[Portfolio] [Management] A manifesto for Grading and Rating in Sakai

laffeyj laffeyj at missouri.edu
Thu Oct 22 17:17:23 PDT 2009

Josh and David,
Albeit some of the complexity noted by Josh related to "what does  
activity mean?"......The CANS (Context-aware Activity Notification)  
project is based on a belief that there is a great deal of value in  
activity awareness for both instructors and students. We have been  
making progress on an activity notification system for use with Sakai  
and you can learn more about it at cansaware.com.

An illustration of how activtiy notification can fit within a course  
context is shown in the following link


We have not worked on how CANS fits in sakai3.....but if anyone is  
interested in using or exploring the use of tracking and activity  
awareness in classic sakai......just let me know.

Jim Laffey

On Oct 22, 2009, at 6:40 PM, Josh Baron wrote:

> David,
> I've not had time to reply to the larger "manifesto" but wanted to  
> comment briefly on your idea of tracking.
> I think it would be a very valuable component in the larger  
> assessment process.  Taking this a step further, there are some key  
> metrics that research has started to show are indicators of students  
> becoming at risk for failing a course, this is particularly true in  
> online courses.  For example, it is not uncommon for a student in an  
> online course to complete the first week or so of work but then  
> begin to "fad" out and disappear from active participation in the  
> course.  It would very powerful if Sakai could be monitoring these  
> metrics (e.g. number of visits, postings, etc.) and alert  
> instructors or others that the student may need some outreach.  This  
> might be another use of the type of tracking you're discussing.
> I would put forth one inherent risk that I've seen in using this  
> type of data.  Just looking at these numbers does not always reflect  
> the reality of what is happening in the learning process.  For  
> example, we have had situations in which a faculty member has noted  
> that one of his online students only signs in to his site twice per  
> week for 10 minutes each time...the instructor concluded that the  
> student could not possibly be reading all of the weekly materials  
> and that he must be cheating as he was doing well.  As it turned  
> out, the student preferred to print out all of the materials each  
> week and read them offline.  My point is that if we give instructors  
> tools that allow them to automatically incorporate tracking data  
> into their grading process there may be unintended implications that  
> need to be considered.
> Josh
> -----------------------------
> Joshua Baron
> Director, Academic Technology and eLearning
> Marist College
> Poughkeepsie, New York  12601
> (845) 575-3623 (work)
> Twitter: JoshBaron
> From:	David Goodrum <davidgoodrum at rocketmail.com>
> To:	Sean Keesler <sean.keesler at threecanoes.com>, Noah Botimer <botimer at umich.edu 
> >
> Cc:	management at collab.sakaiproject.org, portfolio at collab.sakaiproject.org 
> , "pedagogy at collab.sakaiproject.orgLearning" <pedagogy at collab.sakaiproject.org 
> >
> Date:	10/22/2009 06:27 PM
> Subject: 	Re: [Portfolio] [Management] A manifesto for Grading and  
> Rating in        Sakai
> Sent by:	portfolio-bounces at collab.sakaiproject.org
> Hi everyone (sorry for the repost to the management list),
> I really like what John has done here in pulling together several  
> themes around feedback, such as rating and grading; and I appreciate  
> the issues that Mark,  Noah, Ken and Sean have raised in other  
> replies.
> With this narrative approach John has done a nice job of greatly  
> extending and weaving together more telegraphic comments made  
> elsewhere by myself and others (see http://tinyurl.com/yzzh2kc --  
> recently put up in a Google doc by Clay) about how any Sakai 3  
> object (or placeholder for an external object) or collections of  
> such things (e.g., a portfolio) could receive rich-text comment, a  
> grade, or structured (e.g., rubric) or un-structured feedback;  
> feedback could come from the instructor, or from peers, from oneself  
> (e.g., reflection), or from a reviewer outside of the class or even  
> outside of the institution; and in a particular learning space/ 
> environment various kinds of data can get congregated (unlike the  
> current Gradebook tool that is either all points or all percentages)  
> so that, for example, attendance might be a checkmark, a collection  
> of quizzes might be points, papers with a letter grade, a project or  
> portfolio with a rubric, and so on.
> Briefly, I’d like to add another related theme of tracking.  At a  
> prior time in response to some of the limitations of the single  
> Gradebook approach with a single grade type, some of us at IU  
> conceptualized a Tracking feature/tool which would have the general  
