Canvas: Group Quiz, Multiple Attempts with Penalties

Team-based learning is a well established active learning pedagogical strategy. I am aware of one instructor who is using team based learning at Lawrence. In his course he has students take a quiz individually, then the same quiz as a team. The second team based quiz allows multiple attempts but penalizes the students for each subsequent attempt. The purpose of this is to encourage students to discuss what the correct answer should be before submitting. He invited me and my supervisor to sit in on a class. It was amazing to see how much discussion happened in the breakout rooms. This approach works great in Zoom, and can be equally effective in face-to-face environments as well.

Canvas is currently developing a new quiz engine, New Quizzes. It is currently available in our instance of Canvas, but not the default quiz creation tool. It looks like New Quizzes will replace Classic Quiz in December 2022.

Canvas doesn’t currently support this quizzing behavior. One main mechanism to communicate with Instructure and effect change is the Community Forums. If you find this capability compelling and useful for you or other instructors, please add your voice to this community post.

Perusall Exchange, May 17-28

I was just made aware of an opportunity for anyone who uses or is interested in learning more about Perusall: Perusall Exchange. The event will be held May 17 (today) through May 28.

A banner with the information: Perusall Exchange 2021, May 17-28
Dear Peruser,   From May 17-28, more than 1,200 of your colleagues will participate in Perusall’s first community event: a truly social asynchronous conference. The Perusall Exchange will offer  50+ sessions across a diverse array of disciplines that highlight innovative pedagogical approaches by instructors using our platform. The conference is free to attend. View the program and register today!  

View Program  

Pick and choose from sessions that pique your interest and watch whenever it suits your schedule. Ask questions or chat with other participants synchronously if they are online at the same time as you, or asynchronously if they are not.   At the end of the conference, presenters and participants will gather in live sessions to continue the discussion. The live sessions include: Promoting Equity and Inclusivity with Perusall Maximizing Student Engagement with Perusall Transitioning Back to Campus with Perusall Register today to stay up-to-date and get quick access on May 17th. We hope you can join us to share your ideas and connect.  We look forward to seeing you at the Exchange!   Take care,   The Perusall Team

Canvas Tips and Recommendations

The list of resources below will help you as you begin to learn and work in Canvas. The list will be kept up-to-date as resources become available.

Design Considerations

  • Image Size recommendations (dimensions are approximate)
    • Banner image: 1451×312
    • Topic heading image: 88×88
  • For images within a table: make sure they are all the same dimensions so that the table cells are all the same size and images center the same within the cells
  • Emojipedia: https://emojipedia.org/ – Use this to add images to module titles, assignment titles, or any place you can enter text.

PowerPoint: Create Animated Video

I recently came across this video tutorial below showing how you can use PowerPoint to create engaging animated videos (yes, really). As the video illustrates, it is possible to create some fun, engaging, and impressive animated videos with only the tools and resources built-in to PowerPoint.

This video provides a good idea for a digital project you might have students create in lieu of another assignment format. The video also highlights some free resources that may be good for you or your students to use in the creation of other digital projects.

Moodle Support Videos and Links

This post will be used to host links to all the Moodle workshop, support videos, and links. Links will be grouped as best as possible by topic. If there is a Moodle support topic you would like to request, please contact Jedidiah Rex.

Course Design

Grading and Assessment

Tools

Moodle: Demystifying the Gradebook Session Summary

The Moodle gradebook can be a confusing, headache-inducing, tangle. But it doesn’t have to be. The strategies shared in this session and post can help make the Moodle gradebook more clear to instructors and students about how grades are calculated. Bringing clarity increases transparency making the gradebook more usable and inclusive.

There are a number of different methods to arrive at a grade, called aggregation methods. There are three which were the focus during the session: weighted mean of grades (WM), simple weighted mean of grades (SWM), and Natural aggregation. These three methods should be able to address the majority of desired grading scenarios.

Each of these may be used to arrive at the same grade. But they each calculate grades in a slightly different way. One big difference between WM, SWM, and Natural is that the first two normalize the grades to be out of 100 (points or percent). This can potentially create lack of clarity about how a grade is calculated. Natural used to be called “Sum of grades” and at default functions in the same way. For Natural then, the category and course totals are a sum of all the grades contained within. You can see a comparison of the three methods in the session video beginning at 0:07:50.

