspect for the teacher initials, eg Teacher 1, Teacher 2 etc.
    The columns are then arranged En Assess 1: Teacher 1 :En Assess 2: Teacher 2. The result set attached to the Assess aspects identifies the collection point.

  5. Thanks to number34 from:

    ICTLady (31st January 2014)

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    Thanks both, really helpful suggestions. I will try them out with the template notes idea, it sounds like the best compromise. I am sure they will like the idea that they can choose anything to write in there, so the notes will be genuinely meaningful to the department.

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    When working with many changes to templates in sims.net I export to XML, bulk replace or edit manually and import back in. I know this is still work each time, but editing columns in sims.net is excruciating!

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    Keep them general, personalising is crazy. They should know which assessment is which.

    We have some skills columns and used the notes to reflect what each skill is. You can also have a description for an aspect which would change in every marksheet and be reportable so that could be a slightly less painful method. I think they can right click on a heading and read that info. At least it's easier to change.

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    Thanks again everyone. The trouble with refusing to personalise is that they're already personalised, so I am having to make my case for going back to generic headings. Template notes sound like the best compromise.

    I'd never looked at exporting template definitions before - thanks @AlexB for mentioning that, something to look at in a quiet moment.....

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