An Exercise is a simple but powerful assignment. In an exercise the teacher asks the students to do a piece of practical work. It could be writing an essay or a report, preparing a presentation, or setting out a spreadsheet, etc. When the student has done the task they must first self-assess their work before submitting it to the teacher. Once submitted the teacher can assess both the student's assessment and the piece of work itself. The teacher can give feedback to the student and ask the student to improve the work and re-submit it or not as the case may be.
Before the start of the exercise the teacher sets up the exercise by
1. Creating a Word document or HTML file which introduces the exercise and tells the students what they have to produce. This file is uploaded into the exercise by the teacher.
2. Adding the textual elements and choosing the options in the Assessment Form. This form is used by both the students and the teacher to assess the work produced in the exercise. There are various types of assessment which can be used (see the help on "Grading Stratgey")
In large classes, the teacher may find to helpful to create more than one version of the exercise. These variants add a degree of variety to the exercise and ensure that students are doing different tasks in the exercise. They are allocated to the students in a random but balanced way. Each student receives only one exercise but the the number of times each variant is allocated in a class is approximately the same. Note the variants should not be too different as the same assessment form is used for all of the variants.
With the description(s) of the exercise and the assessment form in place, the assignment is opened to the students. They are shown a description of the exercise or task. When they have done the exercise they must assess their own work (using the pre-prepared assessment form) before they can submit their work to the teacher. The assessment form can be used as a "checklist" by the students. They can, if they wish, revise both their work and the assessment before they actually submit their work, and probably they should be encouraged to do so!
Once a student has submitted their work both their assessment and the piece of work itself becomes available to the teacher. The assessments can be graded and there is a box for comments. The teacher can also access the piece of work (using the student's assessment as a starting point) and make a decision whether to ask the student to re-submit an improved version of the work or not.
If the teacher feels that the student's piece of work could be improved, the student can be given the opprtunity to re-submit. If this is taken up the teacher re-assesses the work using an assessment form which contains the grades and comments they gave to the student's previous submission. Thus, the re-assessment is then a matter of updating the form in the light of the student revised work rather than undertaking an assessment from scratch.
When the deadline for the exercise the teacher moves the exercise to the next phase. This stops further submissions from the students. The assessments and submissions which have not be graded and assessed should now be done.
With all the submissions graded, the exercise is moved to the final phase. The students can now see their final grades and the grades given to their submissions. A student's grade for the exercise is a weighted combination of the teacher's grade for their self-assessment and the teacher's grade for that work. (The grade given by the student is not used.) For the submissions themselves the grade is teacher's assessment. The weights used for the two grades (the grading grade and the actual grade for the work) can be set and changed at any time during the assignment.
When the teacher allows students to resubmit work, the teacher should consider how to set the option which controls how the student's final grade is calculated from multiple submissions. This option allows the teacher to choose between using the mean grade of the student's submissions or their best submission. This option can changed at any time and it has an immediate effect in the grades screen.
In the final phase of the exercise the students can also see a "League Table" of submissions. This an ordered list of the submissions, the submission which received the highest grade is at the top. When there are multiple submissions only the student's best submission is show in this list.
Gosh, what a lot! I wonder how it works in practise, watch this space