Angel Tips

Don't stand in front of an open window if you are changing
Angel 7.2 and 7.3, Part 2
Angel 7.2 and 7.3
Announcement box limitation
First Submission" and multiple retakes of a quiz
Subfolder must be set to "All Teams"
Students attending an online class late
Odd behavior in a WTClass e-mail reply
Links to anchors in a 7.3 folder
Design tip: section heading
Grading an assessment
Grading Short Answer questions on a quiz
SDS tip
STARR Center grades
Pirate commandeers freighter
Pasting MSWord into a new post
Links to anchors on a different page that are buried deep in that second page
UserName in 7.3
7.3 Tip: HTML paragraph tag, saving function, drop-down arrows, visited links
Correcting a pool mistake
WTClass videos
Drop box navigation issue
If a unit grade is affected by absences
Links in course announcements
A new twist on checking attendance
Making Gradebook work for you
Exporting a report from the Report tab to .csv
WTClass video player
What you think is hidden isn't
Grading short answer or essay questions
What you thought was secure ain't
Links to HTML pages outside of WTClass
Links to HTML pages outside of WTClass (follow-up)
Spying on quiz takers
Relying on "Last Logon" to verify attendance
Video clips and instructor commentary simultaneously
Sending a mass e-mail and keeping it completely anonymous
Dealing with usernames in Angel

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Don't Stand in Front of an Open Window If You are Changing (8/23/2010)

This semester, the rosters are already loaded. If you have course announcements open in anticipation of the semester starting, the students can already see them. They can't get into the course until August 25 at 7:30 am, but they're watching. Don't stand in front of an open window. They can even send you a course e-mail. (That surprised me too!) They can get the syllabus from buff advisor>search for classes by clicking on the course title. (It's more than three clicks, but it can be gotten.) They're closing in on us.

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Angel 7.2 and 7.3 Links, Part 2 (8/11/2010)

You can expect problems if you have used links to anchors buried deep in a second page in your fall 2009 course that you are importing as fall 2010. The EntryId of each page changes when the course is imported.

For fall 2009, my EntryId was 7ABFFD220EBB5C15E7062D16609E0379. This fall it's E9DB41083077D269B34857F30744230A.

If I click on the link in the fall 2010 course, I get an error message. The page does not exist. No kidding! If I go to the ViewSource of the page where I clicked the link, I can see that the EntryId does not match at all.

The relatively good news is that only the last four characters change. That is, every page in my fall 2010 course will begin with E9DB41083077D269B34857F30744- and the -230A at the end is the part that will change with each page. (Those last four digits could permutate to 279,936 individual IDs.) The bad news is that I have 90+ pages that I'll have to fix! (How do you eat an elephant? One byte at a time.)

To allay any fear: If you are going from the top of one HTML page to the top of another in WTClass, you're safe, because you're probably using the old 7.2 links and the new 7.3 Permalinks. If you do links to anchors on the same page, you're safe. It's only when you do something that is normal behavior for HTML pages in the real world do you get into trouble within Angel.

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Angel 7.2 and 7.3 Links (8/3/2010)

In Angel 7.2, links looked like this.

<a href="/section/content/default.asp?WCI=GOTO&amp;TYPE=PAGE&amp;MATCH=MD18b">II</a>

My example is a link to a page titled “MD18b.” The name of the HTML page has to be unique otherwise you'll get a pop-up box and have to choose.

When you use the inline editor in Angel 7.3, you now get a Permalink.

<a href="/Permalink/Permalink.aspx?permalinkId=404f9be5-5fb9-4fa7-

My example is still pointed to “MD18b,” but I couldn't tell you that just by looking at the number.

As a matter of fact, you can change the name of the page name with a Permalink and you'll still be directed to that page. You can move pages using the Utilities>Export Item feature or move an entire course using the Export/Import Wizard and everything will hold. You only get into trouble if you copy/paste source code into a new page. The new page will have a different Permalink number even though it has exactly the same content.

What's the point of this tip? I have an instance where I think the 7.2 link will be easier for me to navigate. The random numbers of Permalink don't mean anything to me and I'd have to write each one down to know which page I'm sending my user when I have 12 HTML pages.

