Did you know that you can grade forum posts as you read them and have the marks go through to Gradebook? This was recently raised in the Faculty as a possibly a lesser-known feature of iLearn.
There’s already a guide to set this up, although it’s kind of easy to overlook. It’s in amongst the iLearn Quick Guides – scroll down to the third heading from the bottom (‘Grading forums: enabling grades to be assigned for forum activities.’)
A few considerations:
- Since ratings / grade / marks (all used interchangeably here) for posts go to your Gradebook, you’ll have a column in there for each forum.
- You can only mark with whole numbers – no half marks. You’d need to go to Gradebook and manually enter a number with a half mark there to work around this.
- It’s good practice to communicate to students what’s expected in their posts and replies, and the criteria for marking.
- When setting this up, you’ll need to decide on a method for calculating the mark needs to be decided. There are five options (under Aggregate type in the Settings. For example, if you want to mark every post made by a student and average the mark, there’s average of ratings. You may prefer maximum rating, if students will be posting a mix of responses. Alternatively, there’s minimum rating, to try to encourage quality posts.
- It’s important to be clear with teaching staff who’ll be marking the forums, as tutors also have the ability to mark posts.
- Students can see the marks they’ve received, but not others’ marks.
Of course, this feature won’t suit all units – but if you’re interested in finding out more, or would like some help setting it up, contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.