Could the gradebook have, say, two thousand columns?
This may seem absurd but I'm planning on using Cantasia Studio to make some quizzes. I hope to have some video, ask some questions, have more video, and ask some more. Each batch of questions counts as a quiz. I'd like to have these quizzes act as homework so, say, 30 meetings averaging six videos per homework averaging two quizzes per video would lead to 360 quizzes.
But I might find it best to add to that and if the gradebook would handle 2000 columns I wouldn't worry. If the gradebook doesn't accommodate 400 scores then I will do the videos in a different manner.
I've thought about your comment a lot and decided that you are right.
I had envisioned using the video in a very interactive way with many questions asked and responses expected from the student. That probably is not realistic. I thought that if the students understood that I could see their participation on the quizzes then they would do them and, for many of them, it would be more time-on-task than they would do otherwise.
This semester will be my first semester teaching online. I've given many tests in the past -- a typical semester would have slightly over 20 quiz grades (a few more like homework but most closed book closed notes), three full period major exams, and the final exam. To help online students I'm just having a midterm and final exam this fall and the grade would be determined by those two exams unless they really neglected their online work (which I've been calling "feedbacks" rather than "quizzes" in my preparation). Extreme neglect of the online work could drop their average at most a letter grade. (Perhaps too much information but if WAoE is a weighted average on the two exams and AoF is the average on the feedbacks, which they can take as many times as they like, then the overall grade in the course would be : WAoE - max( 0, min( 10, (WAoE - AoF)/2 ). I would expect the AoF to be near a hundred so that rarely would the overall score in the course be below the WAoE.)
I am used to dealing with lots of data with my courses. Last fall's spreadsheet was typical; I just looked and there were about 75 rows and 75 columns in the main worksheet of the six for the course and it would have been larger had I not used relative and absolute addressing. But having many quiz/feedback scores might be quite tricky to manage.
I am still hoping to have at least one traditional Blackboard quiz/feedback and exactly one quiz score from the end of a video for most of what would be thirty meetings in the traditional classroom. Even that might not be realistic. I'm still working on getting the quiz/feedback score from the video to place a grade in the gradebook. (Yes, I've uploaded the zip file as a SCORM module and done every thing else that I understand that I need to do. The campus people will help me.)
I don't want to have to change anything if the department changes textbooks so I'm rounding up my own explanations and questions and such so I think that my vision might still be past what I can manage. Let me not let this sound dark -- I'm excited, quite excited, about how students might learn. This seems clearly to be the future.
I appreciate your advice.
There is no hard limit on the number of columns in the Grade Center that I'm aware of. The number of columns that you may find workable depends on things like 1) how many students are in the class (more students means more data cells for each column), 2) how powerful your computer and internet connection is (the slower your computer/connection is, the harder time it will have retrieving and displaying all the data cells in the Grade Center), 3) which web browser you are using (Firefox is fairly quick to display the GC, IE8 is not bad, but IE 7 is noticably slower), 4) whether you use Smart Views to filter the Grade Center so that not all the rows and columns have to be display at once, and that kind of thing.
I'm fairly sure I've heard of instructors with columns numbering in the hundreds and even thousands, but not in classes with hundreds of students, and those instructors recognized that the Grade Center would be rather slow to load.
Does that help?
Thank you. That completely answers my question.
To add to Dr C Mike's comments, can we assume you are planning to use the quiz feature in Camtasia and create the videos as SCORM modules to record the score from the quiz in Camtasia? How many questions will each of these quizzes have? Are you planning on using all the quiz scores to determine a grade or are the quizzes for formative purposes only?
Besides the large number of quizzes to manage in the Grade Book, as a student, one could grow very weary of having to take so many quizzes and I would question the learning value of having so many quizzes.
I would suggest the following approach:
1. Drop the plan to record every quiz in the Grade Book
2. Create a Camtasia video with a small "review" quizzes, strictly for learning reinforcement, not a grade. Do not save the individual videos as SCORM modules.
3. Organize the videos into the new Bb Learn 9.1 Learning Modules. Create a learning module for each "homework" module. Add a Blackboard test at the end of the learning module for a score to record in the Grade Book.
4. Use adaptive release to control access to the next learning module in sequence based on the value of the Blackboard test score recorded in the Grade Book.
Bb Vista/CE users have been using Learning Modules for many years to create modules of sequential content (web pages, pdfs, videos) interspersed with formative self-tests, assignments, discussions and other activities (example, games) with a summative quiz at the end of each module.
Hope this helps...
Thanks for the update. I think your approach in general is very good. It's basically most of us who teach faculty how to use Blackboard recommend with learning modules and chunking. That is, provide a chunk of content, follow with activities to check and reinforce learning, another chunk and so forth. Also, from my prior teaching as an assistant professor in horticulture, I found lots of smaller assessments was far better than one or two major exams. (In a 10 week plant materials course, 8 ID quizzes, 8 characteristic quizzes, 8 reference assignments, 8 plant collection assignments, 4 newsletter writing assignments)
My comments were more from a concern of grade management. Online grade books (regardless of LMS) can get rather cumbersome when there are a large number of columns. It's just the nature of web-based tables and browsers. You may want to consider keeping the raw data in the Grade Book but use Excel to handle all the calculations.
As an alternative to quizzes, particularly the smaller formative assessments, you may want to consider sprinkling some games in between the videos. I'm not talking the big graphic video games, but the simple games and puzzles that can use the same questions. Respondus StudyMate (http://www.respondus.com) and The Game Garden at Utah Valley University (http://disted.uvu.edu/gamegarden/) are two tools a colleague and I always recommend when giving presentations on games in online learning.
Thank you. I think that I just was not being realistic. Your post has already saved me some grief and no doubt will save me more.
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