Grid design in Facility and ePortal - Part 6 (assessment grids and sub-columns)

From now on, we're going to use Assessment grids for our examples. There are a number of reasons for this - they have an extra layer of complexity due to the presence of 'sub-columns', which we'll need to deal with first - but mainly because assessment grids are the ones which benefit most from conditional formatting.

You can colour code cells depending on the value of the cell, but more interestingly, on the value of another cell. This is where concepts like traffic lighting - indicating how a student in performing in relation to targets or predictions on a red, green and amber basis - really come into play.

Plus, assessment grids get used in ePortal as well as Facility.


Before we look at conditional formatting on the grid cells, we need to look at sub-columns in the grid.

The example below shows a Result Entry Template were teacher are asked to enter a Mock SATs level, indicate 'Yes' or 'No' as to whether the student is on target, and then enter the results of a reading test (both a Band and a Raw Score):


Notice that there are three levels in the column headings:

  • The top row indicating the subject - in this case, 'ICT' - which stretches across all the grid columns
  • The second row shows the Examination. On this template, there are two - 'KS3Mock' and 'LRT'
  • The third row shows the Criteria labels; 'Level' and 'On Target?'' appearing under the Examination 'KS3Mock', while 'Band' and 'Raw Score' appear under the Examination 'LRT'.

If we open up the grid design, we can see where the settings for these 'sub-columns' appear. Note the different menu path now we are using an Assessment grid.We're going to take a copy of the default assessment grid so we can make some changes to it

  1. From the main menu in Facility, select Assessment | Advanced | Grid design for result entry
  2. Highlight ‘Standard’, which is the default grid for assessment
  3. In the Name field, change the name to 'Standard2'
  4. Click New
  5. Click Configure
  6. Click the Columns tab
  7. Highlight the second row, 'res Reslevel1.Name'

We've now configuring the first of the three rows that appear in the column headings - the one that shows the subject in our example. The format settings are the same as for the attendance grids in the earlier episodes of this guide.

  1. Click on the Border button and choose Border for heading
  2. Click on the Colour button and change the colour to something else
  3. Click OK

To configure the next level down, we must click the Sub columns button. A new window pops up, effectively a duplicate of the previous window, but with a different item in the list window, showing the code:

res if(Reslevel2.Isdate, Reslevel2.Thedate, ConCat(Reslevel2.Exam.Code, if(Reslevel2.Comp.Code = '', '', ' / '+Reslevel2.Comp.Code)))

Don't worry about the formula too much at the moment - the key thing to notice the bits that say 'reslevel2'. We are now configuring the second level, relating to the Examination.

Lets change the colour of the heading again:

  1. Click on the Border button and choose Border for heading
  2. Click on the Colour button and change the colour to something else
  3. Click OK

Now, click the Sub columns button on this window. Again, we get another pop up window. This time, the data item in the list says:

res Reslevel3.Labelfull

We are now at the third level where the Criteria labels are configured. Click on the Border button again and change the background colour as before.

Saving changes

To save the changes we must click Modify and OK in each of the pop up windows, before a final Modify in the Edit Results views window. It is quite easy to miss a Modify out so that is the first place to check if your edited grid does not appear as you expected.

Changing the grid used by a result entry template

Before we can check the appearance of our new grid we need to update the Result Entry Template in question so that is uses the new grid design.

  1. From the main menu, select Assessments | Set up | Result entry control templates
  2. Highlight the Result Entry template in the list that you wish to apply the new grid to. In this example, we're using the one called 'Demo'
  3. In the Grid drop-down box, select 'Standard2' or whatever you have called your new grid
  4. Click Modify
  5. Click Close

If we go to enter data into our Result Entry Template we should now see something like this: