Student management with 3 modes
May 31, 2023 10:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for student data management software with very specific capabilities, and I'm having trouble making this work in a spreadsheet or with the existing databases I have tried. Can anyone help point me in a direction?

I'm looking for a student/lesson management software with a specific structure in mind. I would like 3 different modes:

1) Lesson mode: I input a lesson title and then include a bunch of data about that less–difficulty, level, subject, sub-subject, etc.

2) Semester/class mode) I input the classes I offered, and which lessons were included in which classes.When I associate a lesson with a semester, I want all of the metadata from the lesson to reflect within the semester and class that it was included in, without having to input the same data in the semester or class.

3) Student mode) I want to be able to input information about a student, and input which semester/level they are enrolled in, and have the data from the lessons/clsases that the student received available when I browse the student.

I hope it's clear that I want to be able to work in each of these three modes independently, but be able to access data across modes when records are associated with one another.
posted by al_fresco to Education (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Setting aside whether you're allowed to put student data in it for a minute, it does sound like Airtable will do this.
posted by hoyland at 3:00 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

So, academic software tends to be divided into learning management systems (LMS: users can be designated as a teacher and input lessons and such, but student data is entered by system administrators in a different back end) and student records software (I’m sure there’s another name that this type of software goes by, but it is what I think most people would think of given the term “student management”: generally used by university Registrar’s offices or school principal’s offices). Depends on what student info you need to kept track of, but most systems in the LMS category will allow you to also do some student record-keeping - you just have to have administrator privileges. But the search functionality you desire will not be as easy; what you want is really a purpose-built database. Systems used by Registrar’s offices have ways to set dependencies between course such as which courses are prerequisites, which meet specific over-arching requirements (distribution requirements of various sorts, for example). They generally have two levels of course information: major/degree program and individual courses; but don’t generally have enough fields for information associated with each course to have the lesson functionality you want. But if you don’t have degree programs to worry about, your course could map to what are typically degree programs, and your lessons could map to what are typically courses. However, these systems also typically cost a lot of money and the companies that sell them will do some initial customization for each university’s individual needs. So it’s probably cheaper to hire a database coder to make you a custom-built database.

Every country I know of has laws around privacy of student records (compliance with these laws being part of the cost for the systems described above), so be sure to familiarize yourself with relevant laws for your locale before futzing around with student records. (Probably not applicable if you are, like, a fitness business and your students are clients taking fitness classes with different modules or something, rather than a registered and accredited educational institution. But there might be other privacy regulations that would apply in non-academic business settings?)
posted by eviemath at 4:13 AM on June 1

You should be able to get precisely what you're asking for with Notion. There are a ton of templates available, probably none of them quite what you want but it's a well enough put together app that just playing around with them as starting points for a bit should get you going. And it's worth the effort - it really is an excellent organisational tool that will pay back the time spent learning to use it for this more complex setup in all sorts of other contexts.
posted by protorp at 6:13 AM on June 1

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