Quiz

 
 
Picture of Scott Black
Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Hello,

Checked in here a couple of months ago about our little problem, and no solutions yet, so thought I'd try again with some additional information.

We're adapting existing face to face accounting courses that currently require participants to fill in blank sections of tables with the correct information on quizzes and assignments. Also, they need room for comments below the tables, so that people can explain their work. Easy to do on paper, but in moodle it's been impossible so far. For our last delivery, we ended up with 14 assignments and the exam that had to be downloaded in Word, then uploaded when completed. Not ideal, the course was not well received.

We came across iassign, which looks promising, but only works for older versions of moodle.

Is there a new version of iassign, or some other math- and accounting-friendly tool, that anyone out there knows about?

 

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I looked into using the Cloze question type when Scott first asked this question. However i came accross the problem that tables in moodle(questions) don't look like tables due to the difficulty in getting it to show the liines/rules within a table as documented at 

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=170824

and in the tracker at

https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-27774

 

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Yes, I remember that Marcus. I built a cloze solution for this as well and it was a dead end, didn't deliver on a few fronts.

I'm relatively convinced that there is no solution within the current iterations of Moodle, but that there might be a tool available that we can purchase, like iassign. Surely others have come across this particular challenge in Moodle and come up with a fix?

Scott

 

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Can you explain further what the limits of cloze were for you? It might be useful for people who programme new Moodle question types in the future. 

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

It's too restrictive, requires correct/incorrect answers, doesn't allow the participant to input any answer, without verification. The goal is to have the answers reviewed individually by the instructor and awarded partial or full marks later. Our class sizes are very small (5-20 students), so marking in this labour intensive way is not a problem. What we need is a table that will accept any information entered by the participant, accompanied by a comments field that allows the participant to explain their work.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

So you would have multiple fields within a table/grid, and a single comments table to explain how you came up with the values within the table?. The data entered would not be marked correct/incorrect in any way but would be marked by teachers?

This is a slightly unusual request in that for many/most people the attraction of the quiz is that it is automatically marked. If it is going to be marked by hand an assignent activity upload that involves a Ms Word document with fields might do the job as well. (Much as I dislike such documents).

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Scott and Markus,

Maybe a solution for that kind of situation would be an "essay with template" question type (well in fact it doesn't have to be a new question type, it can just be a new option to the core essay type if Tim agree) ?

This is a feature that have been requested several time and that I find interesting : when the teacher create the question he prepare a template (in this case it would be a table and a place for comments below, but it could be used in a lot of other situations too, I see for instance cases where a math teacher like me could use it), and when students attempt the quiz they are presented with the template that they need to complete and submit. The question is then graded manually as other questions too (another advantage is that a completed template can be included in "instructions for graders" and serve as a model during the grading phase.

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Adding a new 'template' option to the existing Essay qtype would be the way to do this. It would probably not be very hard to do either. Just a matter of time.

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

That sounds promising Tim, thank you. Could you direct me to some additional information about how to create the template? Any further tips you could provide about this option would be most helpful.

Scott Black

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

You would need a PHP programmer to implement this. Tim, would you add a new table to capture the data entered into the fields of such a modified essay question type?

I just had the following idea, I have created fields with square braces that would allow data entry but do no processing apart from store them. (OK, Tim, no good if the question involves arrays and programming ...). This is nothing more than text typed into an existing essay question, it is not anything that "works"

 


 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Marcus,

Well I  this was in fact thinking of something like (quick mockup in photoshop)

essay question with template

I don't think we need a new table, just 2 new fields in the qtype_essay_options table : template and templateformat.

During attempt when attempt is started content would be copied as default value in the answer field.

I am surely missing a lot of details but doesn't seems too complicated unless I missed a really big problem ?

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Exactly Marcus, it doesn't have to "work", just store the data. Is the example you attached an essay question? If users are able to enter information into a partially completed table and submit it, that's what I'm looking for. How did you create it? Please be specific, as my programming skills are minimal.

Scott 

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Scott, sadly all I did was create a table and put in the text you see, it doesn't "do" anything.  I was suggesting it as a way of asking the question type to have HTML style fields, the contents of which would be captured and stored for the teacher to see with the name of the field as its label. Perhaps it would not be stored to a separate table or field, just added to the response with a label.

so my thinking was that if you have a field as

[grocerytotal]

And when the student entered 99.56

The teacher would see an area of the response with field label and data as 

grocerytotal:[99.56]

Its nothing but an idea and some text typed into an existing question type as an illustration. It seems that Jean-Michel has a different idea but I don't quite understand it.

By obsession with [fields] comes from my work on creating a simplified cloze question type I called gapfill.

MG

 

 

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Marcus,

it seems we are not thinking of the same kind of template.

I was speaking of a template that is just the content of an editor field were the teacher can type what he like with tables, texts, images, ... anything you can include in a normal editor field.

There is no input field nor placeholders for inputs in that template.

The full content of that template is used as a default value for the student response during attempt and the student can do what he like with it, including completely deleting it and starting from a blank response to answer (maybe it would be wise to add a button for the "Oops I completely screwed the template can I have a new blank one, please" case big grin ?)

The completed template is saved as the student response and graded manually by the teacher latter.

I think this kind of template could be used in quite a lot of situations.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I understand now, Jean-Michele, a nice idea and very different to mine. Scott, which is closer to what you were thinking of?

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

It just occured to me that I could modify my gapfill question type so it didn't mark the responses. The teacher could perhaps mark it by hand... Take a look at it.

https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=qtype_gapfill

Be aware that I am like a man who has invented a hammer and sees nails everywhere.

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Thanks Jean Michel, I think that might work for me. Now I've got to reveal my ignorance; how do I prepare the template? I'll explore that option right now on Moodle and will search for examples, but any further info. on how to do it would be most helpful.

Thanks again, this could be the solution,

Scott

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Hi Jean-Michel,

I did a bit of poking around, and it appears the essay with template function is available on Moodle 1.9 but not with Moodle 2, which we are using (not sure what version of 2, sorry). It just doesn't appear as an option.

Tim, others, was that useful function somehow integrated into moodle 2 under another name? The way Jean-Michel describes it, it sounds like what I'm looking for.

Scott

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Hi Scott,

There certainly is not and never has been a template function for the Essay question in any version of Moodle. What makes you think otherwise?

Please Scott, as everyone else has said in this discussion, the "template feature" for the Essay question does not exist at all. It is only discussed as a useful feature, which would need to be developed by developers, and probably not in the near future.

At the moment - as has been said - your best solution is to go for the Assignment activity.

Joseph

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thanks Joseph, I thought that in the last 10 years I would have noticed a templating feature. Any comments on my idea for it? Would it be a minority sport? Widely useful.

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Joseph,

Why "and probably not in the near future" ?

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

@ Jean-Michel,

That was just a trick to make someone like you jump at the opportunity. Gotcha.wink

Joseph

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Jean-Michel what sort of stuff would you put in the templates box?

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Hi Joseph,

This is why I believed (still believe?) there was a template option in 1.9. Please read instruction #1 under "Adding an Essay Question." I've attached a screen shot as well. It clearly describes an "essay with answer template" option.

 

Scott

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

It looks like someone had developed this as a custom question type for Moodle 1.9.

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Yes Scott, I remember now that somebody has already mentionned that local customization of UW-Madison.

But according to this document we don't know if this question type was ported to the new question engine or not.

I don't know who should be contacted at UW-Madison to learn more about this plugin ?

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

A lightbulb has just gone on above my head. I see this as a way of having "the answer field pre populated with template text" rather than anything much to do with data entry fields.  Am I correct?

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Yes Marcus that is exactly that and also your words "pre populated" helped me to find a related tracker issue. Thanks a lot.

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Yes, Jean-Michel, now that rings a bell. The exact reference of that tutorial is to be found here. It's a pity that that document does not clearly state that this is NOT the standard Moodle Essay question but a local customization. It would have saved us all a lot of misunderstanding.wink

Joseph

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

At first I had some trouble to find a related tracker issue but as i was thinking "There must be one !" I did several search and finally found one with the wrong component and not the words I expected in it's title.

So I somewhat modified it and here it is:MDL-10516.

