How to grade quizzes anonymously in Moodle

For years I’ve wanted to grade quizzes anonymously, but I could never figure out how to do so. Finally I have, within the Uleth setup.


Class 2.0: Digital technology & digital rhetorics in the undergraduate classroom.

I just posted the slides for my lecture to the Department yesterday: Class 2.0: Digital technology & digital rhetorics in the undergraduate classroom.

Abstract: This lecture discusses some preliminary results from an ongoing research project on the use of digital technology and digital rhetorics in the undergraduate classroom. The goal of the project is to explore how these technologies and rhetorics can address common problems in the literature classroom: weak composition skills, lack of engagement, poor preparation. Initial, at this point still largely anecdotal, results suggest that the committed integration Web 2.0 technologies and rhetorics in the classroom can greatly improve outcomes in this area.

The lecture discusses how these techniques are used and some of the results we have seen.

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Spreadsheet formulas for converting letter grades to percentages and percentages to letter grades

Below are links to spreadsheets containing my standard formulas for converting from letters grades to percentages and vice versa.

I use the first formula (letter grades to percentages) when I am marking work qualitatively (e.g. essays, translations, and other things that are not easily scored numerically), but need a number to use in calculating the final grade; I use the second formula (percent to letter grade) when I am calculating the final grade for submission to the University (the University recrds only letter grades). With some tweaking, you could use this second formula to convert to grade points or to other systems (e.g. First/Second class, and so on).

There are two versions of each formula: a dynamic and a static version. The static version is simply the formula I use in my spreadsheets and it is based on the letter:percentage equivalences defined elsewhere on my website. The dynamic version is built within the spreadsheet using numbers supplied by the user. This has the advantage of being adaptable, but it has the disadvantage of requiring you to copy more cells into your own spread sheet if you want to use it (because it depends on internal references, you need to copy both the formula and the table of equivalences in the stylesheet). In both cases, there are instructions (hopefully clear) on how to use the formulas in your own grade spreadsheets.

Here is the text of the static formula (it assumes its data is coming from cell A32 in the first case and A35 in the second. The easiest way of adapting it to your own uses is to paste the formulas into cells B32 or B35. After you have done that they should autoatically change depending on where you place them in the spreadsheet):

=IF(A32="A+",1,IF(A32="A",0.92,IF(A32="A-",0.88,IF(A32="B+",0.84,IF(A32="B",0.8,IF(A32="B-",0.76,IF(A32="C+",0.72,IF(A32="C",0.68,IF(A32="C-",0.64,IF(A32="D+",0.6,IF(A32="D",0.56,IF(A32="F",0.334,A32))))))))))))

=IF(A35<0.495,"F",IF(A35<0.575,"D",IF(A35<0.615,"D+",IF(A35<0.655,"C-",IF(A35<0.695,"C",IF(A35<0.735,"C+",IF(A35<0.775,"B-",IF(A35<0.815,"B",IF(A35<0.855,"B+",IF(A35<0.895,"A-",IF(A35<0.935,"A","A+")))))))))))

Open/Libre office version: http://ubuntuone.com/1iBn3HjozhiNpzEV4W7siQ

Excel Version (converted by Open Office): http://ubuntuone.com/0qcsHBnCKcHD5wrkT5bSTw

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Manual Grading of All Questions in Moodle 2.0

Manually grading in Moodle 2.0 seems to be causing many faculty members at the U of L trouble. Here’s how to do it. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Plagiarism

I have recently started using plagiarism detection software. Not so much for the ability to detect plagiarism as for the essay submission- and grading- management capabilities it offered. But the system was, of course, originally designed to detect plagiarism—which means that I too can use it to check my students’ originality. To the extent that one semesters’ data is a sufficient sample, my preliminary conclusions are that the problem of plagiarism, at least in my classes, seems to be more-or-less as insignificant as I thought it was when I graded by hand, and that my old method of discovering plagiarism (looking into things when a paper didn’t seem quite “right”) seemed to work.1 This past semester, I caught two people plagiarising. But neither of them had particularly high unoriginality scores: in both cases, I discovered the plagiarism after something in their essays seemed strange to me and caused me to go through originality reports turnitin provides on each essay more carefully. I then went through the reports for every essay submitted by that class (a total of almost 200), to see if I had missed any essays that turnitin’s reports suggested might be plagiarised. None of the others showed the same kind of suspicious content that had led me to suspect the two I caught. So for me, at least, the “sniff test” remains apparently reliable. Read the rest of this entry »
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