Paper report cards are one of the things we most associate with our school days. We all remember going to school and picking up those all-to-important sheets of paper, wondering what grades we got, and what our parents would think. However, just because they are a staple of classrooms, doesn’t mean they are perfect. There are many issues that come with traditional report cards:
- Students hiding them from parents.If a student didn’t do very well in class, the hiding or “losing” of a report card might be tempting. Unfortunately – due to limited communication between parents and teachers – this may be successful for a time. Parents may lose the chance to speak to their child, or a teacher, about potential issues.
- Students losing them.In some cases, students may genuinely lose their report cards. These papers are often stuffed into heavy, crowded bags and may be forgotten about or fall out. They may also be damaged and made illegible. As report cards are official school documents, it can be a tedious process for all involved to get another copy.
- Errors are difficult to fix.A student, teacher, or parent may find an error in a printed report card. However, due to how report cards are printed and distributed, this error may be very difficult to rectify – leading to problems for all involved.
- A long delay between issuances.Reports cards are generally only issued 1-3 times per year, meaning a long time lag for parents to learn of their children’s progress. This may frustrate some parents, if they realize too late that their child needs help with a particular subject or topic. If they have real-time information, they may have the opportunity to assist their child improve in areas of concern.
- Having to be picked up after the school term.In some schools, reports cards have to be picked up after the end of the school term. This can be very difficult as parents may have summer plans and have to move things around just to get their children’s grades, which may be inconvenient and, at times, annoying.
- Lack of data.Paper report cards often only provide two numbers: the student’s grade and the class average. This is not a lot of useful information to guide parents in further decisions. Other qualitative or quantitative information may be more valuable to help parents and students determine next steps in their educational journey.
- Limited space for comments.Report cards only provide a tiny space (usually around an inch tall) in which teachers can provide comments about the students. This doesn’t give teachers or parents much to work with and may cause parents to lose out on important information.
- One-way communication, from teacher to student or parents.Report cards only allow for one-way communication, however, everyone would be better served if parents and teachers could collaborate and discuss student progress across the course of a study period.
We have used our experience and insights to craft a better solution.
Ricoh has worked with over a hundred schools across Canada. We’ve seen these problems first hand. We know that they can cause real issues for schools and all stakeholders involved.
- Through our enterprise content management (ECM) system, all student information – including biographical information, health information, and grades – can be put into one place.
- In this system, grades can be input and reports automatically created. These reports can have lots of data about student performance instead of just test scores. Teachers can use this data to gain insights about student performance and to ensure that student needs are being addressed.
- The system also has data such as parent email addresses. Automatically generated reports can be sent to parents on a regular basis. Teachers can also add additional comments to these reports to help parents gain context. Optionally, parents can also reply to these comments, making the process much more interactive.
- This wholly digital system eliminates a significant amount of paper and ink from the process and saves the school board a lot of money. Our ECM system is environmentally friendly and helps schools propel their image as an environmentally conscious, forward-thinking school.
Paper report cards may bring back memories of our school days, but it’s time for them to go. By embracing the digital present, we can ensure that parents, teachers, and administrators can work together to create the best education system possible for our children. Call a Ricoh representative today to learn how to modernize your grading and reporting systems!
Talk to a Ricoh representative about how you can make report cards completely digital. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, please do keep in mind that Ricoh is not providing legal advice or ensuring legal compliance with any law, regulation, by-law or any other legislative requirement with respect to the content of this communication. It is the customer’s responsibility to obtain advice of competent legal counsel to ensure its compliance with such requirements.