General plugins

New Virtual Programming Lab (VPL) module

Picture of Amir Ben-amram
Re: New Virtual Programming Lab (VPL) module

Hello Juan,

I have begun using VPL in my courses this year, and I like it very much, but I don't think I'm making the best use of it yet.

I have two questions:

(1) As far as I could see, I can set a submission deadline, but unlike the ordinary moodle assignment activity, I have not seen how to grant extensions to particular students.   Is it possible?  (If not yet, could I make a feature request here?)

(2) Regarding the "plagiarism/similarity detector", I understand that its function is to generate a similarity report to the teacher.  I have been hesitating about turning this on because I wanted to be sure that results would not be visible to students.  I understand that your intention is that the tool will not "denounce fraud" by itself, but I wanted to be sure.  Can you confirm this?   It would be nice to have a little guide to this feature somewhere (not the theory - just usage, what the teacher sees, what the student sees).

Best regards and thanks for creating and maintaining this tool


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Picture of Juan Carlos Rodríguez-del-Pino
Re: New Virtual Programming Lab (VPL) module
Plugin developers
Hello Amir,
I will try to answer your questions.
A1) No, it is not possible to grant extensions to a particular student. I have log this as a feature request.
A2) Yes, I confirm that this feature is predefined to be used by teachers and the students don't see anything about this report. The standard Moodle archetypes that by default are allowed to use this feature are: 'teacher', 'editingteacher', 'coursecreator' and 'manager'. But notice that a user with enough privileges can grant this capability to any user or archetype.

I think that the use of the similarity feature must follows this advices:
1) The similarity report is NOT criteria to assure that a copy was happened.
2) The only trustable report about the possibility of a prohibited copy is the generated by a teacher, based in his own criteria.
3) The similarity report can help the teacher to select what pair of submissions must be compared in detail. Notice that the report can give "false positives".
4) The report orders the output from more to less similar. After the ordered pairs, the report shows clusters of similar submissions.
5) The system tries to help the teacher to compare pairs of files by showing it side by side and adding blank lines to try to align similar lines of code. You must click in the similarity rate of a pair of files to get this feature.
6) A common way to study the report is review the pairs from most to less similar and stop reviewing when you found three of four adjacent "false positives".

Best regards,
Juan Carlos.

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Picture of Amir Ben-amram
Re: New Virtual Programming Lab (VPL) module

Muchas gracias.

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