Common Sense Review
Updated July 2015


A fresh way to capture, document, and share student learning
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • The gradebook provides a colorful look at student progress.
  • Users can quickly create slideshows from collected data.
  • Activities can be graded in a variety of ways.
  • FreshGrade makes grading efficient.
  • Various online communities support users.
Teachers can use mobile devices to document student learning and share information instantly with parents and students.
Lacks drawing tools and voice recording.
Bottom Line
Push notifications and multimedia documentation tools help communicate learning and expand assessment, and the addition of a gradebook sets this tool apart; still, student experience could use some polish.
Jason Shiroff
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Makes the often tedious task of documenting student learning easier, but experience could be more intuitive. Teachers can collect engaging multimedia data to share with students and parents, and all can comment and reflect on learning.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Students curate their own eportfolios using video, audio, image, and text, creating powerful learning and reflection opportunities. Push notifications of student work give parents a window into the classroom.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Detailed data is available to teachers, parents, and students. Users can get help from videos, FAQs, support tickets, and even suggested assignments. Some translation support, especially Spanish, would aid parents.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Even if teachers are required to use another grading program, the FreshGrade dashboard and reporting tools could help create a more comprehensive view of student achievement. Teachers can use FreshGrade to keep track of grades and document daily classroom activities. Using the mobile app to capture video, photos, and audio of classroom work can make documenting student learning easier. Once this data is collected, teachers can use push notifications to let parents and students know that it is posted. This is a great way to open communication channels with parents more frequently. Additionally, teachers can work with students to curate their own portfolios. Selecting pieces to add to their portfolios and reflecting on these pieces can help improve self-evaluations. These student-created portfolios make excellent talking points for student-led conferences. The portfolios could also help students set goals and track progress.

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What's It Like?

FreshGrade is a tool available on the web, as well as iPhone, iPad, Android, and Chrome, that helps teachers easily capture, document, and communicate student learning. It's a cross between a grading program and a learning-management system. Educators create class lists and select Common Core State Standards to use as learning outcomes. Next, activities are created and tied to the learning outcomes. Activities can be graded in a variety of ways on FreshGrade: Teachers can grade based on mastery, anecdotal notes, marking criteria with yes or no, percentage scores, and using conventional grades. While students are working on the activities, teachers can use their mobile devices to capture photos, video, audio recordings, and other notes. This data can be linked to individual students, groups, or the entire class. Students can review the teacher-collected data and comment on it. They can assemble the information into an eportfolio to document their learning journey.

FreshGrade can generate progress reports, and teachers have access to extensive data on their dashboard. Teachers can use push notifications to share information with parents and students. Parents can view their own child's portfolio and leave comments. Several versions of the mobile app are available to serve teachers, parents, and students.

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Is It Good For Learning?

FreshGrade enables teachers to easily assess student learning and provide instant feedback. Students almost always benefit when offered the opportunity to get timely feedback and reflect on it. This is where FreshGrade shines. Students get push notifications when a teacher posts to their account. They have the opportunity to review the new data and comment on it. Students and teachers can enter into meaningful dialogue based on photos, video, and audio. Parents can be easily invited into this dialogue.

The tool's developers heavily promote its ease of use, and it's definitely highly usable for teachers; students may struggle a bit but with some coaching they'll get the hang of it. The student experience would also benefit from more tools for creation (voice recording, drawing) and perhaps QR codes for account sign-up vs. unique access codes. For teachers already required to use a grading platform or more robust learning management system (LMS), FreshGrade may create more work and duplicate efforts teachers are already putting in elsewhere. Still, this is a great way to flexibly capture and share student progress.

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See how teachers are using FreshGrade

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