Skip to main content

gradescope logoWe wanted to make the campus community aware of changes that are happening with our Exam Scanning services. All instructors who have used these services in the past have received notification of this upcoming change.

Effective August 1, 2022, our services with Digital Desk will be retired, and all instructors will need to fully convert to Gradescope for all bubble sheet exam grading.

Gradescope offers a breadth of exam capabilities, including bubble sheets and the ability to use open-ended questions with handwritten answers from students to be recognized by the Gradescope software once scanned. Not only does it support paper-based and virtual exams, Gradescope also allows for collaborative grading in real time with an adaptive rubric and is integrated with Sakai so that your student grades will automatically be sent to the Gradebook. Our traditional ScanTron form does not offer this flexibility and is simply limited to bubble sheets with results that must be manually imported into the Sakai Gradebook. The Gradescope third-party vendor also offers tremendous support through their website and training workshops.

Key Changes

All users must switch to Gradescope for exam bubble sheet grading by August 1, 2022.

Impact to Students

Instead of purchasing ScanTron forms from Student Stores, students will need to print Gradescope Bubble Sheets for their exams. They may use their allotted CCI Printing funds to print these bubble sheets. (Note students should enter their PID in the ID field on the bubble sheet.)

Depending on whether instructors allow students to use a mobile device after the exam, students will need scan their work by taking a photo of their assignment with their mobile device and uploading it as a PDF into Gradescope. Gradescope currently recommends scanning with Evernote Scannable on iOS devices and Genius Scan on Android devices. Gradescope is scheduled to release an app this summer that will enable students to use their phones to scan and upload their assignments directly in the new Gradescope app, eliminating the need to use third-party apps.

Impact to Instructors

Instead of dropping off your students’ scantrons at the Classroom Hotline, instructors will need to scan the answer sheets using the scan function on a standard printer to generate a PDF file. The file must then be uploaded to the Gradescope website. All departments across campus should have a departmental printer that allows for this function.

Teaching a large class and worried you’ll have to scan hundreds of sheets? All exams can be scanned at one time, in one batch, even if there are multiple versions of your exam. After you have scanned your exam, you will convert the scans into one single PDF file to email to yourself. Back at your computer, you’ll then upload the PDF file into Gradescope so you can evaluate and analyze the results.

Please review Gradescope’s Managing Scans FAQ.


We want to emphasize that we understand this change will impact instructors who have relied on this service, and we have not made this decision lightly.

Looking at how many exams have been scanned in our office over the past six years, there has been a steady decline in scanning service usage.  The total number of scanned exams has decreased from ~2,800 in 2016 to ~1,200 exams in 2019. During this same time, we learned that many STEM departments had adopted the Gradescope platform. Gradescope usage grew even more across campus as instructors were faced with the dilemma of administering exams virtually. In addition to Sakai Tests & Quizzes, we again saw an increase in Gradescope adoption. Even as instruction returned to campus, exam scanning usage declined. This continuing trend and the many flexible options Gradescope now offers support the move away from Digital Desk. Summer courses may continue to use our exam scanning services, but please understand that our services will only be available until July 31st.

Please reach out to our Classroom Hotline if you have any questions or concerns. We have also compiled an FAQ to answer common questions about this change and using Gradescope for scanning exam bubble sheets. We appreciate your understanding.

Comments are closed.