Future major features

 
 
Picture of Doug Loomer
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes
 

Hi Kris,

Good to see you folks moving ahead with speed, but I must also say I am concerned about two thing I see in the Outcomes Technical Specification: 1) Outcomes no longer appearing in the gradebook, and 2) Outcomes no longer supporting scales.  Perhaps I don't understand where this is going, but it seems likely to me that these two changes will make the Outcomes module virtually unusable for K-12 schools in the U.S. 

The move is on in a very, very big way toward Standards Based Reporting and Assessment in the U.S. but the ususal approach is to assess and report student achievement on a scale - typically something like: 1 Not Present; 2 Area of Concern; 3 Progressing; 4 Mastered.  I don't see how a pass/fail approach to data collection can support this model, nor how pass/fail can be used to meaningfully report student performance on essays or other performance based assessments.  Also, in the end the teacher's assessment of a student's  performance on such a scale (perhaps by looking at the mean, mode, median, most recent or a combination of these) IS the grade in the gradebook.  I'm not seeing how outcome tracking can be separated from the gradebook.

I am attaching a short article by Thomas Guskey (one of the leaders in SBG in the U.S.) which provides a basic example of how Standards Based Reporting and Assessment is being implemented in U.S. schools.

I realize that standards or criteria based grading is being implemented differently around the world, but would hope the new Outcomes module will not exclude K-12 teachers and schools in the U.S.

All the best,

Doug

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes
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Doug "I [...] would hope the new Outcomes module will not exclude K-12 teachers and schools in the U.S."

... or in any other country in the world.wink

Joseph

 
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Picture of Doug Loomer
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes
 

Then we are in agreement. approve

 
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Picture of Kris Stokking
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes
 

Doug,

I think you are confusing outcome marking with progress.  We are not trying to answer at which point the student ultimately knows the criteria, just that they have.  The overwhelming feedback we have received (including US K-12 institutions) is to remove the dependency on scales and the display of duplicated outcomes in the gradebook in order to reduce the confusion they cause.  We are not going to force the instructor to assess each student for each graded activity for each related outcome (for each attempt!) as is currently being done with Outcomes.  That simply inundates the gradebook with a ton of data that is only marginally useful to monitor progress, when that data could be collected separately.

The instructor will know whether the student has achieved an outcome, so we give them the ability to mark that achievement and give them the applicable data to make the assessment.  Using the definitions from your article, the "Outcome Attempt" would translate to the Product criteria, which the instructor could access from the marking screens.  They would also have access to resource views against supplementary materials or attempts against ungraded activities, which could be used as Process criteria.  Finally, we have recommendation plugins that can analyze the student's attempts and make an informed recommendation about his or her progress towards the outcome.  And at the end of the course, each student is marked as having Met or Not Met an outcome, which they will carry with them across the site.

 
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Picture of Phill Miller
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes
 

Doug, 

So, I think that we are all shooting for the same goal.  I'll add to Kris's comment to describe a little bit more of the background of this, and ways to accomplish what you are trying to accomplish.  

First of all, the reason that we went the way that we did was that, while you could do grading as you describe in the old outcomes system, it had some real limitations, specifically around tying outcomes to quiz questions.  There are many times where a quiz question ties tightly to one outcome, and whether or not the student gets that question (or a group of like-mapped questions) correct is a very solid indicator of competence.  We have to balance this with the more subjective nature of other types of grading, such as assignments, where a paper could cover more than one outcome, and the grading is more subjective.  For this, we are doing tight integration with rubrics (advanced grading).  So, in the example that you mentioned, you could create a rubric that was mapped against outcomes and had the scale that you mentioned (1 Not Present; 2 Area of Concern; 3 Progressing; 4 Mastered).  Upon grading that activity, you would have the data that you need.  This is different from a quiz question, where it is a much more binary condition.  We want to make sure to support both paths. 

Additionally, the ability to do coverage reporting, as well as "Completion" reporting, where you can see whether or not your students have read or participated in the background materials tied to specific Outcomes should be a huge win for remediation of possible issues. 

As to whether or not to display them in the gradebook or not, I think that there are arguments for both, and I'd love to hear more dialog on it.  Currently, the Outcomes link in the Settings area takes you to the Gradebook, but you can also get there through the gradebook.  We could potentially leave both.  I know that Kris and Mark were looking at the technical hooks needed and whether we should leave both.  

By the way, I've made a bunch of updates to the spec over the weekend.  Take a look.  I'm going to make a separate post with notes about the changes and a link to the change log.  Thanks for being so active in this thread.  

If you'd like to have a more one-on-one discussion with me about some of these issues, let me know. 

Phill

 
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