When we move to 7.4 and the 7.2 links don't work, you'll hear my scream. But right now, it's a more convenient way of linking.

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Announcement Box Limitation (6/7/2010)

Here's something they don't tell you in school: 8,000 characters (including markup language) is the limit for an Announcement box. I use the Announcement box to provide links for the week's lectures. I thought I'd set up the first summer session, but 8,000 characters is the limit.

The markup language can be shortened but not enough to make much difference. For example, if I use the inline editor (click on the Insert Content Link icon, click on the + sign for Lessons, and click on a name), I'll get a permalink, such as
<a href="
permalinkId=06251500-d069-42f4-9608-404cb9df5c26&amp;permalinkType=0">Music Test. 130 characters.

If I have a unique name for my target, I can use the old linking method, such as <a href="/section/content/default.asp?WCI=GOTO&amp;TYPE=FOLDER&amp;
MATCH=Music+Test">Music Test. 83 characters. The name has to be unique, however. If I also have a “Practice Music Test” folder, the students will be given a choice between “Music Test” and "Practice Music Test.” This link I term the "Old Way."

Here are the differences:

1. When hovering over the link and watching the status bar, the students won't have any idea where that permalink is taking them. Unfortunately, neither do you as the course editor. You have to click on the link to find out. With the old way, everyone knows where they're headed.

2. If you move a folder to another active course and you've used a permalink, you have to reestablish the link. That's a bummer. With the old way, you're good to go, except the name still has to be unique. Hence, the old way is the best way if you have multiple sections of an online course and if each course is full (that is, you are not using the Learning Object Repository, though that is what it is for) for your content.

3. If you are exporting a course and importing it for the next semester, permalinks will hold just as the old way will hold.

That's what I learned today.

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"First Submission" and Multiple Retakes of A Quiz (3/9/2010)

If you set up a quiz to record the score in the gradebook on first submission, but the quiz is open for three attempts to account for computer glitches, will the score of the first-submitted quiz be the one posted to the gradebook even though it might not be the first quiz graded? The answer is Yes.

For example, if a student takes the quiz at 9 am, and again at 10 am, and again at 11 am (even thought the instructions are to take the quiz once), and you go into Utilities>View,Grade,Delete and grade the 11 am quiz first, no grade will be posted to the gradebook. The 11 am quiz was not the first submission.

If you go into Utilities>Grade By Question, even though the 11 am quiz might be the first one completely graded, no grade will be posted to the gradebook.

If the first submission is blank because the student submitted it by mistake, you can delete that quiz and then the first retake becomes the "first submission," and that's the quiz whose grade will appear in the gradebook.

My question was "What happens if a student submits three quizzes and I grade the last quiz first? Is that the grade for the gradebook?" The answer is No. It's the grade of the first quiz submitted that goes into the gradebook.

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Subfolder Must Be Set to "All Teams" (2/28/2010)

I use a folder to list the objective for the the textbook chapter, my comments, learning activities (the "lectures"), and wrap-up (homework, practice quizzes, and answers to the homework that becomes available following submission). I have a hidden subfolder that contains the pages for the above that students access by links in the main folder.

The symphonic band was on tour WThF, so 12 students missed Wednesday's "lecture." Since a majority of the pages in the subfolder (16 of 25) were associated with Wednesday's lecture, I used the cascading feature of the subfolder to affect the pages that had closed on Friday.

I set up my team in the manage tab and then cascaded from the subfolder. I then reset individual pages that belonged to the entire class (all teams). I didn't reset the hidden subfolder.

When the symphonic band students tried Wednesday's lecture and homework, they were denied. I tried it as a student pretending to belong to the team and was denied. Since the folder is hidden in order to prevent students from exploring the lecture out of order, I didn't think it would make any difference. The pages that I had reset to all teams (that is, Friday's lecture) worked fine.

Normally I have the subfolder access tab set as follows:
Do not allow users to view this item is checked.
Viewable by course editor.

With that set, the students can't see the contents of the subfolder, but you can set teams on items in the subfolder.

I thought it wouldn't make any difference what the team access setting was as long as the individual pages were properly set. Apparently it does. The subfolder must be set to "All Teams."

