I've been using moodle since 2008 and just began using Gordon Bateson's awesome Essay (auto-grade) plugin which I think has excellent potential.
However, other than AND ANY and OR, the documentation is severely lacking for the syntax. This plugin is going to used by teachers and not all are programmers-- clarification of the qualifiers and metacharacters, along with further examples, would be very helpful but I'm not nearly qualified to begin adding to the documentation page. Has anyone begun compiling a list of commonly used syntax strings?
I would also appreciate some feedback to make sure I went about it correctly before using Essay auto-grade more in-depth. As a trial, I used the plug-in to grade an OCR Critical Thinking problem. In this case, different responses may contain some identical words but need to be awarded different point values. I did my best to indicate differences between them.
The students were asked to find the main conclusion of the passage which gave evidence of what was required of F1 drivers, then ended with the following: Because drivers have to perform all these amazing feats at the same time, at 200mph, they must surely count among the elite of multitaskers.
Answering with the entire statement was awarded 50% since it contained both an intermediate conclusion (Because drivers have to perform all these amazing feats at the same time, at 200mph) and the main conclusion (they must surely count among the elite
Target Phrase: perform AND feats AND multitaskers
The main conclusion of (they must surely count among the elite of multitaskers) was awarded 80% since they didn't indicate who "they" were
Target Phrase: ^they AND multitaskers
The main conclusion of (F1 drivers must surely count among the elite of multitaskers) was awarded 100%
Target Phrase: f1 AND drivers AND multitaskers
I have already given the quiz and I found that the auto-grade plugin ignored anything in the student response that was inside quotation marks. Answers like these were graded as zero points even when it was a match for one of the target phrases: The main conclusion is "F1 drivers ... "
I had trouble finding a way to distinguish the 80% and 100% choices and found that the ^ caused answers to me marked as incorrect if the were prefaced by any other text. This was marked incorrect even though the second half contained the proper target phrase: The main conclusion is they must surely...Is there a way to make the target phrases ward for exact strings of text and is there a way to have it grade what a student puts inside quotation marks?