> purpose of providing instructors an easy-to-manage method of  
> tracking low-stakes, but high-in-quantity activities for such items  
> as class participation, session attendance, or daily micro- 
> assessments (where the instructor is basically checking off that  
> something was accomplished). The summary of an item could be linked  
> to/recorded in the Gradebook.  Extending the notion, one might want  
> to extract a site stat and turn that into a tracked item (e.g., the  
> number of posts by an individual per week.)
> I’m not sure that explains it well, but am merely trying to suggest  
> that tracking might be another feedback related activity in addition  
> to rating and grading.
> Regards - David
> From: Sean Keesler <sean.keesler at threecanoes.com>
> To: Noah Botimer <botimer at umich.edu>
> Cc: management at collab.sakaiproject.org; portfolio at collab.sakaiproject.org 
> ; "pedagogy at collab.sakaiproject.org Learning" <pedagogy at collab.sakaiproject.org 
> >
> Sent: Tue, October 20, 2009 10:01:14 AM
> Subject: Re: [Portfolio] [Management] A manifesto for Grading and  
> Rating in Sakai
> One of the things that are crucial to making meaning out of the
> assessment process (and the grades/ratings that are the record of that
> process) are sets of rubrics that document HOW rating/grading should
> be done or has been done.
> How you do or DO NOT manage and/or mandate the application of rubrics
> to the assessment of student work is a local decision that may vary
> within and amongst faculty members, departments to entire colleges
> with the university, but the capability to author, share, modify and
> find rubrics suitable for a any one application would seem to me to be
> a missing piece of John's manifesto and one that would make the idea
> of assessment a core piece of Sakai 3.
> It has a lot of impact on the deployment of ePortfolios where multiple
> faculty (perhaps from different departments or colleges) could be
> asked to blindly assess a collection of student work through their
> lens of specialization. Providing guidance for these faculty to HOW to
> grade a portfolio gives the entire process more validity.
> Rubrics are also a vehicle for a university to articulate how it
> differentiates it's standards for excellence from other colleges or
> for showing that program X complies with Association Y's expectations.
> A while ago I jotted down some different ways that rubrics might be
> managed in an LMS.  I believe that issues like the Spellings
> Commission Report and the No Child Left Behind fiasco (K12) and so
> they may be receiving more attention here than elsewhere. It may be
> interesting to see what patterns exist in the community around the
> application and use of rubrics.
> 1. Managed assessments:
> Some rubrics are rather specific to (and must be tied to) a particular
> assessment item and must be approved by an "assessment coordinator"
> for educational QA purposes as part of a larger assessment system
> strategy. Changing the assessment/rubric in this case involves more
> than just the teacher.
> 2. Generally reusable (but unchangeable) rubrics
> Some rubrics may be general purpose rubrics that are NOT tied to an
> assessment, but the dissemination of these approved rubrics may be a
> strategy of an institution to push forward an agenda of best practice
> for assessment by providing a handy reference library of general
> purpose writing, mathematics and science rubrics (for example). While
> the choice whether or not to use one of these "off the shelf" rubrics
> (and which one) is left to the teacher, providing some information to
> the teacher about the schools expectations of its students at
> different stages (and perhaps suggesting an appropriate rubric for
> this grade level/stage of development) would make this service more
> valuable.
> 3. Reusable rubric templates:
> Similar to the above, but the library of "off the shelf" rubrics are
> merely starting points. There is not a priority to ensure that
> everyone is doing assessment the exact same way. When a teacher uses
> one of these rubrics, they can easily edit the performance indicators
> to suit their needs and create a new rubric, just for their new
> assignment. (Rubristar approach)
> 4. Sharing of rubrics:
> This is a bottom up approach to establishing "best practice". As the
> teachers create their own rubrics against goals, they have the
> opportunity to publish them as part of the "reusable" library so other
> teachers can use/edit/republish them. (Someone?)
> Sean Keesler
> 130 Academy Street
> Manlius, New York 13104 USA
> 315-663-7756
> sean.keesler at threecanoes.com
> On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 11:07 AM, Noah Botimer <botimer at umich.edu>  
> wrote:
> > Hello John,
> > Thank you for the rather comprehensive narrative. I believe that  
> these are
> > important for the archives as we change our ideas and software  
> over time.
> > They leave a better historical record of our state of mind at any  
