Search Google Appliance

Information Technology

As of December 29 2012, SPARK is no longer being used as a learning management system (LMS) for on-campus courses.

This documentation will be removed at the end of the Spring 2013 semester.

Instructors who would like to learn about getting their on-campus courses online can contact OIT/Academic Computing's Instructional Media Lab ( | 413-545-2823).

SPARK to SPIRE Grade Upload Overview

Note: This document is no longer current. It is published for informational purposes.

Faculty and Instructors can transfer grades from a SPARK Grade Book directly into SPIRE for approval. Starting the first day of final exams, grades are transferred electronically from SPARK into SPIRE daily (just after midnight) until the day grades are due. For specific dates see our SPARK to SPIRE Grade Upload Schedule.

This process is optional. It is intended to save time for instructors who teach large courses or who rely on SPARK to manage and grade student work. If you have a small class or if you did not use SPARK to manage or grade student work, you may prefer to input grades into SPIRE manually.

Note: At the end of this process, grades still need to be approved in SPIRE by the Instructor of Record.

Before You Begin

Please review this information carefully before you consider using the SPARK to SPIRE grade upload process for your course.

To use the SPARK to SPIRE grade upload, you must have an active SPARK course for your class(es). You must also sign up for grade upload, it is not activated automatically. Please note that it can take up to three work days to properly populate a course with the student roster. If you do not have a SPARK course already, request one and register for SPIRE grade upload by the deadline listed immediately below.

Grade Upload Schedule

Note: If you think you may run into problems with the SPARK to SPIRE grade upload, (e.g., this is your first time using grade upload, you are not sure you've set things up properly, or you've had problems in the past), we recommend you get your grades ready in SPARK several days in advance, so you have a few days to make sure grades are transferring as expected, or to get help from the Instructional Media Lab.

SPIRE Grade Upload Registration Deadline



Monday, December 10, 2012 (before midnight)

Last Day of Classes



Friday, December 7, 2012

Final Examinations Begin



Monday, December 10, 2012

Grade Uploads Begin



Just before midnight on December 10, until December 20, 2012

Last Day of Exams



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Grades must be ready in SPARK
for last transfer to SPIRE



Thursday, December 20, 2012 (before midnight)

Grades must be approved in SPIRE



Monday, December 24, 2012 (before midnight)

Note: The SPARK to SPIRE Grade Upload occurs just after midnight, but grades may not be available for you to view and approve in SPIRE until 8 a.m. the next morning.

Get Help with Grade Upload

Please note that grades are often due around holidays when the University is closed, so support may be limited if you wait until the last minute. Contact us early to get an overview if this is your first time using this system, or if you need a refresher.

  • For fast answers to the most common Grade upload questions, see our Grade Upload F.A.Q..
  • Review the SPARK to SPIRE Grade Upload Schedule to see if you can work within this time frame.
  • Watch our Grade Upload Video Tutorial (length: 5 minutes, 45 seconds; swf, 3.5MB, opens in new tab or window)
  • Our step-by-step SPARK to SPIRE Grade Upload 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 presented on this page.
    Note: These instructions assume that you are familiar with the Grade Book tool in SPARK.  Contact us if you need help setting up your SPARK Grade Book.

Contact the Instructional Media Lab ( or 545-2823) with questions or to make an appointment. The Instructional Media Lab, is located at A205 LGRC (Lederle Graduate Research Center) and is open Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Note: If you encounter last-minute difficulties with the SPARK to SPIRE grade upload process, please remember that this is an optional process; you can always enter grades into SPIRE manually.