06 December 2013

Use Fill in the Blanks for students to type a list

Here is a sample question that an instructor wants to ask: List the three macronutrients. The correct answers are carbohydrates, protein, and lipids or fats. To have this question automatically graded, use Fill in the Blanks.
  1. Change the question text as follows: List the three macronutrients in alphabetical order and make it worth 3 points.
  2. Give the question three Texts and three Blanks in alternating order:
    • Text #1: Contains the question text and ends with an empty paragraph (type the Enter key)
    • Blank #2: One Answer (cho), size 10, weight 33.33%
    • Text #2: Contains only a empty paragraph (type the Enter key)
    • Blank #2: Two Answers (fats and lipids), size 10, each answer has weight 33.33%
    • Text #3: Contains only a empty paragraph (type the Enter key)
    • Blank #3: One Answer (protein), size 10, weight 33.33% 
More than one Answer can be associated with a Blank, and whatever a student types in that Blank will be checked against each of the Answers associated with that Blank. All four words could be listed as Answers for each Blank, but then a student could get full credit for typing the same word in all three Blanks; hence the requirement they be written in alphabetical order.
When creating a complex FIB question like this, adding additional Text and Blank entries will be at the bottom of the question so they have to be added in sequence. A new FIB question has the sequence Text-Blank-Text, so to create the structure in this sample the correct steps are to add a Blank, then a Text, then a Blank.
Without those empty-paragraph text boxes, the blanks will run together in a single line and the order in which students should write the answer might not be obvious. The blank paragraphs are there to force the answer boxes to appear in a single column on the page.

04 December 2013

Inadvertent emails

In a multiple-enrollment course offering it is possible to email students in other sections inadvertently. This was discovered in the Dropbox tool, where attempting to email all users without submissions (while looking only at one section) also included students who had not submitted files to that same Dropbox folder in the other section.

Thanks to Constance Carter for sharing this with me.