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Students Adding An Online Class Late (1/26/2010)

It's the 11th class day and I'm still adding students to my online course. (I can because it's a MWF course and I can open lectures on an individual basis that have already closed.) The problem with accepting a student late is that the student has to wait until his/her name is added to the roster on the university batch update. No longer. If you sign the blue card, go to Roster and click on Add a User and type the student's last name (only the last name) in the Account Search field. Select the student and designate him her as a Guest. Set up teams, etc. The student now has access to the course. When the batch update comes, the student's designation will change from Guest to Student (and that's how you will know that the student is legal), and all the teams, gradebook, etc. you've set up will remain according to your settings. (Pretty neat, huh?)

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Odd Behavior in a WTClass E-Mail Reply (1/20/2010)

I don't know if it's just me or if others may be experiencing this problem when replying to a WTClass e-mail. (It's probably me.)

And it only happens on the WTClass laptop; it doesn't happen on a Mac!

It probably is happening because I just said something negative about a PC.

The laptop has WindowsXP (2001) and Firefox 3.5.7.

1. When I reply to a student and place the cursor in the message area and start typing, the first time I type an apostrophe for a contracted word, the browser find window opens in the status bar and the cursor is placed there. Bummer.

2. If I want to paste text into a message area, the paste function doesn't respond. Bummer. If I use Internet Explore 8 (Oh, no wonder!), many times I can't use the paste function. Bummer.

SOLUTION: Click outside the Reply window and then click back in the message area and you'll be able to do contractions and pastes. IE8 sometimes requires two or three outside/inside clicks.

If you're on a Mac, you don't have to read this tip. D'oh!

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Links to Anchors in a 7.3 Folder (1/20/2010)

A link to an anchor used to work in a folder, but there's something about Angel 7.3 that doesn't work. If you paste the following HTML into a folder, when you click the link to go to the anchor, you are taken outside the folder to the Lessons tab content area. Why? I don't know. A link on a page to an anchor on the same page still works. (If you are trying a link on one page to a link deep in another page, there's a secret and you'll have to give up tracking. Contact me if you want to know.)

Here's the HTML in case you want to try it in a blank page (first) and a blank folder (second). (It's really important that you be successful before you are frustrated! So often, it's the reverse that occurs most often.)

<p><a name="top"></a><br />
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Link to <a href="#anchor">anchor.</a><br />
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<a name="anchor"></a><br />
Anchor to <a href="#top">top</a>.<br />
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Design Tip: Section Heading (1/12/2010)

Has anyone added a "Section Heading" [new to Angel 7.3] in the Lessons tab to separate pages or folders? The icon looks like it's a "horizontal rule" line. If you add it and don't do anything with it, it's a blank place holder.

(To make one, you start in the Lessons tab and click on Add Content>Create an Item>Section Heading.)

I have several things open, so I decided to use the Section Heading to differentiate between general information and the day's active lecture. A blank placeholder is OK, I guess, but colored arrows are more obvious.

I made a two-column table, put the text in the left column, and made an arrow.png from MSWord for the right column.

Does anyone have any other ideas about the effective use of a Section Heading?

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Grading an Assessment (11/16/2009)

Have you noticed that if an Assessment and a Quiz are in the same folder, the Breadcrumbs path changes when grading?

When grading an Assessment, it's Home>Course>Grade Delivery>Assessment.

For a Quiz, it's Home>Course>Folder>Quiz.

The annoyance with an Assessment, then, is that you cannot click the Breadcrumbs to return directly to the Folder when you've finished grading the Assessment.

Oh, I hear you trying to help me, but if you've graded 25 Assessments, the back button isn't a good solution. And if you've defeated the Sidebar with an Environment Variable, you can't click Tasks. The only thing you can do is start over by clicking on the Lessons tab and going back into the folder.

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Grading Short Answers Questions on a Quiz (11/7/2009)

I put up a 3'39" video tip for grading Short Answer questions. It's in the Online Faculty Respository for Sharing Resources.

