An Exercise is a simple but powerful assignment. In an exercise the teacher asks the students to do a piece of practical work. It could be writing an essay or a report, preparing a presentation, or setting out a spreadsheet, etc. When the student has done the task they must first self-assess their work before submitting it to the teacher. Once submitted the teacher assesses the student's piece of work using the same assessment form. The teacher can give feedback to the student and ask the student to improve the work and re-submit it or not as the case may be. The final grade is based on how well the student assessed their own work and the work itself.

Before the start of the exercise the teacher sets up the exercise by

  1. Creating a Word document or HTML file which introduces the exercise and tells the students what they have to produce. This file is uploaded into the exercise by the teacher.
  2. Adding the textual elements and choosing the options in the Assessment Form. This form is used by both the students and the teacher to assess the work produced in the exercise. There are various types of assessment which can be used (see the help on "Grading Strategy")

In large classes, the teacher may find to helpful to create more than one version of the exercise. These variants add a degree of variety to the exercise and ensure that students are doing different tasks in the exercise. They are allocated to the students in a random but balanced way. Each student receives only one exercise but the number of times each variant is allocated in a class is approximately the same. Note the variants should not be too different as the same assessment form is used for all of the variants.

With the description(s) of the exercise and the assessment form in place, the assignment is opened to the students. They are shown a description of the exercise or task. When they have done the exercise they must assess their own work (using the pre-prepared assessment form) before they can submit their work to the teacher. The assessment form can be used as a "checklist" by the students. They can, if they wish, revise both their work and the assessment before they actually submit their work, and probably they should be encouraged to do so!

Once a student has submitted their work both their assessment and the piece of work itself becomes available to the teacher. The teacher accesses the pieces of work (using the student's assessment as a starting point) and make a decision whether to ask the student to re-submit an improved version of the work or not.

If the teacher feels that the student's piece of work could be improved, the student can be given the opportunity to re-submit. If this is taken up the teacher re-assesses the work using an assessment form which contains the grades and comments they gave to the student's previous submission. Thus, the re-assessment is then a matter of updating the form in the light of the student revised work rather than undertaking an assessment from scratch.

When the deadline for the exercise is reached students can continue to submit. However, such work is flagged as "late". The teacher can, if desired, grade the work and give feedback to the student. The grades of late work are held back and are not used in the calculation of final grades. If, for whatever reason, the teacher wishes to accept a piece of late work as a normal piece of work the late flag can be cleared by going into the Administration page, finding the submission and clicking on the appropriate link. The grade for that work will then be used in the calculation of a final grades.

When all the submissions have been graded, the exercise is moved to the final phase. Further student submissions are now not allowed. The students can now see their final grades together with the grades given to their submission(s). A student's grade for the exercise is the sum of the student's "grading grade", a measure of the agreement between the student's assessment and the teacher's assessment of the student's (first) submission, and the teacher's grade(s) for the student's submission(s). (The grade given by the student in their assessment is not used.)

When the teacher allows students to resubmit work, the teacher should consider how to set the option which controls how the student's final grade is calculated from multiple submissions. This option allows the teacher to choose between using the mean grade of the student's submissions or their best submission. This option can changed at any time and it has an immediate effect in the grades screen.

In the final phase of the exercise the students can also see a "League Table" of submissions. This an ordered list of the submissions, the submission which received the highest grade is at the top. When there are multiple submissions only the student's best submission is show in this list.

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