Data import sometimes fails due to name or shortName

We often have multiple classes for the same course in the same school year. When that happens, in order to import grades using the Data Admin module, we have to use a workaround. For example, we might have two classes named as follows (to avoid duplicate names):

  1. Course: KTC122, CourseClass: 2022
  2. Course: KTC122K5, CourseClass: 2022K5

Upon import, #1 succeeds, but #2 fails. I have never understood why. As a workaround, after importing #1 we rename it by adding something at the end (such as K5A) and then rename #2 to be identical to #1’s original names. Then it works. I have no idea why one works and the other does not. It seems to me to be a bug since the naming rules state just that they been distinct.

We’ve been using a workaround for awhile, and I would love to be able just to upload grades in one step rather than constantly using a workaround. Please, if anyone can tell me how I can name the classes properly to avoid this problem, I would appreciate it. If this is a bug that has been fixed in a more recent version (We are still using version 21.), I am happy to try to prioritize upgrading. I just want to ask the question.

How many classes do you have per course? If you have a course named KTC122 with 3 separate classes you can name the classes A, B, C or 1, 2, 3. The classes would then be KTC122.1, KTC122.2, KTC122.3 for example.
I have not had any issues with grade imports. I typically use Markbook - Marks - by Student Username under System Admin > Import From File. Let me know if I can assist further

Hi Daniel, this is odd, as both names should be unique, and shouldn’t prevent being able to upload data. Although Tieku’s suggestion would result in shorter class names, it shouldn’t affect the import as long as the original names are unique. I will test it out in the v25 development version to see if there is indeed a bug.

I’ve tested it out and wasn’t able to reproduce the issue. Looking at your example though, perhaps I’m misunderstanding. You’ve mentioned you have multiple classes in the same course, however the example:

  1. Course: KTC122, CourseClass: 2022
  2. Course: KTC122K5, CourseClass: 2022K5

Shows two different courses (with two different short names), each with one class. If your course short name was KTC122, then you’d want to keep it the same when importing, and just change the class names to match the ones in the course:

  1. Course: KTC122, CourseClass: 2022
  2. Course: KTC122, CourseClass: 2022K5

Perhaps this would help? Otherwise, feel free to share some screenshots of the course and classes, as well as the first few lines of the import data.

Thanks, @tiekubd , for you suggestion. I may try it.

@ross I am guessing that something about the naming requirements is just escaping my understanding. Sometimes the nomenclature in Gibbon is a little confusing for me (like the distinction between “course” and “class”). As far as I understand:

  1. "Course" (in the file uploaded to Data Admin to enter grades) = "Name" (in the screenshot of Manage Courses and Classes)
  2. "Course Class" (in the file uploaded to Data Admin to enter grades) = "shortName" (in the screenshot of Manage Courses and Classes)
  3. In a given school year, every "Course" value must be distinct, and every "Course Class" must be distinct.
  4. So for example, though we offer the KTC122 course as 3 different classes this year, each one must be named differently
  5. I attached a screenshot of the course, with classes listed, above.

    And here is some data that I tried to upload (ods file also attached):

    School Year Course Course Class Markbook Column Student Attainment Value Attainment Raw Value Effort Value Comment
    2022-2023 KTC122 2022 Final Grade somestudent 95%
    2022-2023 KTC122K5 2022K5 Final Grade someotherstudent 92%

Hi Daniel, yes it does sound like a misunderstanding of the naming requirements, and hopefully by clearing it up it will make your life easier :smiley:

Class names and short names only need to be unique within the course they’re inside. Other courses can have classes with the same names. Also, unless there’s a specific reason, I would recommend keeping the names and short names for your classes the same, as this reduces confusion. As Tieku mentioned, you can name the classes something short like 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C, or in your case, perhaps just K4, K5, etc.

When uploading data, it looks like you are providing the name and short name of the classes, not the course, and since these are the same in one instance, this is where the strange behavior you’re seeing is happening.

To upload data, the second column should be the short name of the course, and the third column should be the short name of the class. Your course, seen at the top of the screenshot, has a short name of KTC122, so your import data would look like:

2022-2023 KTC122 2022 Final Grade somestudent 95%
2022-2023 KTC122 2022K5 Final Grade someotherstudent 92%
2022-2023 KTC122 2022K4A Final Grade someotherstudent 92%

Give this a shot, as I suspect it will solve your import issues.

Okay, this makes sense, and when I went back to the Data Admin page for this and reread it, I see how I should have been doing this from the beginning. It is my misunderstanding, thanks @ross for patiently explaining. I should have asked earlier.

Having admitted that all the information is there in Gibbon, I have to say that the nomenclature of “course” vs. “class” has been confusing from the start and is the source of my confusion in this case, after perhaps 5-6 years of using Gibbon. I wish that Ross had chosen a more clearly distinguishable terms.

In American English, “course” and “class” are virtually synonymous. In scheduling and timetabling, we use “section” for the same course offered at a different time/place with different students. With our admin staff in Vietnam, when training them in using Gibbon, I have to call attention to the two terms and carefully explain the difference. They look at me funny but accept it. So it is not just Americans who find the nomenclature difficult.

Maybe it’s obvious in British English that “course” and “class” are different? But for the rest of us it’s tricky. I am not sure you can change that big of a piece now, and maybe it’s not a felt need for most. But I thought I would give my thoughts about it, for what it’s worth.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, yes I agree it can be confusing if it’s not a familiar set of terminology. Some schools will also call courses subjects. One very useful tool in Gibbon is the System Admin > String Replace tool, which lets a school change words throughout the system to match a more familiar terminology, especially since Gibbon is used world-wide, no one set of terms will suit all needs. In this case, you could add a string replacement for Course (choose Partial and not case sensitive) and you can replace it with Section or anything that makes more sense in your case. Hope this helps!

Thanks, @ross . I thought about that and may still do it, though of course someone has to understand the underlying nomenclature for things like data upload. Anyway, thanks for your work on Gibbon. It’s been very helpful for us.