Use pencil or pen with blue or black ink.
Lightning Grader is looking for contrast between the filled-in bubble and the blank bubbles. If you use a pen or pencil that is a light color, such as yellow or red, it will have a hard time scanning. Using blue or black ink or a pencil work best.
Pencils can cause glare.
Glare is a big challenge for Lightning Grader. Pencil marks are reflective and can cause glare that disrupts the scanning process. If your students are using pencil, make sure that it is not causing glare so Lightning Grader can properly scan your assessment.
Check the preview window.
The Lightning Grader preview window is your view into what Lightning Grader “sees”. Use it to make sure that all the bubbles appear dark in contrast to the rest of the paper. If some of the bubbles appear silver, white, or anything that is not black, this could be causing problems. Check your light and focus to try and make all the bubbles black!
Get close, but not too close.
Lightning Grader uses the black squares surrounding the bubble area to figure out where to start scanning. If your camera is too far away from the paper (or is too zoomed out in the case of document cameras) it may cause errors scanning. Also, if the camera is too close and some of the squares are cut off, Lightning Grader won’t know where to start reading the bubbles, and may appear to freeze. Make sure that all of the squares are visible in the preview window and you should be able to scan just fine.
Use the right number of bubbles.
Make sure the sheet you’re scanning has at least the same number of bubbles as there are questions on the assessment. For example, if there are 40 questions on the assessment, there should be at least 40 bubbles on the assessment. If there are less bubbles on the answer sheet than questions on the assessment, Lightning Grader will not scan the sheet.
Use pre-slugged answer keys.
Pre-slugged answer keys work much better for scanning. Not only is the student ID bubbled in correctly, but the student’s name is also listed along with the assessment title. This is really helpful when you’re looking for a specific answer sheet in a big stack. It also helps prevent errors scanning an answer sheet to the wrong assessment.
SAVE the responses.
Make sure to save your scanned student results every 10-15 minutes. This will prevent lost data and wasted time. Click 'Proceed to Results' to save.
Not all printers are created equal and the answer sheet qualities are affected by the printers.
It is recommended that you have the most updated versions of the compatible browsers. This affects PDF download versions.
Not all cameras are the same.
- You cannot expect the HP Webcam to have the same quality as an ELMO camera.
- This affects how big you can make your answer sheets.
- It is possible to create a 100+ question assessments, however, scanning it successfully depends on your camera type.
- ELMOs will not work with Chrome, you need to use a different browser.
- Some cameras need this to work with LG: http://www.lumens.com.tw/support_1_1.php?p_id=21&big_id=1&pageNum_old=0
- Some cameras need this to work with LG: http://www.averusa.com/classroom-technology/support/aplus-suite.asp
Form Identifier (QR CODE)
- This area holds all the data that is used by Lightning Grader to figure out how to process the answers.
- If there is bleeding due to printers, it will not work.
- If there is any writing on the QR it will not work.
- This area is super important because this holds the data for the assignment, the number of questions, and number of answer choices.
Scanning from a File
- It scans in TIFF, PNG, JPEG, PDF.
- It is best in greyscale and/or color.
- Some scanners have different contrasts settings, which makes scanning difficult for programming.
Camera is not recognized.
- Questions to ask:
- What kind of camera is it? Does it need extra drivers?
- Check to see if the correct camera is selected in the camera drop down menu.
Nothing Happening/Camera view not appearing.
- Check to see if the camera is selected in the camera drop down menu.
- Are the drivers for the document camera installed?
- Just did that? Restart the PC.
- Is the browser updated?
Unable to read the answer sheets.
- Is lighting an issue?
- Is the form identifier (QR Code) correct?
- Is there bleeding? Are the bubbles too close?
- Is the answer sheet too big for the quality of the camera?
- Remember, not all cameras are created equal.
Call Illuminate if you have questions.
If you’re stuck and getting frustrated, give us a call. Our support staff is here to make sure you have the help you need to scan successfully.