Activities: ipal

mod_ipal
Maintained by Picture of Bill Junkin Bill Junkin
This Moodle module (/mod/ipal/) allows Moodle to support in-class polling/"clickers"/"Peer Instruction"/concept quizzes/anonymous surveys/etc. Students can respond using any web-enabled device or the free IPAL App we have written for both the Android and iOS smartphones. Teachers can create questions, use questions from the standard question bank, or import ConcepTest provided by Harvard Physics Professor Mazur.
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     The IPAL module provides a free, open-source solution that allows students to use a mixture of web-enabled devices (laptops, iPads, smartphones, etc.) to respond to in-class polling through a Moodle module.  Research shows that the greater student involvement obtained through polling increases student learning and provides immediate feed-back to instructors, allowing for better response to student needs. Using a browser on these devices each student can see the question posed by the professor and respond with an answer. We have also created the IPAL App for both the Android platform and for the iPhone platform, greatly facilitating the student login and response. 

     The teacher creates one or more ipal activities in one or more Moodle courses. Each ipal instance can be created with its own settings for anonymous or non-anonymous (the default) polling, for polling with or without (the default) using the IPAL App on smart phones, etc. (With anonymous polling the teacher cannot tell which response came from which student.) 

     Teachers use the IPAL module to create the questions they want to use for the polling. The creation of questions is identical to the creation of questions for a Moodle quiz. Any question created for IPAL can be used in a Moodle quiz and vise versa. Our module also provides ready-to-use peer-reviewed questions for the introductory physics course. The initial set of questions includes hundreds of questions from the ConcepTest questions authored by Physics Professor Eric Mazur and his group from Harvard University. These questions are housed at ComPADRE, a National Physics and Astronomy Digital Library (http://www.compadre.org/). The database will allow others to add questions for other courses/disciplines to this database of questions.

      When the teacher is in class, the teacher goes to the desired ipal instance and, at appropriate times, sends out a question. Currently only multichoice, true-false, and essay questions are supported. As the students respond to the question, the teacher sees a display of the responses in real time. If the question is multichoice or true-false, the display is a histogram; if it is an essay question, the response from each student is displayed on a separate line on the GUI. Students may respond to the same question more than once and the display gives their latest answer. At any time the teacher can "stop polling" and no more responses are recorded until the teacher sends another question (which can be a different question or the same question sent again). Each time a question is sent the GUI starts with a fresh, clean display. The responses are displayed anonymously and the teacher can show or not show (as desired) the responses to the students if the teacher's computer is connected to a data projector. The teacher can also see a spreadsheet of the students' answers, identified by student name (unless the anonymous setting for that ipal instance has been enabled). This spreadsheet can be copied and then pasted into an external spreadsheet, such as Excel, if desired. The current version does not put any entry into the Moodle gradebook. Thanks to help from the Moodule group at the University of Jerusalem, this version provides an easy way to take attendance using ipal and the Moodle attendance module.

     In-class polling is used in many disciplines, often with clickers or flashcards. IPAL provides a Moodle module to support this. Currently polling is most widely used in physics classes. IPAL provides an interface that allows teachers to easily obtain ready-to-use peer-reviewed questions for the introductory physics course. The initial set of questions includes hundreds of questions from the ConcepTest questions authored by Physics Professor Eric Mazur and his group from Harvard University. These questions are housed at ComPADRE, a National Physics and Astronomy Digital Library (http://www.compadre.org/). The database will allow others to add questions for other courses/disciplines to this database of questions. 

