Assignment

 
 
Picture of Marcus Green
BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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I have put up some beta code for an advanced marking method for BTEC style marking at

https://github.com/marcusgreen/moodle-gradingform_btec

This is based on Dan Marsdens Marking Guide code and builds on a big chunk of work by Matthew Canning. It has been discussed previously in 

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=212702

And I have created some basic documentation at

http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/BTEC_marking

There is an animation of it in use for marking at

http://www.examulator.com/gf/btecgrading.swf

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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I have added an animation that shows how to create assignments with the BTEC grading scheme. See here

http://www.examulator.com/gf/btc2.swf

 

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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I just downloaded it  to one of my localhost Moodles- very good!  I don't have much experience of BTEC although we do it in our school in Science I think but I reckon this should also work for OCR aka Cambridge Nationals in ICT. However, I had to figure out for myself where to upload it to - I guessed moodle>grade>grading>form as that's where I saw rubric and guide, but (assuming I am correct) it might be worth adding that to the readme and/or documentation as well. Off to play now...

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Thanks for the feedback Mary. Yes it should work for those qualifications as well. I was going to call it PMD grading but Matthew Cannings had the idea of calling it BTEC as that is a very common qualification using that scheme an I figured he was right. 

I believe there are far more FE (16/19 year old) students graded in this way than using the A level percentage/letter way and yet as far as I can see there is no free or paid for solution (till now). This may become more of an issue at the start of the next academic year in the UK with the "raising of the participation age" ..

I have added the following install instructions to the readme on github

To install

Place the unzipped files in a directory 

moodle/grade/grading/form/btec

Where moodle is the root of your moodle install

Login to your moodle installation as admin and allow the plugin to install.

 

 
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Picture of Dominic Jones
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hi Marcus,

I've followed your instructions above word for word and have the following problem on the notifications page (see image below). Any idea what the issue might be, we're using Moodle 2.2.3+ (Build: 20120701). Thanks.

btec error

 
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Lewis Carr
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Dominic,

Your Moodle version is out of date.  You need to upgrade to 2.3 ideally.

 
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Picture of Nolan Pearce
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

This looks great and a promising start to addressing a long awaited issue within Moodle.

dbs Music is a music production and sound engineering college who developed a Moodle plugin several years ago to do exactly this. We have used it very successfully over the last five years as a tool to provide feedback, track grades and manage verification/moderation processes. Unfortunately, browser updates mean that this plugin is losing its functionality and we are currently migrating our systems into the newer version of Moodle.

This is the first code I have seen which deals with the BTEC grading and tracking issues within Moodle. The main problem I see here is the amount of pass, merit and distinction criteria that have to be attached to an assignment. Some of our assignments have six or seven grade criteria attached which would potentially render up to twenty one grade and feedback boxes. Our current Moodle plugin allows the tutor to award pass, merit or distinction to specific criteria (see screen print). Differentiation between the grade descriptors are achieved by numerical values that directly relate to the BTEC scheme.  This provides both the tutor and student a very clean method for viewing feedback and grades.

Could you maybe incorporate a function that allows the tutor to select specific criteria from the grading form when creating the assignment? This would allow full tracking of the unit criteria with enhanced functionality for the end user (student). Also, is it possible to provide grading above M5 and D5 to take into account units with higher numbers of grade criteria?

Really glad to see that there is an emerging Moodle community trying to tackle this problem; it seems that this issue has never really been addressed within the wider community. I am a subject leader for a very large college in the South West of England and I am happy to provide feedback and experience from an end-user point of view. I would love to develop my programming skills to help move these ideas forward but I would need an extra life for this to happen. So, thank you to all you amazing developers and programmers who help solve these problems for the rest of us.


 
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Picture of Mark Chaney
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

I just thought that I would add to this post. I am currently upgrading our Moodle 1.9 Grade tracker to a Moodle 2 implimentation. This has full integration with assignments and will have quizes etc. It does BTEC, Alevel and City and Guild, and will do more like cache, bespoke, functional skills, access etc. It allows all permutations of BTEC critera and units and also does unit award and qualification award calculations. The project is being funded by JISC and we have a simple Moodle 1.9 demo site with more details at http://moodlegrades.bedford.ac.uk. Our college uses our stable 1.9 version. Jisc are funding the upgrade to Moodle 2.x and our project partners are providing requirements. 

