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 fohs.lds@mq.edu.au.

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Posted by Alex Thackray

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