Engrade Cubed

I was recently introduced to Engrade, as some of the colleagues I’m teaching with are using it with a lot of success.  It is easy to use and very intuitive.  The company, Engrade, is based in San Diego, California, and was founded in 2003 by a team of Internet entrepreneurs.  Engrade is used all over the world today.  Engrade is free and claims to remain free of charge for educators.

Face 1: Market Focus

Engrade seems to be focused for school systems from K-12; or for any company that need to keep track of student records, such as tutoring services, summer camps/courses, or educational services that do not have a required grading system.  Engrade provides services to principals, teachers, parents, and students – all at the same time.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

Engrade provides services to principals, teachers, parents, and students.  Some of these services include updated information of students’ class marks, attendance, work habits, and scheduled tests and exams.

  • For teachers, they are able to input grades of student assignments online.  This can be done anywhere with an Internet access (and the password to sign-in).  It is a paperless gradebook.  The teacher can manage several classes, multiple students, and customized weighting and grading systems as well.  In addition, they are able to communicate privately among colleagues.
  • For principals, they are able to send messages to teachers at once or individually.
  • For parents and students, to check their grades and their information, class marks, missing assignments, work habits, customized feedback from the teacher, etc.


Engrade also provides some infrastructure in that it manages student and content.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

As this service is absolutely free, there is no “buyer” per se, but there are users.  The people who will be logging in to this service are students, parents, teachers, and principals.  So, the buyer would be people related to the K-12 system (or as mentioned earlier, an academic environment  – ex: tutoring company).

There is nothing to download; however, the only thing that participants must “buy” is access to the Internet.  If Internet access is a problem for the student, teachers can also print out specific pages for students to bring home.

Face 4 – Global Markets

Looking at Engrade, I do not see the option for other languages.  Therefore, I assume that this service is for English speakers only – or those who can navigate student names, numbers, and letter grades simply in English.  As our school is located in Beijing, China, it would be only be fair to say that English speakers in Asian Countries with Internet can also benefit from this service.  Basically, Engrade has a global market as long as there is interest.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

The market is among educators around the world (Engrade claims that over 250,000 educators are using this service).  Engrade is continually improving since 2003.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

Every classroom, regardless of public or private, has some sort of grading system.  Teachers will assess the students’ development in one way or another.  Engrade is an alternative to paper gradebooks, and because its functions are very similar to Integrade Pro (or now, PowerSchool Pro – Pearson Education), it may be in competition with electronic gradebooks that the school or school districts are required to use (such as BCeSIS – which I am, unfortunately, not familiar with).


1 Ian Doktor { 10.06.09 at 6:13 am }

Hey Eveline,

Not that I’m against the free software movement, but I’m wondering if you see any investment potential in something like this. As an EVA, would it be worth my money to invest here? Is there any where I could get a return on my investment if there is no direct revenue?

Do you know if the company does sell a product? Perhaps they sell (or could potentially sell) customer support for the Engrade software.

2 Colin Cheng { 10.07.09 at 5:19 am }


In British Columbia, all districts are now required to use a provincially developed software package called BCeSIS to record their marks. I wonder if more provinces will go this route to a province wide system and how this will affect independent developers of software packages like Engrade?

3 Eveline Yu { 10.10.09 at 5:38 pm }


The more I look into this, the more I’m confused with this open source. It seems that there is no way to invest into it – even if you wanted to. It’s absolutely free. I cannot see any products being released nor any sales in customer support. I checked and found that it is hosted by godaddy domain – which charges a low annual fee for hosting websites ($10ish?).

How do we categorize websites that services educators globally (currently mainly the US, Canada, Thailand, and Philippines) if they do not make a profit?

Why would someone be interested in hosting such services that do not make money?

I logged on and off several times and I did find 2 ads as I entered and 5 ads as I logged off. However, these ads are only powered by Google, and are geared towards teachers. For example, one site led to a Scholastics teaching resources page. It is still advertising – but would that be enough to make up for their investment in time and energy spent to maintain this site?

As an educator – I am happy to find something free and of good quality to use that I can use to organize my grades.

As an EVA – perhaps this was not the best choice for investment. I will look again.

4 Eveline Yu { 10.10.09 at 6:18 pm }


As I do not have a user name for BCeSIS – it was extremely difficult for me to access it.

However, I did come across several reasons why an open source grade book may still be more advantageous than one that is required by the school district.

Here are some feedback from BCTF (although a little outdated):

I wanted to find more current feedback on the program and found this (this is current and I believe from one of our fellow MET colleagues):

As there are many BC teachers in the MET program, I would be interested to learn your opinions of the BCeSIS system.

Although the Engrade is only a gradebook (much like Intergrade Pro), it seems to be more flexible and convenient to use. However, it cannot do administrative duties like the BCeSIS. But for teachers, students, and parents, this may be a friendlier form of communicating and addressing the needs in the classroom?

When I read that the cost per student is about $140/year, compared to a free software with an “educational” ad or two from Google, I wonder if it’s a good idea to have provinces require schools and school districts to sign on to something like this?

What do people think?

5 Colin Cheng { 10.11.09 at 7:59 am }

Hi Eveline,

Well, since you asked for my opinion about BCeSis …

To sum up in a few words, it is a real pain in the a$$. For those of you who are not teachers in BC, there has existed in the past and continues to exist today, a certain level of animosity between the teachers of this province and the provincial government. I believe that BCeSIS is the next evolution of this animosity.

For myself, BCeSIS has not only caused more work (and I am not just talking about the training), it has virtually made it impossible to give out grades. Previously, we had been happily using Integrade at our school. What makes BCeSIS particularly ineffective for our particular program is that we have a different reporting system than the rest of the school. BCeSIS is based on a standardized reporting system which does not allow for any alterations in its format.

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