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Picture of Bill Junkin
Bill Junkin (Lead maintainer)
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  • Picture of Bill Junkin
    Sun, 15 Mar 2015, 4:39 AM
    Thanks, Dan, for the information on improving the security of the in-line sql scripts. I have made the suggested changes (and also removed the $CFG->prefix in favor of { } ).
    Dan and David, I have tested everything out once again and posted the new version. Thanks again for reviewing the module.
  • Picture of David Mudrák
    Sat, 28 Mar 2015, 4:44 AM
    Thanks Bill. You are cleared to land now, welcome to the Plugins directory!
  • Picture of Yezi Yang
    Tue, 7 Apr 2015, 5:17 PM
    Thanks Bill. I really like the Ipal plugin. You mentioned there is an Ipal App. Could I know where can I find and download the App, please?
  • Picture of Bill Junkin
    Tue, 7 Apr 2015, 11:19 PM
    Hi, Yezi,
    I am glad that you like the ipal plugin. There is indeed an IPAL app for both the Android smartphone and the iPhone so that students can use their smart phones to respond to polling questions. The Android App is available at the Google Play store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ipalandroid&hl=en) and the iPhone App is available from the iTunes App store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipal/id873943119?mt=8). Please let me know of any problems, suggestions for improvement, or general feedback. Thanks for your interest.
  • Picture of Yezi Yang
    Wed, 8 Apr 2015, 10:28 AM
    Thank you very much for your help!
  • Picture of Rubens Ramos
    Thu, 3 Mar 2016, 8:04 AM
    Hi, I´ve an internal server error when opening the ipal activity after created it. I´m using moodle 3.02.
  • Picture of Rubens Ramos
    Thu, 3 Mar 2016, 9:00 AM
    Hi, I´ve the issue and the fix. The error is about the Group and World (others) being able to write the directory and files. I´ve just changed the permission only to read and voilà, that´s ok now. Thanks.
  • Picture of Ian Hunt
    Wed, 15 Jun 2016, 2:39 AM
    I've just become interested in moving beyond simple clickers in organic chem classes (used clickers since 2004). As a Moodle user for assignments, like this idea / possibilities.
    If the molecule drawing (JSME) questions could be incorporated, I think I would find this an awesome tool.
  • Picture of Bill Junkin
    Wed, 15 Jun 2016, 5:52 AM
    Hi, Ian,
    Adding in the molecule drawing (JSME) questions is a good suggestion. Before I start on this, a question for you:
    What sort of display would be most useful for the teacher (and potentially to show back to students if the teacher wanted to do this.)/ For multichoice and true-false questions, the display for a question is a histogram. For essay questions, the display is one "line" per student for each response. Both are displayed back without any names attached, although the teacher can look at the spreadsheet view to see which response came from which student. So, what kind of display would be most useful for teachers teaching classes with 20 or more students? Again, thanks for the suggestion.
  • Picture of wellson wade
    Thu, 3 Nov 2016, 3:14 PM
  • Picture of Dan Marsden
    Thu, 29 Dec 2016, 11:26 AM
    looks like your link to the "tracker" in your plugin links to a closed issue in the Moodle tracker - I'd suggest you update that link to the issue tracker on github.
  • Picture of Dan Marsden
    Thu, 29 Dec 2016, 11:26 AM
    looks like your link to the "tracker" in your plugin links to a closed issue in the Moodle Tracker - I'd suggest you update that link to the issue tracker on github.
  • Picture of Bill Junkin
    Sat, 31 Dec 2016, 3:35 AM
    Thanks, Dan, for your comment on Dec. 29.
    I am guessing that you are referring to the series of comments in
    https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/CONTRIB-5459
    As far as I can tell, this entire tracker issue can be closed or deleted, since it refers to the problems that I had initially in submitting the IPAL module to the Moodle site.
    Is this an appropriate response to this comment? (I don't know how to delete or close a this tracker contribution. Can you or someone else do this?)
    Happy New Year.
  • Picture of Dinis Medeiros
    Wed, 1 Mar 2017, 3:35 AM
    Thanks for the good work.
    Is it possible make it possible to translate thinks like "Starr pooling" and many others?
    Thanks again.
  • Picture of Bill Junkin
    Wed, 1 Mar 2017, 4:17 AM
    Thanks, Dinis,
    Most of the strings in the IPAL module are in the lang/en/ipal.php file. As you have noted, some of them are not there. I will try to create a new version of IPAL soon that has the other strings in this file so that the strings can be translated into other languages as IPAL is used. Thanks for your interest in IPAL.
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