With our new Student Management system, Kamar, we now have 700 characters to write student reports, 200 more than under the old system i.e. around 7 text messages. That gives us potentially another 200 characters to make mistakes of fact, grammar, spelling and student names.
Student names, fair enough you think? However, quite a few students have both legal and preferred names. The reports are required to use legal names, many of these are not known by the teacher.
Facts, fair enough you think? e.g. “X is currently doing a database assessment” . Unfortunately, by the time it is printed and the report sent this fact is now out of date. The assessment is complete and the results known to the student. (Roll on real time reporting.)
Spelling. Is it web site, website or web-site? Internet or internet? Spreadsheet or spread sheet? There are as many views as there are people checking the reports.
Grammar, the most contentious issues arise her. Do commas precede the word “however”? what about the word “but”? Seems to change every year. I dont want to talk about the use of semi-colons.
Personally I think that if the report can be read and understood by the parents then the report should be allowed to go unchanged. Use the preferred name, who cares if it is Internet or internet? so what if there is the odd missing comma before “however”
Current processes in many schools just add unnecessary time, cost, stress and a degree of resentment.