Friday, December 11, 2015

Completion Tracking and Bubble Numbers

Always exciting to learn something new - a little humbling when it's so obvious.

Talon has 3 different modes for completion tracking of content items in a course. The default is set to Required: Automatic. This mode checks off completion for students mostly when they click the link to the content item. For a dropbox or quiz it waits for an actual submission, but mostly click and it's marked complete. The second mode is Required: Manual - this mode let's students decide when they are finished with that content item. The student checks the box themselves to indicate (to themselves) that the item is done. The third mode is Not Required - no check box appears to students at all.

What I recently learned is that the bubble number displayed in the Table of Contents under Course Contents is different for faculty and students. For faculty, the number represents the number of required content items. For students, it is the number of remaining required items that need completing within that module. As students manually or automatically check items off, the number goes down. Once they complete everything a green check marks the entire module as complete.

With this in mind, take care on how you set completion tracking for your content items. Simply going with the default Required: Automatic may not be communicating what you intend to students.

Student view of Course Contents showing Required: Manual completion tracking.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Release Final Calculated Grade Column to Students

The #1 asked question: Why can't students see their total score? The Calculated Final Column is hidden from students by default. You must release it after students have added your course for them to see this grade item. Alternatively, you could create a calculated grade item of your own and include all the assignments and assessments in your course -- as long as your activities remained consistent, this could be copied from term to term.

But for most, releasing the calculated column will be simpler. This video shows you how:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bug Report

I like to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. As software evolves and updates are added, little unintended consequences of a coder's or designer's actions make themselves known. These opportunities present themselves as annoyances and may delay us or cause us to speak of work-arounds which are often as clumsy as they sound. They also make us think. And they inevitably lead to improvements. Mistakes will happen. We will learn from them.

With that said, here are some bugs we are working through.

Awards Tool Missing Some Text Labels - This bug only appears in courses with an apostrophe in the title. So probably pretty rare. Be careful how you title your DEV courses and sorry Children's Literature instructors. (Fix ETA: End of January)

Cross-listed and Merged Course Naming - If you have a cross-listed course or decided to merge your courses in Talon, the resulting course name drops all identifying information. For instructors teaching more than one of these courses, they can wind up with multiple courses of the same name on their My Courses list. Confusing, we know, it's confusing for us too. This one is internal and we are working with IT to create a solution. (ETA: Early-Mid October) Fixed: Instructors can now append a 6-character Course Identifier to merged and cross-listed courses on the Course management for Faculty page.

Assignment Grader/Pulse Apps - New users of these apps are routed back to the login page or Talon environment after they log in. The app functions are not available. Talon Tech support is working on a solution to improve our custom login pages that will allow these apps to work again. Fixed!

Awards Not Publishing to Profile - The new awards tool should allow students to publish their earned awards to their Profile page. Doesn't seem to publish anything right now.

Disable Pager and Alerts for Quizzes - The default for this is supposed to be turned off, but when instructors create a quiz directly on the Course Content tool, this advanced setting is incorrectly enabled. If students begin a quiz with this setting enabled and do not submit the quiz, they will receive a permission error when trying to access email or the pager tool in Talon. Recommended work-around is to create your quizzes under Edit Course > Quizzes and then return to the Course Content and use the Add Existing Activities button to link to the quiz.

Emails Flagged as Spam - Not really a bug, but still... This appears to be email client specific and depends on your personal email spam restrictions. The best way (we've come up with) to make sure no student email goes to your junk folder is to create a Rule in Outlook that sorts all email with into a specific Student Email folder. Your personal rules are applied in Outlook prior to Junk rules.

Progress > Quiz Attempt Listing - When you look at the Progress tool, Quizzes section, if you have any quizzes that have been attempted more than 10 times, you should see the LAST (most recent) 10 attempts listed here. Instead, we are seeing the first 10. To see all attempts, you will need to use the Edit Course > Quiz tool and then access the Grade item in the actions menu.

Progress > Quiz Listing - The sort order of the quizzes here is INTENDED to be the order in which the quizzes are graded. This does not seem to be the case at the moment. It actually appears to be quite random. In any case, do not expect it to match the order you have designed under the Quiz tool.

Support, D2L - When grading dropboxes, you might see a user named Support, D2L. Just ignore this guy. 

Deleted Quiz Questions Still Count - When you delete questions from a quiz that has already been taken, Talon should recalculate the scores without those questions. Instead, Talon is retaining these scores even though the overall score has decreased. The only work-around is to manually grade these questions, giving zero points. (Fix ETA: End of November)Fixed!

Bonus Item Grade Symbol Not Showing - I've noticed this with Bonus items only. If they are set to only show the grade symbol and no points or percentage, then nothing shows in the gradebook at all. Change it to a non-bonus item and it displays fine. (Fix ETA: End of October) Fixed!

Copying a Quiz with Images (or other associated files) - Images (or other associated files) in quizzes are being excluded from the copy process when using the Copy Select Components tool to copy a quiz from one course to another. Work-around is to move the images separately to the corresponding directory in the new course. Copying an entire course will move the images correctly.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bug Found: Copying A Survey with Branching

With the Talon Survey tool, it's possible to create branching scenarios. The branching lets you skip questions that might not be relevant to some responders. We recently discovered the branching does not copy correctly when using the Import/Export/Copy Components tool. If you use this tool to copy a survey with branching, you will need to re-configure all the branches.