Note: This document is no longer current. It is published for informational purposes.
The following step-by-step instructions guide you through the grade upload process from beginning to end. Before you start, please make sure that:
- You have reviewed and fully understand the information in our Spark to SPIRE Grade Upload Overview .
- You use valid grade options, as outlined here: Valid Grade Options for Different Grade Bases .
- You follow these instructions to the letter to avoid any problems with your grades.
Note: These instructions assume that you are familiar with the Grade Book tool in SPARK, if you need help setting up your SPARK Grade Book, contact the Instructional Media Lab (firstname.lastname@example.org  or 545-2823).
Part I: Request a SPARK Course (if you don't have one already)
Request a SPARK course  in SPIRE for each course you wish to register for Grade Upload. It can take up to three work days to populate a course with the student roster. If you need to request a SPARK course, you should do so no later than Tuesday, December 4, 2012.
Part II: Activate Grade Upload
SPARK’s Grade Upload feature is not available by default. You can sign up for Grade Upload for any SPARK-eligible course  in SPIRE before Monday, December 10, 2012. Grade Upload is not available for the summer or winter terms.
Note: If you activate Grade Upload, but later on decide to enter grades manually into SPIRE, you must cancel grade upload or any unapproved grades in SPIRE will be overwritten with the data from your SPARK Grade Book.
- Log in to SPIRE and on the Menu, click My SPARK Courses. The My SPARK Courses screen will open.
On the My SPARK Courses screen, select the SPARK to SPIRE Grade Upload check box next to the course(s) you wish to register, then click Update Grade Upload. Your class(es) will be automatically registered for Grade Upload. If you do not see the class you wish to register for Grade Upload on the My SPARK Courses page:
- Double-check that you are looking at the courses for the correct term.
- Make sure you have requested a SPARK course for your class. (Only classes for which you have requested a SPARK course appear on this page.)
- Check the Grade Upload Schedule  to confirm that you have not missed the registration deadline. Remember, Grade Upload is not available for the summer or winter terms.
To Cancel Grade Upload
If you decide that you do not want to transfer grades from SPARK to SPIRE, you must cancel the grade upload. If you do not, any unapproved grades in SPIRE will be overwritten with the data from SPARK.
Please withdraw by sending a message to email@example.com . Your course will be removed from the list of courses registered for Grade Upload and your information will be removed from our Grade Upload mailing list.
Part III: Enter Grades into SPARK’s Final Grade Column
There are two ways to populate the Final Grade column in SPARK:
Option 1: Calculate final grades in the SPARK Grade Book:
Prepare a calculated column that collects the scores from all of the appropriate grading columns and converts the total to a 100-point (%) scale. Then create a letter grade column with the name “Final Grade” (replacing the one already in the grade book). Adjust the grading criteria of the letter grade column to match your own standards. See the documentation below for details on how to create columns, calculate scores, and apply grading criteria.
- Calculate Final Grades in SPARK for Upload to SPIRE  (pdf, 632k)
- Valid Grade Options for Different Grade Bases 
Option 2: Import grades into SPARK from Excel (or similar software):
If you have a spreadsheet or database that includes the final grade and each student's NetID, you can upload the grades directly into SPARK's Grade Book as a .csv (comma-delimited) file.
You must prepare your data file so that it can be uploaded and merged with the data in SPARK. Be sure that only the essential columns are included and there are no rows containing duplicate student names or NetIDs (this will cause the upload to fail). See the documentation below for details on how to prepare and upload a file.
- Export Student Grade Book Data from SPARK - or - Watch Video 
- Merge SPARK Rosters with Other Data in MS Excel  - or - Watch Video 
- Import Student Data to the Grade Book in SPARK  - or - Watch Video  Note: If your spreadsheet does not contain the NetID for each student, you will need to add this data before you can import grades into SPARK (see Merge SPARK Rosters with Other Data in MS Excel, immediatley above).
Part IV: Wait Overnight for Grades to Transfer from SPARK to SPIRE
Grade transfers begin the first day of final exams and happen nightly, just after midnight, until the day grades are due. Please note:
- Only valid grades (i.e., A, B+, INC, etc.) will be transferred from SPARK into SPIRE, blank or invalid grades will not be transferred.
- Grades entered in the Final Grade column of SPARK before midnight will be transferred to SPIRE that same night. Grades entered after midnight will be transferred to SPIRE the following night. Grades will appear in SPIRE and be ready for approval after 8 a.m. each morning.
- Until grades are marked as either Ready for Review or Approved in SPIRE, the transfer process will overwrite them with grades from SPARK.
- If the Final Grade column of your SPARK Grade Book is blank, and you enter grades in SPIRE, they will not be overwritten.
--An instructor enters grades in SPARK’s Final Grade column at 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday night. Those grades will be transferred to SPIRE that night and will be ready for approval in SPIRE Wednesday morning.
--An instructor enters grades in SPARK’s Final Grade column at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. Those grades will be transferred to SPIRE the following night and will be ready for approval in SPIRE Thursday morning.
Part V: Approve the Grades in SPIRE
The Instructor of Record must use the SPIRE grading tool to approve the grades that have been transferred from SPARK before the final deadline for submitting grades see the Grade Upload Schedule  for more information.
Blank grades must be filled in before the grade roster can be approved. Blank grades appear in SPIRE if students are missing from the SPARK roster or if they received an incorrect grade for their grade basis. In these cases, simply enter a grade manually in SPIRE. To view only those students with a blank grade, select the Display Ungraded Students Only check box on the Grade Roster page in SPIRE.
Students who have dropped the class will automatically receive a "W" or "DR." Students taking a class Pass/Fail will have their letter grade automatically converted. Grades can be adjusted in SPIRE. If you do not recognize a student on your SPIRE list, the Registrar's Office recommends giving them an "F."
On the Grade Roster page, the Approval Status drop-down menu has three options:
- Not Reviewed: Grades can be changed or deleted. Grades will be overwritten every night until the Approval Status is changed.
- Ready for Review: Grades are locked and cannot be changed or deleted unless the status is changed back to Not Reviewed.
- Approved: Grades are submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Once you change the Approval Status to Approved, and then click Save, SPIRE will confirm that the grades were submitted.
Note: To avoid losing your grades, always save the grade roster before changing the Approval Status.
The upload process occurs every night from the first day of exams until the day grades are due. Grades will be overwritten every night until the Approval Status is changed to Ready for Review or Approved.
Refer to the links below for details on how to approve grades in SPIRE: