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GradeFix Research Page

GradeFix Group Member Introduction Page

                                                                               




History


How Gradefix was created?

Gradefix was first introduced in September of 2006 as a software that helped students schedule time to do their homework. Mark Polson, creater of Gradefix, and former student of the University of Utah, first came up with the idea after careful planning and putting aside a certain amount of time each week to do a certain homework assignment. He soon discovered this his new study system helped to improve his GPA. He soon  recruited two friends, Mac Newbold and Taylor Miller, and together they developed an algorithm that would help other students to effectively match their free time with tasks that are most important.

Gradefix has spread to over 30 countries since its release in 2006, and is currently undergoing the process of translations for other language countries. "The amazing thing about the internet is just how people tell other people," Polson said. "Never in our wildest dreams would we have believed we would incorporate the whole world in 3 1/2 months."#9 

Gradefix offers a detailed overview of how they got started and all the major steps they have taken right on their home page. When you navigate to their home page there is a box labeled "Blogs." If you click this box it brings you to a page that has blogs from the creators all the way back to when they first thought of the idea. Another nice aspect of this blog is that the creators inform the users when new/updated versions of Gradefix will be available.  To view this blog visit http://gradefix.blogspot.com/ .2

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Basic Overview 

"What often separates ‘A’ students from average students is not necessarily intelligence, but rather time management skills and discipline."  ~ Mark Polson, creator of Gradefix

#11

Gradefix is an online tool that is was designed to help students improve their studying and time management skills. It is an easy tool to use and if used correctly, will help students improve their grades. Gradefix works by using a set of patented algorithms to analyze a student's schedule, once they input all their homework assignments(i.e. quizes, tests, readings, projects etc.), and determine how much free time they have available. it then generates an optimal schedule for completing tasks. to help students improve their grades by autogenerating an appropriate study schedule based on a student’s availability.#10

Gradefix claims that "Gradefix users show an average of at least a half a grade improvement in overall coursework."1

Users have two options when it comes to using Gradefix. There is the free service, which allow users to have up to 10 tasks on their schedule. The second option is the Member's service which charges a $5 monthly fee. The Member service allows users to have an unlimited number of tasks. While inputing assignment, students will also be able to input the number of hours they predict they will have available to study that week, and gives you the option of how many hours you want to dedicate to studying. Gradefix also allows for two different settings for homework, flex (flexible) and appt (appointment). The flex setting will automatically schedule tasks based on when the student has time to complete that task. The appt setting, on the other hand, will make a task priority based on when that specific assignment is due.  Gradefix can be acquired by visiting their website:  gradefix.com and clicking the Sign Up link in the Upper Righthand corner.  There you can sign up for the free version, of the unlimited plan with the monthly fee.  1

To make things simple and easy to read, Gradefix color codes each section so that it is a bit more organized. Homework is in blue, Reading is in green, Quiz Study is in orange, Exam study is in red and Projects are in Brown. This allows you to quickly see what projects or exams are coming up and which homework assignments and readings are due without having to read through your assignments to figure out which is which.  Additionally, assignments that are scheduled too soon to be finished in the allotted time are shown in red.  1


Above is a sample schedule created with GradeFix. 
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Reviews

  • One Powerful Word  provides a great review of GradeFix. The authors use their own personal schedules as an example, along with some partial screen shots. They also have a little section where they say what they would like to see new within the program. Their main idea was the incorporation of a calender, so that you could see what time each day you should study, rather than just how many hours you should study. 3
  • Gearfire also possesses a great review of the site. This review is from a user who has had a great experience with GradeFix. They gave an overview of how they personally benefited from the site and why they decided to start using it. The author gave some tips on using GradeFix. One of these tips was to use odd study time amounts, such as 1.3 hours or 1.6 hours instead of 1 or 2 hours.4
  • The website CNet provides even more reviews of Gradefix. This website talks about how Gradefix is a website geared toward students who want to get organized within their classes through what CNet calls a "virtual assignment book." Although it talks positively about the site by saying how if you "miss an assignment it will automatically rearrange the rest of your priorities," it also states that grade fix is not any simpler than a hard copy planner. 5
  • Gradefix Hype, is a website where people who are Gradefix users and reviewers and post what they think about Gradefix in a section called "Hype." Everyone who participated in the discussion seemed to really enjoy all the perks of Gradefix.  One even commented that "Instead of you guessing what homework to give priority to, when to get started, or how much time you need to study - GradeFix does all of this for you. And not only does it do all this, it's incredibly simple to use and maintain." Gradefix users seem to be happy about the website. In reading a lot of peoples comments one feels as though Gradefix is making a difference in education for tons of people, which is incredible. 1
  • Another review was found at College v2. This site gives an overview of what Gradefix is about including pictures from the actual site, as well as comments from the creators and some of the users. They talk about all the different things one can do on Gradefix. They also show images straight from gradefix which provide visual examples of what, where, and how to enter information. Although this is a fairly small simple site it can be useful to a person who has never heard about or used Gradefix before. 6

                                Gradefix loves to hear feedback from its users. To provide feedback, email [feedback@gradefix.com]

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How Does Gradefix Compare with Similar Applications?

Gradefix really stands out compared to other applications. Gradefix can be compared to http://www.collegeruled.comhttp://www.collegeruled.com/. CollegeRuled is similar to Gradefix, although it does not have as many features that allow you to plan study time. CollegeRuled allows you to enter in your classes and homework assignments into a planner. You may also talk to other classmates that use CollegeRuled that are in the same class through a chat. The difference between Gradefix and CollegeRuled is that CollegeRuled does not calculate the time you should spend working on your assignments. With GradeFix you can put in how many hours you want to spend working on a certain assignment or exam. Gradefix will then automatically divide out those hours so that you work on those assignments throughout the week instead of doing it all at one time. CollegeRuled does not allow you to do this. CollegeRuled concentrates more on the due dates of assignments rather than the hours you need to spend working on the assignment. The newest feature of CollegeRuled is being able to link your weekly schedule to your Facebook. The class schedule that you create will be accessible to your friends through Facebook, even if they have never been to CollegeRuled before.#14 Here is what the Assignments page from CollegeRuled looks like: 7

Another application that compared to Gradefix found was http://www.mynoteit.com/. This application is similar to CollegeRuled. MyNoteIt allows you to do all of the things that CollegeRuled does and more. It let’s you see when you started an assignment and when you worked on it last. It will also show you which assignments are coming up. This is displayed in a separate window.

Mynoteit has a few more cosmetic problems than Gradefix.  There are just as many ads as there are assignment notifications, and even those seem a bit bland.  Gradefix has made real strides in making their product more attractive and user-friendly.  Mynoteit just looks like a table to the naked eye and doesn't have the same categories that make Gradefix unique.

This application has many great features but it still does not have many of the features that GradeFix has. GradeFix is the only application of its type. It is the only one that is able to plan out how many hours a day a person should spend studying. CollegeRuled and MyNoteIt are the only applications that come close to providing the tools that GradeFix provides. Overall, GradeFix seems to be at the top of list when it comes to helpful online planners. 8

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What Are Some Unique Uses?

GradeFix is mainly used for educational purposes with things that include: 

-Time management: If you have a problems trying to figure out when you can do your homework, how much time it will take to read material, when you can study, when to work, or when you'll have free time time management is the category for you! With GradeFix you can simply enter any task you know you need to do and it will help you create a schedule to fit your hectic life. It can tell you which days you should do which task and how much time it should take you to complete each task. It will allow you to plan things months in advance so you won't have to worry about forgetting any of your tasks. It will help you create a perfect planned week with school, work and free time all included.1

-Grade Improvement: If you struggle with your grades and are looking for an easy way to get on track and improve your grades quickly this is the category for you! With GradeFix you can add all of the class you are taking, all of your assignments and due dates, all of the test and quiz dates, and mark out study time. All you have to do is simply enter all of that information and it will create a schedule that looks just like to a day planner or agenda, but this one you can't loose. It will tell you everything and anything about all of your classes, incase you forgot or lost where you wrote it, with a simple click and can pull up anything on GradeFix from any computer, cell phone, pda, ipod etc. as long as any of those devices can connect to the internet.1

-Organization: If you struggle planning things, never know when you can get something done, mix things up all the time, or just don't know what you should be doing this is the category for you. GradeFix is setup in such an easy and convenient way anything you could ever need to do can be put on here. It can help you be more organized in a sense of always knowing the task at hand or to come. You can always be prepared and successful using GradeFix, it would be like your daily alarm clock that tells you what the plan is for the day. You can not only use this for school but for things such as appointments, interviews, meeting etc. It can tell you what to do, when to do it, and how long it will take so you won't ever be unorganized again.1

-Higher Retention Rates: If you are constantly cramming for exams, which causes you to forget the material you just studied, Gradefix can easily help. Gradefix will help you to be able to spread out your studying over days or weeks, which will be able to help with retention levels. By spreading out your studying over time and learning the material in smaller increments, your retention rates will be higher. With higher retention rates, test scores will be better! #13

These were just three categories of what I believe are the top uses of GradeFix, however GradeFix can be used for all sorts of things that can only have a positive impact on what your already doing in your life. Anyone can give GradeFix a try with a free account (with limitations on number of tasks open, limit 7) or sign up for a monthly $5 fee account (no limit on open tasks, unlimited), you can also cancel any account at any time (restrictions on refunds for monthly free account may apply). So why not give it a shot and make things a little easier for yourself, check it out and improve your daily life right now.1
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Real World Applications


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Educational Lesson Plans:

Elementary Lesson Plans:

1.)  This lesson plan's primary goal is to help third graders learn how to study in an efficient, non-cramming manner while learning their multiplication and division facts for the week.

Managingstudytime.docx

Managingstudytime.pdf

2.) This lesson plan uses GradeFix to teach students about time management. They will be required to use GradeFix for 4 weeks and write a journal for each week along with a narrative describing what they have learned at the end of the 4 weeks.

 Timeuse.pdf

Timeuse.docx

3.) This lesson plan involves a Bring Your Parent to School Day and incorporates the use of supporting facts. The parents will be introduced to GradeFix and asked to use this application at home with the students. The students will then write two paragraphs, one describing the website's appearance and the other describing what it does.

Parentsday.pdf

Parentsday.docx

4.)  This lesson plan is for 3rd graders to practice taking measurements. The students are assigned a project to measure various items in their households. They will use GradeFix to manage their time to complete the project and other homework.

Household Measurements.docx

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Secondary Lesson Plans:

1.) This lesson plan incorporates the use of Gradefix to determine if the amount of music played affects a plant's growth rate. Each group will be given three plants, one of which will be played ten hours of music per week, one will be played twenty hours, and the third will have music continuously. They will use Gradefix to keep track of their hours. They will record data such as height, root spread, and number of leaves/buds. They will then put together a presentation on their findings. This lesson incorporates STEM disciplines.

Musiconplants.docx

Musiconplants.pdf

2.) Exploring Foreign Countries

Description-This lesson plan is a Power Point project done by students who are studying different countries in depth. Students will use the application GradeFix to help determine how long to research each specific area of the country such as "culture, language, food, facts, location, etc."

Objectives-Students will be able to readily know the culture, language, food, location, size, major cities, and facts about their chosen country of study and be able to answer basic questions with 100% accuracy. Students will organize their findings in a 12-20 slide Power Point project. Students will use the application GradeFix to map out when to research specific areas.

ExploringForeignCountries.docx

ExploringForeignCountries.pdf

3.) This lesson plan incorporates the use of GradeFix to organize the different parts of a Shakespeare project. They will need to plan time for reading, research, and writing. In the end, they will compose a Shakespearean sonnet of their own which will be handed in, along with their GradeFix schedules, for evaluation.

final lesson plan.docx

final lesson plan.pdf

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4.) This lesson plan teaches students how to properly prepare for a speech and how they can better mange their study time.

Speech Lesson Plan.docx

Speech Lesson Plan.pdf

Post-Secondary/Collegiate Lesson Plans:

1.)  This lesson plan uses Gradefix to plan and schedule meeting times for a Biology group project.  Each group of students are assigned a taxonomic group, from there they will research, create a visual that shows the classification of the taxonomic group, and then present their information before their lab section.  This lesson plan incorporates STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Biologygroupmanagement.docx

Biologygroupmanagment.pdf

2.)Grade Improvement

Description: This lesson plan uses GradeFix to improve your grades, get more organized, and manage your time better. Students will you this program to create a personalized schedule helping them organize and improve on every task needed to be completed, while still providing free time. In the end they will learn how to get on track with life and stay on it.

Objective: Following this lesson plan students will be able to improve their grades and organize their school life

GradeImprovement.docx

GradeImprovement.pdf

3.)Employment

Description: This lesson plan uses GradeFix for students who are looking for a career/job. They can schedule several interviews as well as mark out time to prepare for these interviews to succeed in getting a job.In the end they will be able to be well prepared and ready for any job the world has to offer them, never be late, and always make a good impression.

Objective: Following this lesson plan students will be able to successfully get a job and organize employment opportunities as they come.

Employment.docx

Employment.pdf

4.)Conversation Partners

Description:  This lesson uses Gradefix to organize conversational partners in a Spanish class.  Partners can spend as many or as few hours a week in conversation, but they will need to use Gradefix to show them how many hours a week will be needed to complete the assignment on time.

Objective:  Encourage students to work together and organize while improving their conversational Spanish.

Lesson Plan.docx

Lesson Plan.pdf

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How can Gradefix be Used Within Businesses and Industries?

Gradefix is not solely used within education. Gradefix is a great program to use within businesses and industries as well.  The program may only label the schedule with homework, project, quiz study, exam study, and reading; however, it is simple to use the program to schedule other activities.  In order to do this simply use one of the labels and then in the description box write the event name or event description.  This description box allows for Gradefix to be easily used within businesses and industries.  A great example of Gradefix being used within a business would be in the law profession.  A lawyer could enter cases as homework and then simply write the case name in the description box.  This way if the lawyer has multiple cases that he or she must handle within a specific time period, then Gradefix will prioritize the cases based on the amount of time that must be spent on each one and the date that the case must be ready.  This is one example, there are many other ways that Gradefix could be used within businesses and industries.  The program is useful any time that a person needs to prioritize their work into a flexible schedule that allows for completion by specified due dates. 4

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Demonstration of Educational Value

GradeFix is a simple site designed to lower the stress that is put on students by evenly distributing their workload. One of the creators, Mac Newbold, said, "If you have more homework than will fit into the time you have available (Gradefix) will spread out the load evenly among the days you have left. If you get homework dumped on you at the last minute, it will re-adjust.” Students are able to plan their assignments, meetings, and other appointments to ensure that they have time to do everything. Below is a video that shows exactly how to use GradeFix. Click on the the icon to watch the video.
1

www.screencast.com

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How is Gradefix Used Internationally?

Gradefix can be accessed where ever internet connection is available.  This means that Gradefix can be used by the majority of the world.  Within four months of its creation, Gradefix had users in 30 different countries.  Students from all over the world have already taken advantage of the Gradefix program and have seen improvements within their grades. Currently Gradefix is used in more than 45 countries.  The makers of Gradefix are now working to find a way to allow for Gradefix to be translated into many different languages in order to eliminate barriers that language could cause to students.  In general the program is geared toward helping all students better prioritize their study and homework time, no matter where they live in the world. 9

Reflections

As we have stated earlier there are many advantages to using GradeFix, but it is also important to be aware of possible downsides with using these kinds of applications in the school environment. One risk is that students might not develop their ability to plan homework for themselves if they rely too much on GradeFix.

From a Swedish point of view, where the process sometimes is valued higher than the actual result, GradeFix might constitute a problem. The application will surely help improving your knowledge, but other qualities such as creativity and sense of responsibility might suffer if students rely too much on the application.

Another possible disadvantage is the fact that students might have to pay a monthly fee to use the application, which might lead to some students refusing to use GradeFix. It is unusual in Sweden, for example, for students to pay for required school material, such as textbooks etc.

A third point worth noting is the fact that the amount of homework differs between countries. Sweden is a country where the amount of homework is not as high as in other countries and the affects of GradeFix might not be as apparent. In some cases GradeFix might not be of any use at all. However, for students who have a large workload and troubles with planning GradeFix could be a useful tool. 

Another Reflection

After entering my own information to create a sample schedule and familiarize myself with the product, I noticed that I myself had a dangerously over-procrastinated assignment.  This worries me a bit because of the way in which the assignment running out of time are presented.

It could become overwhelming to a student if they log on and realize that they have so many assignments looming.  I myself panicked a bit because I worry a lot about Assignments due in a short amount of time.  This tool can be used to greatly increase a students priority selection and productivity.  However, if a student gets behind, the website acts like an alarm clock.  It even confronts you with the assignments due when you log in and asks if you finished them.

I feel like I'm lying to someone if I say I did do the assignment when I really didn't, but perhaps that is part of the genius of Gradefix.  You may be less likely to procrastinate on an assignment if you are constantly reminded of it.

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Popularity

Gradefix is shown as the second most popular website for its purpose.  Next to College ruled, which has approximately 7400 visitors each month, Gradefix has around 1100 visitors each month. 15

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The Future

Gradefix just recently finished a remodel of their website and product, resulting in a new and improved Gradefix experience.  This new format has been long awaited so it will be difficult to judge what will come next.  As of now they seem to be working out the kinks of the new format and system before looking to innovate in the future.

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Contact

Contact can be made with the makers of Gradefix via their website.  Navigating to the bottom of the homepage there is a contact hyperlink that opens a message window that you can ask questions, make remarks, and request changes of feedback in.


References


1.  Gradefix.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2010, from http://www.gradefix.com/

2. Gradefix.blogspot.com.  Retrieved on, from http://gradefix.blogspot.com/

3. Onepowerfulword.com.  Retrieved on, from http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2007/02/gradefix-get-your-own-personal_10.html

4. Gearfire.com.  Retrieved on, from  http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2007/02/gradefix-get-your-own-personal_10.html

5. Webware.  Retrieved on April 1, 2010, from http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9678675-2.html

6. CollegeV2.com.  Retrieved on, from http://www.sevenseek.com/collegev2/2006/10/01/gradefix-the-ultimate-task-manager-or-a-feeble-attempt-at-riches/

7. CollegeRuled.com.  Retrieved on April 3, 2010, from http://www.collegeruled.comhttp://www.collegeruled.com/

8. MyNoteIt.com.  Retrieved on April 3, 2010, from http://www.mynoteit.com/

9. Kansas State Collegian.  Retrieved on October 18, 2011, from http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2.2506/new-web-site-claims-to-help-students-better-manage-their-time-tasks-1.226164#.Tp2JS977jgh

10.  Chaney, Celeste. Students Launch Website to Improve Grades nbsp; Retrieved on July 5, 2010, from http://www.dailyutahchronicle.com/news/students-launch-web-site-to-improve-grades-1.350735/

11. YouTube. (2011).  Gradefix Demo_._  Retrieved October 19, 2011.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPGnbnFAVzQ.

12.  Gruber, Frank. Gradefix Helps Students Plan Study Time. nbsp; Retrieved on July 5, 2010, from http://www.somewhatfrank.com/2007/02/gradefix_create.html

13.  Gradefix.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2010, from http://www.gradefix.com/

14.  CollegeRuled.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2010, from http://www.collegeruled.com/
 15.  Siteanalytics.complete.com.  Retrieved on October 19, 2011, from http://siteanalytics.compete.com/gradefix.com/

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3 Comments

  1. Unknown User (spencec)

    There will be a video added as soon as possible to the "Demonstration of Educational Value" section.  Sorry that it will be a little late in being added.

  2. We have now added som reflections from our Swedish standing point in the "How is GradeFix Used Internationally" section. A lesson plan will be added eventually.

  3. Unknown User (eskoniec)

    After investigating GradeFix, I was intrigued!  I am amazed that someone has come up with this idea and put it into play.  The application appears very beneficial for people who need a little extra help organizing and managing their time.  Students could probably not find much use for this within the actual classroom, but it would be very beneficial to help them manage their time outside of school.  Gradefix allows you to plan months in advance, and it will remind students so they do not procrastinate and do a poor job at the last minute.

    I would give GradeFix 5/5 stars, because I see it as very beneficial to students.