Our first release to our partners will be around Easter, then another realease will be for our partners at the beginning of the summer and a comunity release for September 2013. 

Thanks

Mark Chaney

Project Manager and Lead Devloper. 

 
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Picture of Nolan Pearce
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hello Mark

This looks pretty comprehensive. Can you also track moderation processes? is there any chance of a preview before September 2013?

 
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Picture of Mark Chaney
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hi Nolan, 

Thanks. It currentlty only very briefly tracks moderation processes but it is something that we are working towards more. Just not sure if it would be in the September release sad

As for a preview. Im sure something could be arranged, the project owner/my boss Roy Currie would be the man to get in contact with. 

Thanks

Mark

 
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Picture of Graham Bowman
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

I've had a play and it seems to work well. I'd like to see something like the progress block linked to criteria but thats a separate issue. I'm going to risk it and try this with one of my BTEC classes. I'll report back 

 
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Lewis Carr
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Marcus,

I've been playing with this today and it is truly brilliant.  Works well in 2.5 too apart from a few depreciated Moodle functions which is easily fixable.  You may made life in the FE sector less complicated.

Job well done Sir!

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Matthew Cannings deserves a vast amount of credit for that code as I was building on what he had created. If there is interest I would love to take whatever you (Lewis) has done and put a 2.5 version in the Moodle plugin database. The work that Bedford college have been doing in this area is also very interesting.

I used to regularly eat at Fuji Hiro Noodle emporium not far from the Leeds College of Technology as it was then.

 

 
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Lewis Carr
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hi Marcus,

I am planning on trialling it this term (starting September 2013), we will then be tweaking the code as we go and posting back to GitHub. So anything we do will be fed back to you all.

 
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Lewis Carr
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Oh and Fuji Hiro is awesome!

 
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Picture of Natalie Jordan
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Does any one use this who can offer some advice, as I am having problems with a P1, P2 combination giving a Distinction in the gradebook. Any ideas anyone.

I've spent ages doing the work and using the module and it must be a relatively small thing to do, but with a full timetable teaching, I don't know that I will ever have time to find out.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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I don't understand your question Natalie, could you explain further?

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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I just got your direct message Natalie, it probably makes sense to discuss in the forum in case it is of use to others. You appear to want a student to get a Distinction for achieving the two Pass criteria. That is not my understanding of BTEC grading works. My understanding is that an assignment with only P criteria can only be graded to a Pass. Another detail is that there are fields I don't recognise on that screen shot, so it might not be code I am familiar with. You you post a larger screen shot so I can see more of the grading form. I might not be able to help much if it is not code I was involved wit.

 
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Me, with my new 'slow explosion' hair!
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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I believe Natalie is saying that with an assessment with only two Pass) criteria, it's being marked as a Distinction, which it should not be.  This is the same issue we're seeing at South Devon College, and please see my colleague Clare's post from earlier today (further down the page) with some details of our experience.

We're keen for this code to work as expected so I have been tasked with looking into it over our half term break next week.

 
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Picture of Jonathan Weir
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hi, when I create a task with only pass and merit criteria available, it automatically awards the student with a distinction. Is this normal? I have included an image of the site here. As you can see, there are only P and M criteria available, but the grade in the markbook is a Distinction.

 

Thanks for your support.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Here is the readme text from the source code at (note the end of the second paragraph)

https://github.com/marcusgreen/moodle-gradingform_btec

Advanced marking plugin for the BTEC marking scheme based on Refer,Pass, Merit and Distinction where each level is based on completing all the next lowest. So to get a Merit a student must achieve all Pass and all Merit, and to get a Distinction to get all Pass and all Merit and all Distinction.
If they miss a Pass criteria they get a refer. If the assignment has only Pass criteria and the student gets them all the mark will be an overall Distinction. If the assignment has Pass and Merit criteria but no Distinction criteria, and the student achieves all available criteria the mark will also be an overall Distinction.

