In the courses we use Moodle for a number of assignments require that the students turn in their work. This involves them uploading files and then we grade them.... however - if we want to provide feedback on the assignments it means either making a nebulous reference to it in the comment box - imagine a word document - and referring to the sentence structure in the third paragraph, fourth line... its not awful - but becomes a little cumbersome when referring to specifics - for example in Excel formulae...
the other option is to download the file, make notes on it (not always easy in some files) and then re-upload - which seems a cumbersome process... and then add comments and the grade.
I was wondering whether it might be possible to implement something like x-note (thunderbird extension to allow post-its to emails) or similar to http://www.mystickies.com/ - the idea is that instead of editing the file moodle would store 'notes' that are displayed with the file, and could be added to the file (viewable by teachers and students) with feedback and comments. All within the browser interface - which I guess limits the types of files this would work with... but I suspect would cover a lot of assignments submitted
Technically - I don't know how it would work, or reference location in the file for displaying later on... but seems a more intuitive and quicker way of providing feedback to students.
Ironically - at the moment we are providing most of our feedback on paper... because it is faster and allows us to comment in context. Perhaps that is still the best way?
Does anyone have any ideas on how to make providing feedback and grading better / faster?
What are people's 'workflow' with grading assignments online?
It would fit very nicely into the existing "online assignment" type or as a new assignment assignment type.
The trouble is the technology and getting it to work on a wide variety of platforms. Perhaps someone is working on this in the open source world already?
... looked at developers home page - uses window attributes to work out positioning, and saves in thunderbird profile... I guess the difficulty here is that you would need to save the notes in the db - note, position information, which file / assignment submission it was attached to... display information (how to actually display the note in position to the right person/ people, in the right location...)
I didn't find any open-source projects...
here was an interesting list of some closed source http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/Directory/Tools/notes.html
but looks SOOO cool - not just for use for annotating grades - but as a collaborative research and 'constructivist' technology for leaning on the web...
anyway - definitely worth looking at..
our teachers like this assignment type bcs feedback is iterative ie students submit a draft, rcv feedback via text box comments &/or inserted comments, tracked changes in draft document; then students refines work before making a final submission for grading. creating some template comments (with some personalisation) to insert in the moodle assignment text box, will save some time.
IMHO, i'd never go back to paper marking. it sure beats a car boot full of paper assignments. moodle makes submission management easier bcs student work is date, time stamped. groups, groupings can be useful, too, especially with large numbers. additionally, online grading opens a new realm of possibility - if you create a parent role, student grades can be viewed by respective parents.
in terms of speeding up online grading, have you considered peer assessment or student self-assessment? obviously, this is more feasible in a formative situation. you could create the criteria matrix, override roles for a given activity to enable students to mark their peers or self. alternatively, i'd suggest the workshop or database activities if you try peer or self assessment.
I am currently using the 'advanced upload' assignment as you say and see the ability to comment on the assignment as a whole - but not inline in the assignment file without downloading and then re-uploading it?
No - I'm referring to the 'Advanced upload' assignment type that's available from 1.7+
AFAIK, it's necessary to download each student file, insert comments & tracked changes in the document, save as, then upload each revised file to the respective student.
it does speed things up a bit, to download all files in one go to a local folder, mark, use template for text box feedback, then upload.
How do you use a template for text box feedback? - not sure what you mean.
I am familiar with track changes! LOVE IT!
your sysadmin would need to read more @ http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=31899
i'd definitely recommend you experiment with non-standard moodle code on a test server, then backup a live site, before you commit this code to a production server.
re: template. to clarify, i simply meant > prepare a text file containing some generic grade-based comments for the assignment concerned, copy-paste the appropriate comment into the assignment feedback text box for each student, customise as desired.
What if you were able to make up marking templates within the Feedback area for each assignment that you could taylor make using form elements and also allow for student to leave comments?
It would also be useful to have some sort of print facility that allows the feedback area to be printed out.
We use a single assignment facility to mark Key Skills coursework. Students upload work and teachers create a log of comments that can be reviewed with each upload. SImple but effective although being able to set up a marking grid would be a real plus!
we develop a system for annotating documents online (PDF, MSWord, Excel, web pages) at
A.nnotate.com that can be integrated with existing systems to add shared annotation capabilities over any document.
This particular work isn't open source, though much of what we do is (details at
Textensor.com) so if anyone has a business model for it, we're happy to consider other options.