Monthly Archives: August 2011

Moodle user notes

I need to look at the Notes feature in Moodle 2 to see if it works the same way as in 1.9

In 1.9 a Lecturer or Tutor can leave notes for any student in one of their sites and any other Lecturer or Tutor can see them.
There are three kinds of notes:
– Moodle-Wide notes: If you’re a Lecturer (or Tutor) in any site where the the user with the note is a Student, you can see the note
– Site Note: If you’re a Lecturer o Tutor in the site where the note has been left about the student you can see it.
– Personal note: only the person (Lecturer/Tutor) who left the note on the student can see the note.

If the student has both the Lecturer/Tutor role and a Student role in any site, they can see the Moodle-wide notes about themselves. If they have both the L/T role and a Student role in the site where the note has been left about them, they can see that note.



/Update: Notes behave in the same fashion in Moodle 2. (2.1)

(ab)using the Forum Activity to have students respond to feedback?

I was asked if it was possible to force students to read feedback given to them on an assignment, and how to check if they actually do.
Without going into whether this is the right approach to communicating feedback, here’s something that one could try…

But first something I have seem people do:

One could set up an Advanced Uploading of Files activity “Assignemnt 1”, where the students submit their assignments. When grading, one could then leave marks and feedback for each student.

One could then create a second Advanced Uploading of Files activity “Assignment 2” where one instructs the students to address the feedback left for them in Assignment 1.

I have seen people do this and it seems to work, however there is a problem: How does a teacher match the response to the feedback (ie. Assignment 2) to the feedback left in Assignment 1. In small classes, the teacher could just switch back to Assignment 1 and have a quick read, but in a class of 400 the students could just pretend to respond to anything and it would be too time consuming for the teacher to check.

So another proposed, yet untested option would be to (ab)use the Forum activity:

Go to Groups and use the Auto-create groups facility to create 400 groups with one student each. Add these groups to a Groupingindividual students“.

Now create a Forum activity, set to observe the new “individual students” Grouping you created, and in Separate Groups mode. Call it “Assignment”. Turn on ratings, out of 100, which just turns them into fake marks. In the description field of the forum, write your assignment question as you would have done in the File Upload activity.

Now unleash the students. Due to the Separate Groups setting and the single student groups, students will only ever be able to see their own posts, so the privacy is conserved. The teacher can see all students’ posts using the group selector.

Each student would submit one forum post as a response to the question – depending on the assignment it could have attachments. The teacher would then go to the forum activity, read/download the forum posts and leaves the feedback as a reply post to the student’s post. The teacher woudl rate the student’s post to give it a mark. When in the ‘All groups’ view, any discussion (assignment submission) without any replies is awaiting marking, any discussion with one reply has been marked and is awaiting student response to the feedback.

Now a second cycle woudl start where the students are asked to reply to the feedback post by the teacher. This would allow the teacher to track whether the student is responding to the right feedback, and there woudl be continuity to the student’s progress.

Unfortunately there is no facility to set a due dates here, so one would still have to communicate these to students. But the forum does track submission dates and marks (ratings).

(I haven’t looked at whether Moodle 2 has any facility to let students respond to feedback, these ideas are focussed on Moodle 1.9)

I’ve been using shortened URLs on announcements to quickly measure their effectiveness. Just append a “+” to the end of it to get an information page with the number of clicks.