The logic is that if you don't set it to Distinction when all criteria are met there is nothing to make it clear that there are only Pass and Merit criteria and so a tutor might think a student has missed some criteria. In this context Distinction stands in for "All available criteria met".

I think this was an arbitrary decision by me to try to ensure that the results displayed makes sense.

 
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Picture of Carol Hampton
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hi All,

 

My names Craig (I'm just using Carol's login as I have to run to a lesson in a moment)

 

I've been struggling with the BTEC marking plugin for a few weeks now and my colleague Carol has just explained it to me that I have to have P,M and D criteria for each of my assessments.

Unfortunately, I don't do this. Some assessments have only P, some have P&D, some have P,M and D. So therefore when I mark one with P criteria only - it shows the learner that they get a DISTINCTION grade. This has really confused the learner because they don't understand the context that you speak of above!

I really hope that there is a way around this as I can see me saving MASSES of time marking and grading by using what is essentially an amazing add on to Moodle.

I hope that this can be improved .....

Big thanks

Craig

 
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Picture of Clare Hayward
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hi,

We are having the exact same problem at South Devon. We have worked around it but it is very difficult and time-consuming for teaching staff and we need to provide a lot of support to them to ensure the grades are correct.

An assignment with P only criteria is marked as DISTINCTION unless M&D criteria are added and then marked as No.
An assignment with P&M criteria is marked as DISTINCTION unless D criteria is added and then marked as No.
An assignment with P&D criteria is marked as MERIT for a learner achieving the Pass only criteria unless D criteria is added and then marked as No.

It gets even more complicated for REFER grades:

An assignment with D only criteria is marked as MERIT for a learner who does not acheive the D grade.
In this instance P&M criteria needs to be added and set to YES for learners who achive the D grade and NO for learners who need the Refer grade.

An assignment with M criteria is marked as PASS for a learner who does not achieve the M grade.
In this instance P&D criteria needs to be added and P set to YES and D set to NO for learners who achieve the M grade and P&D set to NO for learners who need the Refer grade.

I agree with Craig that the add-on is amazing but in its current format it is very difficult to use for BTEC marking and needs improving before it could become a viable solution for all our BTEC courses.

Thanks
Clare

 

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Carol, Craig and Clare don't struggle, post questions (grins). Also keep up the flattery. 

There are many interpretations on how BTEC marking should work, and as I said in my earlier post my "grading up" was a purely arbitrary decision on my part to try to ensure the grades would be interpreted logically. I have used numbers for grading in a different VLE where 8 was Pass, 9 was Merit and 10 was distinction. I had students who got a merit on an assignment where were no Distinction criteria and I spent time waiting for them to "get to a distinction" which could never happen (as there were no D criteria). I figured if I was delivering the content and could make that mistake then other tutors/managers were even more likely to. I must re-state that this was a purely arbitrary decision to fit my own assumptions.

I have only ever worked on assignments that had at least a Pass and Merit criteria and it is interesting (and perfectly reasonable) that you might want to create an assignment with only Pass or only  Distinction criteria. Clare, can you confirm from your text if you are referring to how you want the plugin to work or how it does work (it is a while since I have played with it).

For the programmers out there you can find the grading logic in the function 

public function get_grade(){

contained in the lib.php file

 

 

I am going to look into the possibility of having a setting which I think of as "grade up", i.e. do what the thing does at the moment but have it as optional. Can you suggest what name you would give to such a setting instead of "grade up"?

 

 
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Picture of Jonathan Weir
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

I would suggest a setting to use your current method, or choose the method where it just gives whichever grade you've selected without the 'marking up.' This would be amazing if you set it up in the next couple of months so I can prepare it for September usage. 

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Over the weekend I have been working on some code that does the following. No more grading up to distinction. You can miss out levels, i.e. if only have D and no P or M you will get D if you get all the D, If you only have M you will get M if you get all the M. Here is the part of the actual code that does the processing. It looks like there is no obvious way to have settings values for advanced grading in Moodle admin interface without modifications to core. Please reply here if you would like me to put this into github for testing, it seems to work for me. Feel free to comment on the logic (or elegance).