Strategies

Whether an instructor chooses WM-SWM or Natural grading there are some strategies that can be utilized to make the Moodle gradebook more usable.

Start with your syllabus – What is meant by this is that an instructor should review how their grading strategy is laid out in their syllabus and replicate this in the Moodle gradebook. Many instructors use categories of grades i.e. Assignments, Quizzes, Exams, Final Exam, or Participation. Create these categories in the gradebook first, before adding activities or grade items. In addition to creating an organizing structure this approach allow an instructor to add activities directly to categories when they are created making less work down the road.

Use numbers – The Moodle gradebook calculates most accurately with numbers. It can use and display letter grades, but doing so can introduce some variability. For instance, does an “A” mean 100, or 94, or… ? Scales (check, check minus, or satisfactory/unsatisfactory) are difficult or impossible in some cases for Moodle to use in calculation. If an instructor desires the grades be displayed in certain way there are options for controlling this.

Keep it simple – While it is possible to mix and match aggregation methods, to use extra credit, drop the lowest ‘x’ grades, and nest categories, doing so can make it less clear to students how a grade is calculated. Anything an instructor can do to make this is as clear as possible limits challenges to grades, and through understanding created through transparency, allows the student to engage more fully.

If you have questions about setting up your gradebook, or about grading in Moodle please contact Jedidiah Rex.

Session Video

The recording of the session (1:18:12) is posted below. It is only available to Lawrence University faculty and staff.

Resources

https://docs.moodle.org/38/en/Grade_aggregation
https://docs.moodle.org/38/en/Grades_FAQ
https://docs.moodle.org/38/en/Grader_report

Moodle: H5P update and Grading

I recently discovered that there was an update for the H5P interactive video content type. After installing the update there was a change to how H5P passed grades to the Moodle gradebook. Based on my investigation I have been able to get the interactive video to pass grades successfully to the Moodle gradebook. The update requires that students click a submit button at some point in the video (figure 1). Instructors must configure when this button appears. My notes on how this may be done follow.

H5P interactive video submit answers screen containing a green submit button.
Figure 1: H5P Interactive video submit answers button.

What the instructor needs to do

You will need to create a point in the video for the students to click a submit button. (instructions below)

What students need to do

Students will need to click a submit button (figure 1) in order for their grades to be passed back to the gradebook.

To add a Submit button

  1. Turn editing on
  2. Open the activity and then click Edit > Edit Settings
  3. Click on the “Interactions” section within the activity editor.
  4. Scrub to the point in the video you wish to place the submit button. If you want to encourage the students to watch the entire video I recommend placing this at the end.
  5. Click the ‘star” icon, then click the “+” icon to add a submit button (Figure 2)
    Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the button to “Save changes and return to course.”
Green star and plus icons highlighted inside a red rectangle.
Figure2: Star icon to place Submit button.

Options

The instructor may place the submit screen/button at any point in the video timeline. There are a couple places and reasons for placing the option.

  • Right after the last question – Doing this ensures that the answers are recorded in the gradebook.
  • At the end of the video – doing it this way may encourage students to view the entire video (is this is the instructors goal.

I don’t have a strong recommendation for either option. Choose the option that best aligns with your desired end, learning objection or outcome.

Zoom: Advanced

Back in August, Dana Rose-Schmaltz from Technology Services and I presented a Zoom: Basic how-to presentation video (6:43). We also wanted to present instructions on some more advanced features of Zoom and how to use them. Between the time we shared the basics video and now, Zoom has implemented some updates and security measures that we also want to make you aware. This post will serve to share information about those updates and a “how-to” around two advanced features – polling and breakout rooms. If you have any questions or run into any issues using Zoom (web portal, or desktop app) please contact the Lawrence University Helpdesk at 920-832-6570, or helpdesk@lawrence.edu.

Zoom Version

The first important thing for all of what follows is to make sure that we are all on the same page as far as the Zoom version. Everything shared in this post will pertain to the Zoom client (desktop app) version 5.2.2+.

Check for Updates

Checking to see which version of Zoom you have is straightforward. It should also be simple to update to the most recent version if you do not have it. The check your version and update if necessary:

  1. Open the Zoom desktop app.
  2. Click your profile image / initials located in the upper right of the app window.
  3. Scroll to, and select “Check for updates.”
Zoom desktop app, checking for updates by clicking the profile image and then selecting, "Check for updates."
Zoom Desktop app:
Check for Updates

Zoom will either present a message that you are using the current version or begin to download and install the most up-to-date version.

Note: if you run into any issues when updating Zoom please contact the Lawrence University Helpdesk at 920-832-6570, or helpdesk@lawrence.edu.

Hi-Fi Audio

One of the sought-after updates in this version (5.2.2) was a setting for “hi-fi” audio. This version allows a user to use “high-fidelity audio mode.” As described by Zoom, this mode, provides the operator options, “for disabling echo cancellation & post-processing, while raising audio codec quality to 48Khz, 96Kbps mono/192kbps stereo for professional audio transmission in music education and performance applications.” they do mention that this mode requires a professional audio interface, microphone, and headphones.

To enable the hi-fi audio settings:

  1. Open the Zoom desktop app.
  2. Click the settings gear icon located under your profile image in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select Audio, and then click the Advanced button located in the lower-right corner.
  4. Select the check-box for “Show in-meeting option to ‘Enable Original Sound’ from microphone”
  5. Select both options under the “When original sound is enabled” setting. These disable echo cancellation and and enable “High fidelity music mode.”
Original sound settings in Zoom which provide high fidelity audio.
Zoom: High fidelity audio settings

Security Settings

Back in August, Dana shared with the that Zoom shared some impending security changes that would happen on September 27. I posted about it then. As it is close to that date, I want to re-share here.

After the 27th, any meeting created in Zoom will need to have either a passcode or waiting room applied. If a meeting is created without either of these, then the waiting room will be applied automatically.

Polling

Polling is one way in Zoom to replicate the face-to-face experience of student response systems, i.e. “clickers”. An instructor may use these to check for understanding, engage students in a new topic, provide opportunity for metacognitive reflection and more. Polls may be created in advance of a meeting or “on the fly,” in the meeting. Check here for instructions from Zoom about using Polling.

Some notes about poll creation:

  • You must create a meeting, save it, and then re-open it to add polls.
  • If you add polls during a Zoom meeting, you will be brought back to the Zoom web portal (lawrence.zoom.us) to do so.

Check out the video (2:15) below for a primer in using polling in Zoom.

How to use Polling in Zoom.

Breakout Rooms

Another great pedagogical tool is Zoom is Breakout Rooms. This replicates the small group protocol in the face-to-face modality. These may be used for discussion, small group work, or think-pair-share activities. It is possible to create breakout rooms automatically, based on the number of participants in the meeting and the number of groups desired; or manually based on specific determination by the instructor. Which method you use may depend on your desired outcome. You can see Zoom’s video (3:18) on creating and using Breakout rooms below.

How to create and use Breakout rooms.

You can also find information here about managing your breakout rooms. There may be instances where a group is working on a project over multiple class meetings. In this case group consistency is imperative.

Importing Rooms and Participants by CSV

Creating breakout rooms manually each time could be a tedious, onerous task. Zoom makes it possible to create/assign breakout rooms ahead of time by uploading a CSV (comma separated value) file. There are some limitations to pre-assigning breakout rooms:

  • You can only pre-assign participants that have a Zoom account (internal or external Zoom users).
  • When pre-assigning participants using the web portal, you can only pre-assign internal Zoom users that are in the same account.
    Note: We recommend that you direct all your students to create Zoom accounts at lawrence.zoom.us. If this has been done, make sure to use the students’ full LU email addresses.
  • To pre-assign participants that are external Zoom users, import a CSV file.
    Note: You can still use the CSV method if the student has a non-LU account, you just need to make sure you have the email they used to create their Zoom account.

I have noticed that I have had stable success using the CSV method when I use the template CSV provided when I click to download the template linked in the “Import Rooms and Participants from CSV” window.

The drop-box area to import a CSV file.
“Import from CSV” window

Note: if you run into any issues with this or other aspects of Zoom, please contact the Lawrence University Helpdesk at 920-832-6570, or helpdesk@lawrence.edu.

Bonus

If you are teaching in a space with a document camera* you can use it in Zoom as a webcam. Check out the video (2:12) here.

*This may not work with all document cameras. Check with Instructional Technology to see if your classroom has a document camera that will work.

