Teaching App News

Teaching Suite 2.7

posted Aug 25, 2020, 9:49 PM by John Andre

Several improvements were made to make it perform better under Wine (CrossOver). The goal is to remove all elements which do not run well under Wine and replace those with more standard tools.

Action->Form groups has been re-created to make it both more stable and more attractive under Wine.

There are now more options to export data (grades and feedback) to Moodle. Other internal improvements were made to help it be more easily integrated into Learning Analytics systems, like AWARE (Adaptive Weekly Activity Reporting Engine). For example, each scheduled class session can be identified as a Lecture, Workshop, Tutorial, or Seminar.

When marking assessments, Overall feedback and Improvement notes are now separated between the first submission and the rework (second submission).

Teaching App 2.3

posted Mar 2, 2018, 10:22 PM by John Andre   [ updated Mar 2, 2018, 10:38 PM ]

In this latest version, I have added more control.

Example: Now, improvement items (Tools->Manage improvement items) have assessment categories. So, you can say that an improvement item "Abstract" is only relevant for reports and not for presentations. Correspondingly, assessments now have assessment categories. Improvement items and assessments can each have multiple assessment categories since one assessment might include both a report and presentations (as only one example). When you are grading, you will only see improvement items for the assessment being marked.

Also, there is now a Group Presentation marking option (Actions->Mark group presentations). This will show up to four learners' grading sheets on one screen. You just need to select one learner before clicking that option and it will find everyone else with the same Team. This feature alone has allowed me to eliminate paper marking for those students who were not being marked electronically, yet.

There are a few more enhancements like you can now configure the app to cache historical students so finding student records from earlier semesters is faster. 

The app now runs even better under CrossOver (software which allows Windows applications to run on Linux and Mac computers). Personally I use this Teaching App under Ubuntu and it works great, thanks to CrossOver (no, they do not pay me in any way to say that).

Teaching App 2.2

posted Aug 20, 2017, 12:09 AM by John Andre

I have added a few new features for the new school year and I fixed a problem in the updater (so you can easily keep your Teaching App fully updated).

The main feature added: Now, if you have multiple people teaching a class (alternating days, for example) or multiple people assessing students, if both teachers use Teaching App, one teacher can export his or her data for the other to import.

Exported data includes:
  • Each student's grade for the selected assignment
  • Each student's improvement items, with current performance levels
  • Each student's attendance for the selected class dates
You can use this new export feature by selecting the proper class and assignment, then going to Data->Export student grades (normal). Choose the option to export as XML.

I have not added the logic, yet, to import all of this data but you can see some of the data by going to Data->Import special.

Soon I will build in the ability to import this exported data.

Teaching App 2.0

posted Jun 17, 2017, 9:08 PM by John Andre   [ updated Jun 17, 2017, 9:48 PM ]

Part of the reason I wrote Teaching App was to support the unique way BTEC HND modules need to be processed. BTEC HND is, this year, undergoing a major change from QCF to RQF. With RQF there is no longer a fixed number of Merit and Distinction options. So, to support this change, and to add overall enhancements to make my life (and hopefully your life) much easier, am now releasing Teaching App 2.0. Here are some of the changes you will see:
  • App History file will now be recorded in reverse order (most recent history is now at the top) to help sort out sync issues if you use Teaching App on multiple machines
  • Changed emailing BTEC module results so that only outcomes on selected assignments will be included in the email
  • Filtering students by group now uses the Team column instead of the Tags column
  • Changing ExtStudentID now gets logged in student history
  • Added normal (non-BTEC) assignments to student detail window
  • Added filtering to student selector form when moving assignment from one student to another (useful when you marked the wrong student on accident)
  • Student detail window will no longer show BTEC outcomes if the student has no BTEC assignments (since that would be irrelevant)
  • Added the ability to import students just with their Student ID (useful when you teach the same students in different semesters)
  • Added ability to track performance level of each improvement item (0-5), logging to student's activity log when changing)
  • Added Improvement Item report to show which improvement items are most common for a class (useful when discussing common problems made by the class)
  • Added Date Last Included to improvement items to see when you last told a student each item
  • Added improvement items on student detail window
  • Importing student grades now supports more options
  • Added Total Grade to student detail window for normal (non-BTEC) assignments which considers scores, weighting, etc. (also, individual assignment scores can be changed with + and  - keys)
  • When marking any assignment, improvement items can now have performance level changed with + and - keys
  • Fixed issue exporting student attendance so now different student groups' sessions on the same day will not cause problems
  • You can now open the Find Historical Student with Ctrl+F
  • Finding historical student now accepts multiple names and will only find students who match all (so entering "John Do" will find "John Doe" but also "Dorry Johnson" but not "Jane Doe")
  • Assignment marking forms now accept negative scores (-100 to +100)
  • Clicking OK when marking an assignment now triggers autosave (only updating the autosave database, in case of crash)
  • Student outcome results report had auto-complete removed because it was causing problems under Wine on Linux)
  • Attendance form (not the public form) can now have font increased or decreased before loading students
  • Added student data history (including improvement items and other student data) which should help with research (tracking student history can be disabled in Options)
  • Added Performance on Last Online Quiz to student so you can see how each did on the last online quiz
  • Added some logic to handle unique data issues when running under Wine on Ubuntu
  • Some major changes to about 20 BTEC windows to support RQF
  • Made some minor user interface changes