> given
> > point than a pile of JIRA tickets. Our successive approximation is  
> better
> > validated when we have a record of these richer "data" points.
> > Now, more on task...
> > This is a fair account from my perspective, and is especially  
> important in
> > that it carves out a first-class place for two things that have been
> > historical weaknesses:
> >  1. The ability to treat various artifacts individually and in  
> collections,
> > consistently, across types of "stuff" and activity (e.g.,  
> reflection vs.
> > feedback vs. grading)
> >  2. The ability to retrieve meaningful performance (or other) data  
> in detail
> > and aggregate, consistently, and without extensive one-off  
> programming
> >
> > Interestingly enough, these two areas are what I've spent four  
> years working
> > on -- so I suppose it's not surprising that I call them out. I  
> mention them
> > as weaknesses from my experience. It has been difficult to combine
> > assignment information with student-crafted presentation. It has  
> been
> > difficult to combine course-based (assignment, quiz, etc.) data and
> > program-based activity (annual review, capstone, student teaching
> > performance) and map them to curricular goals and reports...
> > Please do not take my comments as complaints of where we are. What  
> is more
> > important is that I see this narrative as recognizing these  
> activities not,
> > as we have, as things that can be bolted on post-construction but,  
> rather,
> > as shaping the core provisions of a meaningful academic and  
> collaborative
> > platform. We are, as a community, much more aware of our successes  
> and
> > shortfalls. This, I feel, is very healthy and inspiring.
> > I believe this discussion is going in the right direction and  
> sincerely hope
> > that we can find the energy to support it.
> > Thanks,
> > -Noah
> > On Oct 16, 2009, at 6:02 AM, John Norman wrote:
> >
> > I have collected my thoughts around grading and rating in Sakai. I  
> offer
> > them now partly because I feel ready, partly because there are open
> > questions about Gradebook in Sakai 3 and partly because we have  
> just had a
> > discussion in which I suggest it is hard to break things out of a  
> coherent
> > Sakai 3 project. If accepted as is, this represents a logical area  
> of
> > activity than can readily be envisioned as a standalone activity -  
> maybe
> > even a separate product.
> > First of all I'd like to suggest that grading is a subset of a  
> general
> > rating and feedback activity. Many artifacts can be rated, from  
> instructor
> > performance during a course (course evaluation), through quality  
> of a
> > teaching asset or exercise (rating) to assessing the quality of a  
> student
> > portfolio (feedback) and assessing the performance of a student on  
> an
> > assignment or test (grading). The common pattern is: an artifact  
> is produced
> > by one individual (or group) and some value judgement is recorded  
> by one or
> > more other people.
> > The process by which an artifact is judged can be simple or  
> complex. Complex
> > processes include multi-stage workflows where raw scores are  
> obtained by one
> > process and raw scores moderated to a final grade by another  
> process. I see
> > plagiarism detection as one particular wrinkle in such a workflow.
> > I suggest that (nearly) everything in Sakai should be ratable/ 
> gradable. I
> > will refer to the ratable/gradable elements as "artifacts" to  
> indicate that
> > they may not be 'technical elements' but some aggregation of  
> technical
> > elements that makes sense for rating/grading purposes. Moreover,  
> we should
> > not forget that some of the artifacts that are rated/graded may  
> not be
> > electronic and the 'artifact' may be a proxy for some real world  
> activity or
> > output that cannot be captured electronically.
> > The activity of rating/grading is essentially a human judgement.  
> Tests and
> > quizzes represent a subset of this situation where the human  
> codifies their
> > judgement into rules applied by the testing engine and the test  
> engine
> > automates the application of scores. The Quiz with the student  
> answers
> > represents the artifact and the raw scores and/or processed grade  
> represents
> > the judgement. The people involved in rating/grading can be anyone:
> > students, teachers, peers.
> > The artifact to be rated or graded may not be stable over time, in  
> which
> > case a 'snapshot' of some kind is desirable for audit purposes. An  
> example
> > might be the state of my personal portfolio pages on the first day  
> of May,
> > when they are declared to be assessed. I may wish to continue  
> maintaining
> > the pages after the assessment, but their status at the time of  
> assessing is
> > worth recording. A different example might be my performance in a  
> piece of
> > drama. I have no idea how this would be recorded in the real  