Please can all interested people vote and comment in this issue before i start work on it ? Thanks

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Joseph, Jean Michel, Marcus, you guys are amazing. Thank you very much for working through this with me, I really appreciate it. I will check out the tracker and put in my two cents.

All the best,


Scott Black

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Looks like I need to be a moodle developer to comment on the tracker, so I'll comment here. After viewing the existing comments, I think the essential information (for my needs) is that the solution must include the ability for the instructor to create tables in quiz questions (assignment too would be great) that participants can then fill in. For my purposes, it's also important that there be no yes/no other other requirements/restrictions on the questions, so the student can add anything, for the instructor to mark later.

If the solution could also allow the instructor to create a comments field before and/or after the table that would meet my needs precisely. An obvious drawback is that the marking can not be automated, but that is not an issue for us in Canada's Arctic, as our class sizes are very small.

Again, I'm amazed at the dogged, determined way that you closed in on this answer. I look forward to using it some time in the future!Thank you very much,

Scott Black

P.S. How will I know when this is available?

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

You don't need to be a developer to comment in the tracker, but you do need to sign in there, and that is a different sign-in to the one you use for these forums. (Yes, that is irritating.)

If you create a tracker log-in, then you can 'Watch' the issue, which means that you get an email every time it changes. Hopefully, eventually, you will see it get marked fixed. That means that it will be available in the next release.

 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Hello Jean-Michel,

I found the man at University of Wisconsin who developed their fix. I don't know if it's of any use to you, but just in case it helps, here is his message, including the link to the code:

 

Scott,
Yes, we have developed a custom question type called "essaywithstart", which might meet your needs.  We don't have the resources to make a commitment to maintain this code, which is why it's not available as a 3'rd party module on the Moodle.org site.  However, if you would like access to the code on a "as is" basis, you are welcome to use it.  You can get read-only access to the code through our Subversion repository at:

best regards, Mike Litzkow UW-Madison Moodle Service Coordinator

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Scott,

I am happy to report that this feature (response template in essay questions) in now part of Moodle 2.5 that will be released in about a month.

If you want to test it you don't need to wait so long, go to http://qa.moodle.net, login as a teacher and create an essay question.

I hope this new feature will be useful to you and other teachers, it was quite interesting to develop and not so easy I was thinking at the begining.

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello, maybe my message was not clear, I was in fact speaking of adding this option to a future Moodle version, because you are right it is currently not available.

Sorry you were thinking this was already possible, but the fact you are thinking that it would solve your problem is an incentive for me to look at doing it.

I don't know if there is already a tracker issue about that ?

 
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Brian
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Have you thought of the spreadsheet capability in Moodle?  could that be integrated into an assignment? Apologies if that could not work, as I haven't used it myself yet.

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Brian,

I was under the impression that in teaching accounting you don't want any spreadsheet capability because you don't want any calculation be done on student's entered texts but maybe I am wrong ? Or maybe it depends on the kind of accounting question ?

 

 
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paula
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Wouldn't something like this work in the meantime?


 
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Picture of Scott Black
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Yes, absolutely, that would work as an interim measure! We'd have to provide instructions about the highlight-cut-paste process, and possibly one on one support for some participants the first time, but thanks very much, we'll try that until the new fix is in place.

One of our challenges is that the ages, literacy/education levels and computer skills of our participants vary hugely.

 
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Picture of Leônidas Brandão
Re: Interactive tables needed for accounting courses
 

Dear Scott

I'm the coordinator of iAssign Project and I'm glad to know your interest in our project.

At this moment we have a(n almost) complete version of iAssign to Moodle 2.4. There are a few details pointed out by some teacher using iAssign that are still under development.

But, if you are interested, you can try the current version of iAssign 2.0.4. It is running on Moodle 2.4, it has: instalator; backup; and 4 iLM integrated (the educational "applets").

This week we are going to publish a new update. But your interest motivated us to publish now the new version of iAssign. Few minutes ago I updated the iAssign "home page", indicating a "link" to the new version (under test), in: http://www.matematica.br/ia.

The direct link to the new iAssing is: http://www.matematica.br/ia/iAssign.2.0.4.tgz

Please, let us now your evaluation of iAssign 2.0.4.

Best regards,

Leônidas O. Brandão

 
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