Teaching App 1.5

posted Sep 25, 2016, 6:24 PM by John Andre   [ updated Sep 25, 2016, 6:25 PM ]

In order to support some new things I am trying in the classroom this semester, I have made some changes to the Teaching App. While I was in there, I also fixed few bugs. Here are some new features:
  • Added Student Teams for group work (Student Groups were designed for attendance purposes and are still there)
  • Student Teams is also included when you export student lists.
  • Ctrl+A now selects all students
  • Ctrl+C now copies selected students on main student list
The fixes include minor cosmetic issues as well as getting rid of an error message which would happen when you move your mouse around the main student list.

Teaching App 1.4

posted Aug 20, 2016, 11:41 PM by John Andre

I have added a few new minor features and fixed some bugs to start the new semester off properly.

In version 1.3, the updater would launch every time you started the Teaching App. That is now fixed. Also, the <ESC> button on the keyboard will close the updater window.

In order to support some research I am doing this semester, I have added the ability to email results to BTEC students turning on/off feedback and also their grade (pass, merit, referral, etc.). I am testing to see if receiving feedback without seeing their grade (mark) will improve their attention to the feedback.

Teaching App 1.3

posted Jun 10, 2016, 5:29 AM by John Andre   [ updated Jun 10, 2016, 5:30 AM ]

I have made some minor (mostly cosmetic) changes to Teaching App. If you go to the Help menu then to Check for updates you will be able to upgrade from an earlier version to this latest version.

You can download the new version by downloading and installing it. You can also click here to download, then install it.

I have also made a short video to show you how to get started taking attendance.

Getting Started with Teaching App

Teaching App 1.2

posted Jun 2, 2016, 6:32 AM by John Andre   [ updated Jun 2, 2016, 6:38 AM ]

I have been using my Teaching App for years to keep my teaching-life more organized. Now, I am providing it to other educators in hopes of giving them more time to focus on student learning, rather than administrative hassle.

Teaching App runs on Windows and is available completely for free (I have benefited so much from free software, this is my way of giving a little back to the community).

Here are some of the things you can do with Teaching App:
  • Managing your subjects: You can manage your
    • Modules (subjects)
    • Classes (groups of students who study the module together)
    • Import/export students
    • Track student-level information (writing quality, research quality, etc.)
    • Take attendance
  • Scheduling: Which topic to teach on which day in which room
    • Can be exported to import into your favorite calendar program
    • Supports scheduling around certain times (for holidays, special events, etc.)
    • Supports splitting one large lecture class into multiple smaller workshop classes
  • Assignments (both "normal" and BTEC HND assignments)
  • Marking with detailed feedback
    • Giving detailed feedback becomes very easy for you but still very helpful for your students
    • Supports reusing comments on outcome-by-outcome basis (for BTEC HND assignments)
    • Supports tracking overall improvement points (so you know if this student has had a problem with citations in the past) allowing you to track student improvement over time
  • Extensive reporting
    • Too many to list (and more being added all the time)

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