jueves, diciembre 29, 2005

teaching and technology...

I'm thinking maybe I should use Blackboard instead of Moodle this semester. The gradebook in Moodle--or lack thereof--drove me absolutely insane. It's challenging using a system the first time and with a class that you're teaching for the first time.

WebCT and D2L both had gradebooks you could set up ahead of time, where you could weight all items appropriately. Moodle doesn't appear to have a gradebook. When you set up assignments you can specify how many points each assignment is worth but I have yet to find the meta-level where you can deal with the grades, weight them, et cetera.

So at the beginning of the semester, I thought Moodle was perfect, because I was able to upload readings, organize the course either by topics or by weeks in the semester, look up individual students and see whether and how often they were visiting the class site. Grading was not something I worried about until midterms.

Now that I'm in the thick of grading, I actually gave up entirely on Moodle. I exported the data to Excel, downloaded a standard gradebook spreadsheet and tweaked it to fit my class. It's beautiful, it's easy, it's transparent. I still have to manually enter my grades into the university's system, but I'm not spending my time cursing software.

Although, they're currently installing the most recent update of Moodle in the schools system...maybe I should wait till it's operational to see what the gradebook looks like?

The thing is, L* has been mastering Blackboard in the Fall, and she never had any trouble with it. (apart from the standard mac browser problem, which I had with both D2L and Mozilla: For some reason, they want us to use MOZILLA as the web browser. I don't much like Mozilla, but I'm stuck with it. The education technology people are not particularly responsive on this issue: it's like telling them "I'm a vegetarian" and they say "okay, so just don't eat the meat.")

okay, i'm being geeky. i know i am...

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