What is Gradescope

Gradescope was originally developed to digitize and streamline the grading and feedback process of paper based assessments and examinations. In recent years the tool has expanded to provide a variety of assessment types and online grading options, including bubblesheets, programing assessments, online rubrics, and online quizzes. 

What is the purpose of Gradescope

Gradescope is used to efficiently distribute, organize, and/or grade paper or PDF based assessments. With the unique features like AI assisted grading, online rubrics, and collaborative grading, can speed up the grading and feedback process of assessments. 

How to use Gradescope

Western users can access Gradescope at Users can login using their Western credentials via Single Sign-On (SSO).

Gradescope is also available via OWL Sakai and OWL Brightspace.

Instructors can distribute an assessment to students either in-person or online. Completed assessments can be photographed or scanned as a PDF and will be uploaded to Gradescope by either instructors or students. Once uploaded, instructor or students will have to map out questions areas throughout the pages in order to allow the tool to identify and organize student responses. 

When student submissions are mapped out, instructors or teaching assistants can grade and provide feedback online using various grading, annotation, and feedback features.

Students are then able to access and review thier feedback online. 

Where to find Support

This tool is centrally supported


For technical assistance, please contact or the WTS Helpdesk.


Additional information on Gradescope can be found on the Gradescope Help page.

Tool Evaluation

Functionality overall rating: 2 starsFunctionality

Rating Rationale
Scale rating: 3 stars


Gradescope can be scaled to accommodate any size class with the flexibility to create smaller sub-groups or communities of practice

Ease of use rating:2 stars

Ease of Use

Gradescope has a learner interface that may be confusing to some; there is limited opportunity for personalization.

Tech Support/ Help Availability rating: 3 stars

Tech Support/Help Availability

In-person or email based technical support is readily available and aids users in troubleshooting tasks or solving problems experienced.

Hypermediality rating: 2 stars


Gradescope allows users to communicate through different channels (audio, visual, textual) but is limited in its ability to provide non-sequential, flexible/adaptive engagement with material.

Accessibility overall rating: 2 starsAccessibility

Rating Rationale
AODA Friendly rating: 2 stars

AODA Friendly

Gradescope has some limited capacity to be fully accessible for users or for materials to be made AODA-friendly.

User Foused Participation rating: 2 stars

User-focused participation

Gradescope has some limited capacity to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities.

Required Equipment rating: 2 stars

Required Equipment

Proper use of the tool requires equipment that is common and/or purchased at a low cost (microphone, speakers, cell phone, etc.)

Technical overall rating: 2 starsTechnical

Rating Rationale
OWL Integration rating: 2 stars

OWL Integration

Gradescope can be embedded within OWL but with limited integration and functionality.

Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Operating Systems

Users can effectively utilize Gradescope with any standard, up-to-date operating system (i.e. Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS, etc.)

Web Browser rating: 3 stars

Web Browser

Users can effectively utilize Gradescope with any standard, up-to-date web browser (i.e. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc.)

Additional Tech Requirements rating: 3 stars

Additional Tech Requirements

Users can effectively utilize Gradescope without any browser extensions or downloaded software.

Mobile Design overall rating: 1 star Mobile Design

Rating Rationale
Mobile Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Mobile Operating Systems

Gradescope is fully functional with a range of electronic mobile devices (laptops, tablets, touchscreens, mobile devices, etc.)

Mobile Functionality rating: 2 stars

Mobile Functionality

Basic features of the Gradescope are functional on the mobile app but advanced features are limited.

Offline Access rating: 1 star

Offline Access

The platform cannot be used in any capacity offline.


Usage and account set up overall rating: 2 starsUsage and Account Set Up

Rating Rationale
Sign Up/Sign In rating: 3 stars

Sign Up/Sign In

Use of Gradescope does not require the creation of an external account or additional login beyond OWL or Single Sign-On (SSO) login


Cost of Use rating:  3 stars

Cost of Use

 All aspects of the tool can be used free of charge.

Archiving Saving and Exporting Data rating: 2 star

Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data

There are limitations to archiving, saving, or importing/exporting content or activity data.

Data Privacy and Ownership rating: 2 star

Data Privacy and Ownership

Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data; data is shared publically and cannot be made private. Gradescope's Terms of Use states: "The content you post or generate on the Service is yours, and you warrant that you have all rights to provide it. You agree that others may have access to your content, in accordance with your settings and these terms."

Social Presence overall rating: 2 starsSocial Presence

Rating Rationale
Collaboration rating: 2 stars


Gradescope has the capacity to support a community of learning through asynchronous but not synchronous opportunities for communication, interactivity, and transfer of meaning between users.

User Accountability rating: 3 stars

User Accountability

Instructors can control student anonymity; Gradescope provides technical solutions for holding students accountable for their actions.

Diffusion rating: 2 star


Student familiarity with Gradescope is likely mixed, some will lack basic technical competence with its functions.

Instructor Presence overall rating: 2 starsInstructor Presence

Rating Rationale
Facilitation rating:3 stars


Gradescope has easy-to-use features that would significantly improve an instructor’s ability to be present with students via active management, monitoring, and feedback.

Customization rating: 2 stars


Limited aspects of Gradescope can be customized to suit the classroom context and learning outcomes.

Learning Analytics rating: 3 stars

Learning Analytics

Instructor can monitor students’ performance on a variety of responsive measures.

Cognitive Presence overall rating: 1 starsCognitive Presence

Rating Rationale
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s) rating: 1 stars

Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s)

Gradescope acts as a direct tool substitute with no functional change to engagement in the targeted cognitive task(s).

Higher Order Thinking rating: 2 stars

Higher Order Thinking

Gradescope may engage students in higher order thinking skills, given significant consideration to design, facilitation and direction from the instructor. For example, instructors may direct students to review detailed feedback submit a reflect on feedback received, areas of strength, and areas for improvement. 

Feedback on Learning rating:3 stars

Feedback on Learning

Through Gradescope, students can regularly receive formative feedback on learning (i.e. they can track their performance, monitor their improvement, test their knowledge, etc.) 

Security and Privacy

This tool has been formally reviewed by Western’s Technology Risk Assessment Committee

Security and Privacy Flags

Information Collection

  • Application collects information that could identify the user specifically (email address, class schedule, etc..)


  • This application saves grading information independently from OWL
  • This application transmits data (grades, student data, etc...) to or from a Western system of record

Last Updated: February 21, 2024


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