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SDS Tip (10/29/2009)

Recently, a passerby mentioned that she missed seeing online tips. I don't know if she was talking to me in particular, to another person, or babbling about the days of yore. Since I haven't seen any tips in the last three days, it must have been me. Imagine. Someone was talking to me. "Dear Diary,..."

Here's one for student disability services situations:

1. Did you know that you can hit Control-Plus sign to enlarge all the text/images (Apple-Plus sign on a Mac) on a webpage? To reduce, use Control-Minus sign (or Apple-Minus sign).

2. IMPORTANT: Keep track of how many times you hit the Control-Minus sign so you can Control-Plus sign back to the original settings. If you don't change the settings back, the browser will open with the last settings.

Just remember this trick to get the view you want. If you can't remember, call me at area code 806-555-5555. Leave your name and telephone number, and I'll get back to you the next time you pass by.]

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STARR Center Grades (9/30/2009)

With October 9 approaching, which is the last day to drop with a guaranteed X, the STARR Center is collecting grades from instructors on students who are on probation contracts.

The form asks for absences. Although you may not take attendance in an online course, could you run an Activity Log from the beginning of the semester to see if the student appears to be active in the course? It only takes a couple of minutes.

If you have four grades for the semester and you have only one of those assignments is posted, don't show the other three grades in your gradebook. Only show the grade the day after it was due. That way your gradebook will reflect the semester average as of the date of the first grade or the second grade. For example, if a student got a 90% on the first grade of 25 points, s/he would have 22.5 points. If all four grades are showing, the semester average is 22.5% and that's an F and there's no way for that student to pass this course. But if the three grades that haven't been taken yet are hidden, the gradebook will show 90% and that's an A. It's also discouraging to the student to get a 90 on the first grade but see 22.5 as the semester average.

Doing those two things will give the STARR Center a better picture of how the student is doing.

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Pirate Commandeers Freighter (9/8/2009)

You're conducting your face-to-face class when a student rises to his feet, comes to front of the class, tells you to leave, and says "I'll take it from here." Has that ever happened to you? It happened twice in my online course last week! Two disgruntled students went to course mail, selected the "ALL COURSE STUDENTS" checkbox, and sent an e-mail to all the students dissing the course, and they forced the other students to sit there and listen. Because you are the instructor of the online course, you don't even know that this is going on except when a student forwards the original e-mail to you.

It used to be in a face-to-face setting that if you were caught passing a note, the school marm would make you read it to the entire class. Ideally the embarrassment taught you a valuable lesson and deterred you from ever passing another note (if there was any chance that you might be seen). Today, texting is the thing and it's not an embarrassment at all if caught. You're a dweeb if you don't text. That's why schools are now confiscating cell phones and students have to pay a $15 fine to get them back.

Students have a right to talk to one another and trash a course, but it's never a discussion with the entire class. It's usually a minority, and they usually keep to themselves. They seem to be satisfied being disgruntled together.

There's a fix to pirating, thanks to Susan Fulgham and Bill Clark. Go to the Manage tab. Find the Course Settings box. Click on Environment Variables. Click on Add a Variable. It will bring up a Course Environment Variable Editor. For Variable Name enter "MAIL_MEMBERS" in caps. For Variable Value enter "8." (Susan says that 8 is faculty, 2 is probably authenticated guests, 3 is students, etc., but we don't know that for sure.)

Click on the glasses to start student view. Go to the Communicate tab and start a message. Click on To to find names to add to the To. The three default checkboxes were "ALL COURSE FACULTY," "ALL COURSE INDIVIDUALS," and "ALL COURSE STUDENTS." In student view, the last two are gone now that you have set the course environment, but they are still visible to you as the instructor in instructor view.

A student can still send a nasty note to the class, but he'll have to do it one checkmark at a time.

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Pasting MSWord into a New Post (8/24/2009)

Don't do it. I wrote the Link to anchor tip in MSWord and pasted it into a new post. If you click on the View Source icon and have ever looked at the code when you saved a word document as HTML, that's what it looks like. Just pasting the text is bringing all that HTML code into this post even though that was not your intention.

What does that mean? My guess is that if you were going to import questions into a quiz, you had better work in NotePad or some simple text editor rather than MSWord. MSWord was funny sometimes in importing questions in 7.2, but I'll bet it's virtually impossible now in 7.3.

