Old Grading System

This page describes older or completely obsolete versions of our grading and exam systems. It may be useful in that our system has evolved, and many inexplicable features of it may be best explained in older documentation.

History of the Grading System

This is currently my recollections of the development of the grading system in our department, but it should not be considered a historically researched document.

The department first started using computer-graded exams in the late '70's, with a mark-sense form reader in Computer Services and a program written or imported by Prof. Stellingwerf. In the early '80's, I wrote a record-keeping (gradebook type) system called Grader, and Dick Plano developed GREK. By 1987 Plano's system had evolved into a very complex system of grading software and record keeping. This included a terminal-based system for entering recitation grades by hand and exam grades from the output of his version of the grader, called GRAD. GREK was also able to do various calculations with the grades.

In the early '80's exams were prepared on Selectric typewriters with interchangable balls, and then on Diablo daisy-wheel printers (with many keys, including greek), first controlled by the PDP10 and then by the VAX. The Department bought a commercial word-processing system called WordMark, which could drive the Diablo typewriter and later a Talaris laser printer. In 1987 the department bought its own mark-sense-form reader, and Pieter Jacques wrote the software for reading the mark sense forms, gread, which is still what we use for MC exams. Plano wrote GRED, to fix discrepancies in the gread file, alphabetize the students, and otherwise prepare the exam results for GRAD.

Plano developed a forerunner of grtex, called grex, based on WordMark, which could not produce postscript. This would prepare multiple versions of an exam and the complex information about the versions (called a key file) needed by GRAD. This was just when the first PostScript printers were coming out, and my first Unix machines with TeX, so I was adamant that we get a postscript printer and use tex or latex. I developed the tex/latex macros for grtex in the 1993, and Plano wrote the modified version of grex to do the scrambling of answers and questions and prepare the key file.

Old Documentation

Here are pointers to old documentation which may still be relevant. As I review them, many will be moved to Obsolete Documentation .

Obsolete Documentation

Criticisms or additions to this page should be sent to
Joel Shapiro
(shapirophysics) Last modified: Tue Jun 2 10:55:35 2009