30 November 2010

Share content confidentially with students

In addition to assessment data, the Grades tool can be used to share other information confidentially with students. Here are the steps to do so:
  1. Create a grade item for this purpose.
    Note: Make it a Text item if there is not a score associated with the content you want to share.
  2. Back on the Grades List / Manage Grades page, click on the Enter grades icon for the item you created.
  3. For a student, click on the Enter comments icon. This opens a pop-up window with two fields. Click on the box "Comments for users:" to add comments for this particular student. You can use the Quicklink button to add links to external videos or course files.
    Note: If you want to share a particular file with a particular student, that file must first be uploaded to the Manage Files area of course.
Students can access this content by going to the Grades page within your course offering.
The video demonstration shows an example using individual videos on EduStream: [VIDEO DEMO]

Thanks to John Gilgun for asking the question.

Collecting student lab data

Thanks to Mark Lee for asking this question: "Is there a way to post an Excel spreadsheet in the dropbox so that students can post their results? Now each student is posting a separate spreadsheet, and I have to transfer the data manually to a combined sheet."

My answer:
Do you want students to be able to enter data and see the results as they do, or do you want to collect data and then display their results to them?

Converting an Excel spreadsheet into an interactive web page will give you the first option, but it is usable only in Internet Explorer and does not include charts. The data is not saved, though a student can download the Excel file to a local computer.

For the other option, one way is to use a quiz that collects the data only. You can create a report in CSV format with their answers (grouped by student) and then format that data as you wish for student display.

A second way for this is to use a Google Docs form and spreadsheet. You can design a form that asks for the specific data and then take their results and publish the spreadsheet the form appends to. You can also publish charts separately from the spreadsheet, and the data updates automatically. Each student could fill out the form multiple times. One way to discourage this is to place the form inside a quiz.