Save yourself some frustration and work from a text editor.

If you insist on pasting MSWord into a new post, click on the View Source icon first, then paste your text. Unclick View Source and fix your formatting.

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Links to Anchors on a Different Page that are Buried Deep in that Second Page (8/24/2009)

If you don't understand the subject, this post may not be for you. If you have pages that use this technique and those links still work for you, the only reason why they work is that you haven't cleared cookies. They won't work for the students. Bill Clark and Anson Henthorn (because I heard him talking to Bill while I was on the phone) solved the problem, though it's an ugly solve. Let's say I have an anchor ("pageoneanchor") about a mile down on PageOne. Two lines below that I have the word "Test" that is linked and will take me to PageTwo. I've clicked "Test" and now I'm on PageTwo. When I click "Return" on PageTwo, I want to go to the anchor on PageOne. If in setting up the link on PageTwo I highlighted the word "Return" and used the Insert Content Link on the Menubar (that's the folder with the chain as an icon), I'd get this string for PageOne:Permalinks are no good for linking. (Isn't that odd?) What you have to do is get your target page. For me, it's PageOne. Right click on the page (Control-click on a Mac), go to "This Frame," go to "View Frame Info," and then copy the "Address." For PageOne, the address is

Next,you have replace the Permalink code then strip off the "" business and add your "#pageoneanchor" to finish up. You will have this code when you are done.Now the link to anchor will work.

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UserName in 7.3 (8/21/2009)

I'm grading a quiz. A new feature in 7.3 is the use of the user's name followed by the user's login. The UserName (not user's name) in the previous version was something like    tyxverbikvatu2 or 2419    povqyje4kojtys in caps followed by the student's name. If you were checking a particular student's quiz when 150 students had taken that quiz, you would have to know the UserName and then sort by UserName. The process had a couple of steps and it took time to search. Now the quiz has the person's Name (last name first) followed by the LogIn Name (td34611 for me).

There's still a UserName, however, and it's gotten worse. Here are two examples: 21d7583c-9e6c-4329-b674-05fd8d316f3b or f9279171-78f0-411d-a734-d05b2bfded96.

Being able to sort by the person's last name is a huge improvement. Hooray 7.3. The only place I've seen the UserName is when I had to change an answer in a quiz. I was interested in seeing the report to know who now received credit for the question when it was counted incorrect before. It's the UserName that's returned! I guess I don't care who got credit just as long as the students are happy. I'd rather be able to sort by the person's last name.

We're not seeing the UserName in the roster anymore. I don't know why you would this early in the semester, but if you did, wait until everyone has taken your first quiz, export the data and UserName is one column that's exported.

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7.3 Tip: HTML Paragraph Tag, Saving Function, Drop-Down Arrows, Visited Links (8/14/2009)

1A. When you edit a page, 7.3 is putting in the <p></p> tags whenever you hit the carriage return key. That's normal in IE, but it's new (and annoying) to Firefox. If you don't want to have that double space, hold down the Shift key when you touch Return, which puts in a <br>.

1B. If you save an existing page after you have edited it and all of a sudden the formatting is dissapointingly different, Angel has inserted <p></p>.

2. If you are working in "Maximize the editor size" and are working in "Source" to get rid of the <p></p> described in 1B, you have to get out of "Maximize the editor size" in order to save. (You can't save when "Maximize" and "Source" are engaged.) It's been my experience when setting up a video code, for example, that I have to save when I'm in "Source," because Angel throws in some unwanted HTML if I revert to normal and then save. The solution is to do all your editing, get out of "Maximize," Save, get out of "Source."

3. The drop-down arrows in the editor menu stay open (an annoyance) instead of collapsing when you release the mouse click. When you are in "Maximize," they stay open but there isn't a head for you to drag it out of the way.

4. To the right of "Source" is the "File Menu." I don't know if this was in 7.2 because I never looked, but in 7.3 it appears that you can set the colors of visited links (File menu>Document properties>Colors and margins). [As it turns out, it doesn't work in WTClass.]

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Correcting a Pool Mistake (4/29/2009)

I knew right when I did it that I shouldn't have: I made a unit test out of a pool of nine daily quizzes. How can I make a real unit test from those daily quizzes without starting from scratch? I've added a page to the Quiz/Assessment Tutorial in the Online Faculty Repository for Sharing Resources explaining how to do it. The page is titled "Correcting A Pool Mistake."

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WTClass Videos (3/23/2009)

If you are using WTClass videos and the commentary box in the Repositories, I''ve noticed a peculiarity. When working in Settings>Content on a Mac using Firefox, sometimes when I save the changes, Angel replaces the quotation marks in that last part of the code to &quot;, which is the HTML equivalent. The video won''t work with the equivalent, so you have to go in an replace the info in Source View. I''ve never had any trouble when I''m in Source View and save the changes. It''s only in the Page View when I save that there are problems.

Anyway, the last part of the code should look something like this (except it won''t be HUMA_1315 etc.).

<script type="text/javascript">      
var fo = new FlashObject("", "mymovie", "550", "320", "8", "#FFFFFF"); fo.addParam("wmode", "opaque"); fo.addVariable("XMLToLoad", "2008FA_HUMA_1315_70/vidxml/question.xml"); fo.write("flashcontent");</script>

When working on a PC in IE, I''ve also discovered that putting text into the right column from Page View is awkward. It''s almost like working in a Text Box in MS Word. If you can''t place your cursor, go to Source View and start typing that way.

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Drop Box Navigation Issue (3/10/2009)

If you've used a Drop Box in your course and have clicked on a paper that's been submitted, the next screen takes up the whole width of what used to be the guide area and your content area in WTClass. While you're in this view, you've lost all your navigation tools (i.e., breadcrumbs and tabs). The only thing you can do is back out timidly and embarrassed that you've got yourself into this fix like a trapped animal. I'm a man and want to go boldly forward no matter what the obstacle! I refuse to use the back button (unless I have to) or ask directions. I'd rather close the browser and start over than accept defeat.

Normally the drop box stays in the content area of WTClass. When it takes over the whole screen, the problem is a "frame" or "frameset," like that's going to mean anything to me.  I don't care what it is. I just want it to stop. What to do?

Here's how: When you set up your drop box by naming it and setting the parameters and so forth, set the Link Target in the Content tab to New Window. Now when you click the student's name to retrieve the submitted paper, a new window will open on a PC in Internet Explorer or a new tab for a Mac. After you've gotten the paper, you can close the window (PC) or tab (Mac) and you're back to the folder and your navigation options.

The same thing happens with Game. If you could put a link above or below the quiz show to help the student get back to home that would be nice, but that's not an option. You have to set the target link to new window.

If you've ever been to the Community Groups>Forum for Online Faculty and clicked the Open Discussion for Online Faculty, it's a normal view. If you click the folder in the upper left-hand corner of the content area and then click "Forum for Sharing Online Teaching Tips & Techniques," it's a frameset. Fortunately it's a new window (PC) or tab (Mac). And it doesn't matter if you go to the Tips or Discussion first. It's the same result either way.

The solution to the problem is usually resolved by doing something other than Same Window.

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If A Unit Grade Is Affected by Absences (3/6/2009)

If your syllabus has a penalty clause whereby points are deducted for absences in your online course and you are keeping attendance, then this tip is for you.

If you are keeping attendance but the students are marking themselves present, you probably are being cheated and need to check an earlier post (Relying on "Last Login" to verify attendance, 10/27/08).

We're at midsemester and I'm giving the second unit test. The first one was on February 6 and today (March 6) is the second one. My course meets online three times a week like a MWF class. Students have 48 hours to complete the lecture instead of being in class on Monday at 11 am, for example. It's the same lecture as a face-to-face class would have except the delivery is different. I've been keeping track of attendance all month and have been entering it after each "lecture." Since class attendance is important to me, students lose two points per absence. This is a freshman-level core course (HUMA 1315). It deals with music, dance, art, and theatre. Since the test is multiple choice (remember that this is freshman-level, non-major), a student who doesn't attend any of the ten lectures but who is extremely lucky at guessing should not receive a 100%. A unit test is only a sampling of the lecture and reading material an can be, at best, an estimate of the student's master of the subject matter. An 80% (that is, 100% minus 20 points for absences) is a more accurate reflection of the student's accomplishments during this testing period. (That can be another topic for discussion.)