Moodle + Perusall

I am writing to let you know that we have integrated Perusall into Moodle. Perusall is a social, collaborative reading and annotation platform (video, 8:17). You can see an example of what Perusall looks like here.

You and your students can use this platform for free. The integration with Moodle allows seamless login from Moodle to Perusall and grade sync. Here is a brief video (0:31) describing what students may do on the platform.

In addition, a group of interested faculty met to learn about and discuss uses of Perusall. During the session Dr. Scott Corry shared how he used Perusall last Spring term. You may view the recorded session here (51:40, only available to Lawrence faculty and staff)

Connecting Perusall to your Moodle Course

You connect Perusall to your Moodle by creating a Perusall activity in your course. To do so:

  1. Turn editing on
  2. Click the “Add an activity or resource” link.
  3. Select the External Tool and click Add.
  4. Give the activity a name (“Perusall” should work.)
  5. Select “Perusall” from the Preconfigured tool drop-down menu.
  6. Scroll down and click the “Save and return to course” button.

Once you do this you should see the activity in your course. From here you can click the link to the activity. Doing so will create your Perusall course based on your Moodle course. You will notice that the Perusall course link will contain the Moodle course name. Once this is complete this activity should be hidden from students.

From here you can follow the prompts In Perusall to add materials to your Perusal course and create assignments.

Creating a Perusall Assignment in Moodle

Adding Perusall assignments in Moodle creates the grade sync from Perusall to Moodle. Students should use the links for specific Perusall assignments. The instructions on this page in the “Setting up Assignments” section share instructions for creating a Perusall assignment in Moodle.

The steps for creating a Perusall assignment in Moodle are very similar to the steps for connecting Perusall to your Moodle course.

  1. Turn editing on
  2. Click the “Add an activity or resource” link.
  3. Select the External Tool and click Add.
  4. Paste in the assignment name copied from Perusall.
  5. Select “Perusall” from the Preconfigured tool drop-down menu.
  6. [Optional, if you use the Moodle gradebook and want grade sync] expand the Grade section and:
    1. Select Point for the Type.
    2. The Maximum grade may be left at 100.
    3. Select a grade category
    4. Grade to pass may be left alone.
  7. Scroll down and click the “Save and return to course” button.

You may be interested in learning more about how Perusall grades student annotations. This PDF contains information about how Perusall grades student annotations.

Recommendations

Trial Period

One recommendation that Dr. Corry mentioned was to allow yourself freedom and time to test the grading settings in Perusall to make sure that Perusall is functioning the way you wish.

Perusall is not just for documents

It is possible to import a video to Perusall and have students annotate the video. Students may watch the video and make comments as they watch. Comments will be timestamped to the video. Here are some instructions from Perusall about using video.

Moodle: Fall 2020, Student Access

Due to current circumstances, students will be encouraged to enroll in courses that they might wish to take. Once a student enrolls in a course they cannot unenroll themselves. This may create a scenario where students are enrolled in Moodle classes in which they will ultimately not participate. Each instructor can manage their enrollments in Moodle. An instructor may wish to prohibit other students from enrolling in their course after the add/drop deadline. This can be accomplished by setting a password for your course, which Moodle calls an enrollment key. Steps for unenrolling students and setting an enrollment key follow.

Unenrolling Students

Unenrolling students is straightforward in Moodle. Enrollments may be managed from the Participants page. The steps to do so follow.

1. Click Participants located in the Navigation block or Users > Enrolled Users located in the Administration block.

2. Click the Unenroll button located in the “Status” column.

Moodle unenroll icon highlighted in a red box.

3. Click the “Unenroll” button.

Moodle unenroll button highlighted inside a red box.

Add an Enrollment Key

Once the add/drop deadline passes, you may want to prohibit other students from entering your Moodle course. The easiest way to do so is the an enrollment key. This is a password that students will need if they want to enroll in your course. Students who are already enrolled will not be affected. To set an enrollment key please follow the steps below.

1. Click Users > Enrollment Methods > Self Enrollment (Student) located in the Administration block.

Course Administration menu with Self enrollment method highlighted in a red box.

2. Enter a password in the “Enrollment Key” field.

Enter the course password into the enrollment key field.


3. Scroll down and click the “Save changes” button.

The ability to unenroll students and prohibit unwanted students should provide the control you need for the coming term. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about the details shared here.