> world, but I
> > imagine that the grader might write down some critique/commentary  
> and then
> > assign a grade. The critique/commentary would become the recorded  
> artifact
> > (in some places there might be a video recording but I don't  
> assume that)
> > and separately there would be a grade/score/rating. Teacher  
> performance in
> > class evaluated by students is not far from this model. The  
> questions in the
> > evaluation form might be considered the rubric for the teachers  
> performance.
> > In this world, we would want a flexible reporting platform that  
> allows grade
> > information (including an archive of artifact snapshots) to be  
> collected and
> > analysed (and sometimes further processed). I suggest we think of  
> using
> > something like BIRT to create this flexible reporting environment  
> and then
> > consider certain predefined views of the data and derived reports  
> from the
> > data as the essence of "GradeBook" functionality. i.e. "GradeBook"  
> is a
> > subset of functionality from a powerful reporting environment.  
> Ultimately
> > "the official record" will need to be updated.
> > I think it is really important to anticipate that some of the  
> artifacts to
> > be graded may come from outside Sakai and Sakai needs to be able  
> to accept
> > artifacts for grading and also to accept graded artifacts for  
> inclusion in
> > reporting. I see two main implementation options for Sakai
> > 1. A Sakai service with published external entry points (Moodle/ 
> Mahara
> > integration would be an example)
> > 2. A new Sakai 'product' which would be an institutional grading/ 
> rating
> > service that receives artifacts from a number of places (including  
> the Sakai
> > Course Management System) and manages the grading/rating workflow  
> into a
> > flexible reporting system that creates a complete record for an  
> individual
> > and allows this information to be displayed in a number of places  
> (including
> > Sakai CMS)
> > A strong attraction of the second model is that it fits with the  
> idea that
> > assessing performance is a core competence of the institution that  
> preceded
> > and will survive the CMS, but which is unlikely to be developed  
> for us by
> > the commercial world. It could also represent a shared service  
> with a
> > student information system.
> > Having set out my manifesto, it is interesting to consider what  
> the product
> > council might do with it. From my personal perspective it would be  
> great if
> > we adopted it as the Sakai manifesto (following review/revision)  
> and called
> > for developments to align with it, but there is an open question  
> regarding
> > the value of 'adoption' of the manifesto if nobody is interested in
> > developing products/code that address the manifesto.
> > John
> > PS I have forwarded this message that I saw as I came in this  
> morning
> > because in my mind it illustrates an early step in the direction  
> of my
> > manifesto, although I have taken it much further (perhaps  
> unrecognisably).
> > Begin forwarded message:
> >
> > From: David Horwitz <david.horwitz at uct.ac.za>
> > Date: 16 October 2009 09:29:58 BST
> > To: sakai-dev <sakai-dev at collab.sakaiproject.org>,
> > production at collab.sakaiproject.org, announcements at collab.sakaiproject.org
> > Subject: [Announcements] 2.7 Framework: commons and edu-servise  
> 1.0.0-beta01
> > released
> > Hi All,
> >
> > We're proud to announce the first of 2 framework releases in  
> support of the
> > upcoming 2.7 release. The creation of these bundles aims to  
> rationalize our
> > dependency tree and enable a more modular approach to Sakai  
> releases.
> >
> > Commons 1.0.0-beta01
> > The commons package contains common services depended on by a  
> number of
> > Sakai tools, but outside the scope of the Kernel. The services  
> included are:
> >
> > SakaiPerson Service (profile data)
> > Type Service
> > privacy service
> > archive service
> > import service
> >
> > The project site can be viewed at:
> > http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/common/1.0.0-beta01/
> > (Note experimental site no Sakai skins etc.)
> >
> > Edu-Services 1.0.0-beta01
> > Edu-services contain core shared services that support teaching  
> and learning
> > functionality in Sakai. It contains:
> >
> > Course management service
> > Gradebook service
> > Sections service
> >
> > The project site can be viewed at:
> > http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/edu-services/1.0.0-beta01/
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
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Jim Laffey
Professor, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies
laffeyj at missouri.edu
573 882 5399
  "Don't teach men how to build a boat. Teach them to yearn for the  
wide and open sea."   Antoine Saint Exupery


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