The Moodle/ProMonitor plugin has been released this year in order to help collect assignment data through the Moodle/ProMonitor plugin. We're hoping to use the data to help develop the ProMonitor importing process. A few academic teams have joined us in a pilot study to test how the integration of Moodle and ProMonitor could work. Pilots can be very tricky and quite frustrating at times but valuable in that they help shape the direction of the College.
This pilot will mark a change in the use of standalone Turnitin Assignments (which have been very successful) to Moodle Assignments with the integrated Turnitin plugin. The Moodle/ProMonitor plugin loads into the Moodle Assignment and collects data from Turnitin and ProMonitor.
Overall, the pilot has been successful and we have a clear way forward but the following key points have been observed and measures had to be put in place for next year (including a demonstrable need for a submission template).
The first thing to note is that Turnitin Assignments work differently to Moodle Assignments. During the pilot, lecturers missed the ability to build multiple parts in an assignment. After researching on the Moodle forums, there seems to be little momentum in persuading the team to adopt this approach because a new assignment can be built straight after the first. Quite a practical solution but this immediately doubles the amount of assignments available to students since every assignment will need a resubmission slot and this could be set as part 1 and part 2 inside a Turnitin Assignment. This has led to confusion when looking for submissions and led to the development of a new plugin called the TTracker (which I will come to shortly).
We initially tried to use the Moodle Assignment to hold the main submission and a resubmission but this failed. After marking the first assignment, reopening the slot and allowing students to add a resubmission, confusion ensued with some work being deleted by students (and then needing to be recovered by the E-Learning team). More importantly, we discovered that any marking generated by the Annotate PDF feature ended up being lost (and then recovered by the E-Learning team). We had no choice but to build two separate Moodle Assignments, one for a main submission and one for a resubmission, doubling the amount of assignments on a page.
To solve these problems (and as a precursor to submission templates), I wrote the TTracker plugin which proved to be a real success from the pilot. The TTracker provides every lecturer with a class register on the left hand side, filterable by group (similar to the Moodle grade book) and every assignment along a row on the top of the screen. A dropdown menu then allowed a lecturer to quickly obtain details about a submission in a grid. For example, you could see every originality report score for every student for every submission on the screen at the same time. Pretty impressive. You could see every file submitted, every date, whether a submission met the deadline (traffic lighted) and a direct link to the Turnitin assignment or actual Moodle submission and marking for download. This plugin provided the necessary visibility to be able to manage the pilot successfully and we gained enough information to build a submission template blueprint to help with the overall organisation of work for the next academic year.
I think this pilot has been invaluable to the College because it has helped us develop the submission process and I would like to thank the Access team and School of Business, IT and Travel and Tourism in particular for their support this year.
If all goes to plan next year, I will roll out a new template (with pre-created assignments, all labelled in sequence) with appropriate settings already prepared and with outcomes matching ProMonitor tasks, saving lecturers a huge amount of time in setting up assignments and through careful organisation, solve the problems caused by the doubling of assignments. It will facilitate the next stage in the Moodle/ProMonitor integration project.