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Assignment Completion Tracker

It would be great to keep track of the number of assignments students have completed that are related to a standard. Assignment completion would have no weight in their calculated grade, but it would allow students to see how effort relates to outcome. It would also be awesome if teachers to create a graph of assignment completion percent vs. proficiency level to emphasize the point to the class.
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  • This is a great idea. It would also allow teachers to more quickly see if a student's standard grade is based only on what score (and therefore not likely to be very representative) or on multiple scores.
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  • Any idea if this would be possible to implement in the near future? For now I've been keeping track of assignment completion in Excel, which is ok, but it's a bit tedious to keep student records in multiple places.
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  • I have some questions for you about this idea. Is the homework completely different than assessments? I mean, do you record any score for the homework or simply "they did it or they didn't?"
    In your excel sheet, how do you mark it? Do you just keep a running tally of how many homework assignments each student has completed for each standard?

    I'm trying to think of what our interface would look like for this.
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  • Riley Lark (Founder and Chief Actualizer) October 01, 2011 20:00
    A sort of fundamental problem here is that ActiveGrade doesn't really keep track of assignments. You can give the same name to a bunch of assessments, but the correlation ends there - ActiveGrade doesn't record a blank for the students you don't assess, for example.

    I've got two ideas (and I'm interested to hear others!):

    1. I'd love to have a heatmap that would show how many times each student has been assessed in each standard. We could get some of these statistics in a more positive way, then: "how does skill level relate to the number of attempts?", as opposed to "how does skill level relate to the number of skipped assignments?"

    2. You could create a standard called "assignment completion" or something, and include it in every assessment you record. Record a 0/1 for a student that didn't hand something in, and a 1/1 for a student that did hand something in. Then students would have a sort of general sense of how much they take advantage of opportunities for assessments (how much homework they do, perhaps). A little cumbersome, maybe - is there an easy way for AG to do this automatically?
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  • 1
    I am using a method similar to Riley's second suggestion. I have an 'assignment log' standard that I add to each assignment but that doesn't factor in to my final grade calculation. I use a 4 point rubric:
    4 - on time
    3 - late but before the end of the day
    2 - one day late or one time but partially complete
    1 - more than one day late
    0 - missing

    I made this the left-most standard on the students graph. It gives them a good idea of what assignments they are missing.
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  • I like the idea of the "assignment log," although it would be nice to have the assignments broken up by standard as well. Is there any way of doing this? I also like the heat map idea!
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  • Riley Lark (Founder and Chief Actualizer) October 14, 2011 16:13
    There's no easy way to break the "assignment log" idea into standards (except to keep a separate assignment log standard for each standard!). The heatmap solution is exciting to us too. After all, the gradebook has been a heatmap from the start - why not add some dimensions!

    Aw... getting excited about dimensions is making me miss my math classes ;)
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  • I’m hopeful!
    Has anyone found a simple way to do this yet? I'm 3rd grade, but AG is perfect for me...except for the absence of a homework tracker. It simply needs to literally track if students handed in each hw assignment each day. It's part of our "standards" too. Any ideas?? Just started using AG literally yesterday - so any help would be awesome! :)
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  • Riley Lark (Founder and Chief Actualizer) January 30, 2012 16:25
    Hi Danielle, and welcome to ActiveGrade!

    Our focus is on tracking skills and knowledge, so we haven't moved very far towards better tracking of individual assessments. We like to separate the idea of what students know from the idea of what they've done, and it's too easy to get them conflated once we start designing features for the latter.

    If you're trying to track a homework average with AG, I'd suggest a standard for homework with an averaging algorithm applied to it. Give a zero for every piece of missing homework, and 100 for every piece turned in on time.

    Good luck, and do write back with other questions or comments! :)
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  • I've been struggling with this too, with high school students. They really want to know "what assignments am I missing?" I've had some success explaining that what I'm looking at is what they understand and what they can do – knowledge and skills. I tell them that in my classes (photography) the purpose of the "assignments" is to probe where they are on the path to mastery. If they don't do an assignment, I can't assess what they know and the have either an implied or an explicit zero.

    I'd started off leaving the standard blank (implied zero) which was confusing, because it made it hard to tell how they could have been assessed on the standard. The other problem with this approach was that after a good score on the standard, skipping later assignments meant that the score would not be negatively impacted, but the skill might well be atrophying.

    So I decided to start entering a zero when an assignment wasn't completed. That created a record of which assessments (assignments) were missing for each standard. It also probably drove the grade down more than might be justified (if a student is an expert, she is still an expert even if she didn't do the assignment). I finally settled on using my Time Management standard as as the place to enter the zeros, that seemed like about the right weight, but it meant that there was no easy way to see the other standards that were involved.

    If your assessments are more like assignments, then entering zeros is a pretty simple way to get indications of what work a student hasn't done. This could be supported in AG by adding a facility that would allow cloning an assessment and then renaming it (or even just changing the date).

    I'm torn about the zero though, you can't assess missing work, so the zero results in a misleading score (unless you can rationally tie it to something like time management). I think it can also discourage students from trying to get back on track. I like the assignment log idea, though I don't like the space it will take up in assessments. While it won't give you a way to directly see which standards are impacted by the missing work, it at least provides a way to identify the assessments that the student hasn't completed – I think this is an especially big deal with project oriented classes.

    The approach that I'm trying this semester is to provide a way on my web site for students to mark assignments as completed. The assignments also include a list of the standards that they assess so I'm hoping that this will provide a way for students to get a better picture on how their behavior impacts their learning and their grades.
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  • Riley Lark (Founder and Chief Actualizer) February 14, 2012 14:29
    Thanks for the thoughtful description, Doug - I hope you consider sharing it on your blog or something too!

    We're really trying to focus ActiveGrade this semester on data teachers can use to inform their instruction. We think the most useful information that you get from an absence of assignments is that you don't know a student's skill levels like you wanted to. Helping students understand what assignments they've completed is a worthwhile goal, of course, but it isn't our central goal - we want to help them understand what they've shown that they've learned.

    Keeping track of completing assignments seems like a good skill for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers to practice doing on their own - in a notebook, or a google doc, or whatever. The shared interface on your website is an interesting way to make sure that students and teachers _agree_ about what's been completed. Though it requires an extra tool, I like keeping completion data entirely separate from comprehension data.
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  • 3
    Hi Riley,

    I totally get your discipline in sticking with tracking comprehension, but there is clearly a need for K-12 teachers to help guide students on life skills/work habits as well. One piece of feedback some kids need (at least in middle school) is how their work habits and attendance can affect their comprehension.

    As you build the feature set of ActiveGrades, I think it will be useful and doable to create ways to track attendance, assignments, and behavior in ways that are consistent with #sbar. They are useful pieces of feedback for students and parents (and teachers), even if they do not affect the overall grade.

    It would be ideal to do it all in AG, rather than having to use other tools which just adds to complexity and workload for teacher...

    Just my 2 cents!

    -David
    • Riley Lark (Founder and Chief Actualizer) August 19, 2012 21:40
      Thanks for your thoughts, David! A visualization of the correlation between practice and mastery would be useful and instructional for students.

      We haven't come up with a great design for such a tool yet. We'd love to hear suggestions about what those features would look like. In the meantime, several teachers have said that it works pretty well to track those things in their own standards (that aren't necessarily part of the overall grade). Then students have the data for their own analysis right there.
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