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Noted Problems with CSV file Import for Grading (Moodle 2.4)

 
On the beach during my 2 year contract with the University of South Australia in Adelaide.
Noted Problems with CSV file Import for Grading (Moodle 2.4)
 

I have developed some extensive grading tools in Excel that make grading easier (when there are large student groups), which provide more detailed feedback for students, and which also aggregate data to be used (developing now) to fill a student performance dashboard as well as help educators improve their course designs.

Eventually, I would like to talk with developers in this community about re-programming this so it becomes a web application that extends moodle functions to facilitate grading and to contribute to applying learning analytics which I am researching. 

Just wanted you to have a brief background.

One of the things the Excel tool does is to take text feedback that I enter into a cell and wraps it with HTML tags to make reading easier. Below is an example of feedback a student might see:

Grace, Joy:

  • Fulfill assignment instructions and stretching learning - create bio in html: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Write clean HTML code via Notepad or TextEdit: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Use targeted tags (bold, emphasis, strong, paragraph) in creative way: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Communicate effectively and well: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )

Instructor comments: Joy, excellent job with this initial web page assignment! Keep rocking! smile

For your orientation, what you see is that the criterion text of the rubric is completely provided as bulleted items, together with the points they scored, against total possible for that criterion, and the performance label. The Excel tool currently allows for up to 10 criterion. Next, there is space for free-form text entry that is used to provide clarifying remarks about how the assignment was scored, how to improve next time, etc.

The problem I refer to in the post's subject line happened first when in an assignment upload, the Moodle parsing function hit a snag on the second student record out of the 10 in this upload experiment I ran. While there were 10 students' grades and feedback comments to upload, Moodle 2.4 only saw two. Below is an example of the second student record that created the problem:

Francisco, San:

  • Fulfill assignment instructions and stretching learning - create bio in html: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Write clean HTML code via Notepad or TextEdit: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Use targeted tags (bold, emphasis, strong, paragraph) in creative way: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Communicate effectively and well: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )

Instructor comments: San, great job with this assignment. I would only suggest that you not use fixed paths to objects like images - it gets messy when you get around to maintaining pages on a web site later and you move stuff around. Instead, use relative paths. In your case, you kept the image in the same folder as the html source file, so your img src=href should be just "Bell002.jpg". I would suggest you always create a folder for your images, and ALWAYS name the folder the same thing, such as "Images" or "Img" etc - so that you won't think much about paths to images since you always name your folders the same thing. Then if you were to create a folder for your Page 1 assignment and you named the folder "Images", this would be the img src=href would be "Images/Bell002.jpg". Doing this means that you can move the directory to a different server and you wouldn't need to change the path to the file - it's relative to where the html source page is located. Much easier!

You can look at this here, or view the HTML code, but let me point to the problem: I used double-quotes within my free-form text. Doing this I think caused the parsing function to have a problem - it wrapped another set of quotes around mine, but it resulted in stopping the upload for the remaining 8 student records. When I replaced my double-quotes with double dashes (i.e., "--"), the parsing function read further than this record.

But then it ran into another problem. Here's an example of the next student record where the parsing function seem to fail:

Ellen, Sue:

  • Fulfill assignment instructions and stretching learning - create bio in html: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Write clean HTML code via Notepad or TextEdit: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Use targeted tags (bold, emphasis, strong, paragraph) in creative way: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )
  • Communicate effectively and well: 12.5/12.5 (Exemplary )

Instructor comments: Sue, great job with this assignment. I think that background color is a bit strong - its contrast with your text is low, which for some (I guess people like me… oh well…) makes reading a little harder. However, most excellent job!

Again, in the free-form text, my use of an ellipsis caused the processing to stop dead - at the word "me". When I removed that text (i.e., "... oh well..."), there were no further problems and all of the student records processed without a problem. 

For me, I will refrain from using double-quotes and ellipses, but I wanted to call this to your attention. You may want to look at your assumptions about what teachers might include in their feedback that can cause a problem uploading a CSV file. 

Cheers,

-George

 
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