/* $levels["letter"]==1 means that all criteria at the level letter has been met 

X indicates that there are no criteria at that level. $levelmet is the overall
* grade achieved. You could make an argument for additional grades to indicate
* if the overall grade means every available criteria has been met, e.g. PAM,MAM and DAM
* for Pass (all met), Merit .....
**/
$levelmet=REFER;
if($levels["P"]==1){
$levelmet=PASS;
}
if(($levels["P"]==1)&& ($levels["M"]==1))
{
$levelmet=MERIT;
}
if(($levels["P"]=="X")&& ($levels["M"]==1))
{
$levelmet=MERIT;
}
if(($levels["P"]==1)&& ($levels["M"]==1) && $levels["D"]==1)
{
$levelmet=DISTINCTION;
}
if(($levels["P"]==0)&& ($levels["M"]==1) && $levels["D"]==1)
{
$levelmet=DISTINCTION;
}
if(($levels["P"]==1)&& ($levels["M"]=="X") && $levels["D"]==1)
{
$levelmet=DISTINCTION;
}
if(($levels["P"]=="X")&& ($levels["M"]=="X") && $levels["D"]==1)
{
$levelmet=DISTINCTION;
}
return $levelmet;

 

 

 

 
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Picture of Shaun Daubney
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Yes please, really interested in trying this out. At the moment we set BTEC assignments up as just 1 = met, 0 = not met, but that doesn't give students an overall grade which is frustrating.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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I'm on "holiday" all next week so I shall post a version of the code on github when I have tested it a bit further. You might like to take a look at the existing github code on a test site to get a feel for what it does.

 
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Me, with my new 'slow explosion' hair!
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Adding this to GitHub would be great, thanks. smile

 
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Picture of Clare Hayward
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Thanks for your response Marcus.  My post was referring to how it currently works.  We have to add in the extra criteria levels to make sure that the correct grade is given.  We would like it to give the actual grade achieved and where the criteria was not met then a Refer grade to be given without adding in extra criteria for the other levels.


For example: 
An assignment with Merit only criteria set
Learner achieves the Merit criteria but is given a Distinction grade.  Distinction criteria needs to be added and set to No for the Merit grade to be given.
Lerner does not acheive the Merit grade but is given a Pass grade.  Pass criteria needs to be added and set to No for the Refer grade to be given BUT now for learners who do achieve the Merit grade the teacher has to mark the Pass criteria as Yes otherwise they will also receive a Refer grade.

What we would like is to be able to setup just Merit criteria and a Merit grade be given if achieved and a Refer given if the criteria is not achieved without having to add in the extra criteria levels.

As my colleague Paul says above we would be interested in trying out the new code when you are able to post it on Github.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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The code I am going to put on Github is the stuff that I had in the earlier post with bits like

$levelmet=REFER;
if($levels["P"]==1){
$levelmet=PASS;
}
if(($levels["P"]==1)&& ($levels["M"]==1))

bla bla bla 

in it. (actually there is a minor bug at one level in it). I think that it can be read through by a non programmer to get the logic of what I am doing. I am hoping it will work "as you would expect", which means that a student who gets all P and M would be graded as M not like the current system which would grade as a D as a proxy for "all criteria met".

After 12 years a (FE) teacher* today is my last day and in a weeks time I will be a developer supporting Moodle and other LAMP technologies. I first thought I would like to do that almost exactly 12 years ago when I first discovered Moodle.

Marcus

*could be a good name for a movie

 

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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The code in the github repository now does the grading as people expect, i.e. no more grading up to distinction if you have met all criteria. If you try the code out please post a message here as I would like to know how much interest there is in this plugin.

https://github.com/marcusgreen/moodle-gradingform_btec

 
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Picture of Clare Hayward
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
 

Hi Marcus,
I have tested the new code and it works perfectly. smile

Thank you very much for taking the time to update the code.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Delighted to have helped. Please let me know if you "use it in anger" with live students.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: BTEC marking code available (Pass, Merit, Distinction)
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Just popping in to say congratulations on the job moveYescool

 
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