What I need to do is check attendance from February 9 through March 5 and find out how many absences and half absences (that is, if the student ducked out after having sat there for half the lecture but didn't have enough patience to finish it). Even though no students have taken today's test yet, I've already entered today (March 6) as a test day to give that ending marker. WTClass displays attendance a month at a time. I don't want to have to check each student by February and then again by March. I have 154 students in the course.

Here come the tips:
1. Don't use the Report tab (Category: Class; Report: Attendance; and then your settings). Why? That report has the Username instead of the student's Name and it shows you the days you don't track (for example, my attendance preferences are MWF, to I don't want to see TThSS on the report).
2. Instead, go to Manage>Attendance. In the upper left-hand corner, there's Preferences and Export links. You'll Export the attendance and the export will only show MWF if that is how you've set up your preferences.
A. The options are .csv, .tsv (the default), and "Include Course ID in export file." Csv (comma separated value) is the one you want. (Tsv, which is tab separated value, will open in MSWord, for example, but it looks nearly the same as opening a .csv in Excel. As you know, it's much easier to manipulate columns and rows in Excel than it is in MSWord.) You don't need the course ID (e.g., HUMA_1315_70 in my case). Once you have the settings, click Download and just wait until the dialog box tells you it is finished and you can close the window.
B. The resulting file format is Name (that is, last name, comma, first name), Username, Day (that is, 2/9/09), Period, Status (that is, A for absent, P for present, E for excused, etc., or whatever you've set up in the Preferences), and Notes. The Period must be something like first period, second period, and so forth as at the high school. It comes up as a zero in my report, so that's the way it will appear in your report, too. The Notes are any annotations you made to the record when you were entering the attendance for that day. This file gives you all the attendance from the very first day of class to the last day you've recorded attendance.
C. The format that works be for me is to move the Status column to the left of the Name column and ignore all the other data. I format the Status column to "flush right."
1) Be aware that every student enrolled in the course on that first day of class will show up in this report, even if they have dropped.
2) Because of that anomaly, I can't measure from "Test" to "Test" with certainty. The first "Test" might belong to a student who has dropped and the second "Test" is the first test of the next student.
a) In my preferences, I set up separate test markers (e.g., T1, T2, T3, and T4).
b) If you already entered "Test" in the February 6 column, there's no global that will change "Test" to "T1." You'd have to change each one manually. That why I giving you this tip now: Use the tip next semester!
3) I look for T1 and T2 and count the number of absences between those two poles.

There are a couple of ways to view attendance. You can use the Reports tab, or look at the matrix in Manage>Attendance, or you can Export the attendance report. IMHO, it's the last choice that's best.

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Links in Course Announcements (3/4/2009)

Let's say you have a course announcement that has a link to a lecture.

When the student logs onto WTClass and is granted access, the opening page will list all the courses in which the student is enrolled on the left and all the course announcements (including preemptive university announcements) will be visible on the right if you've enabled that option. (How do you know? If you can see course announcements on your side, that's what the students will be able to see.)

If the student clicks on the link in the course announcements for that course, s/he will get an error message because, technically, s/he is still outside the course. If, however, the student goes into the course, the course announcement link will work.

Obviously, providing a link for the student is helpful, but it only works inside the course. But it's also helpful for the student to be able to see all the course announcements in one location. It's unfortunate that both links don't work, but one is a security issue.

Anyway, if you have a student who writes to you and says "I've clicked on the link and won't let me in," ask the student if s/he is trying to link from outside the course.

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A New Twist on Checking Attendance (2/19/2009)

If you don't check attendance and you don't have multiple pages in your online lectures, then you may not want to read this. (Explanation: My online courses are exactly the same as face-to-face courses in that there is a lecture just like the traditional in-class setting in addition to the reading assignment. 1. Yes, I have visual and audio media so that my lectures are not "text-heavy." 2. Yes, I have ways to prevent students from cutting class by breaking the day's lecture into multiple pages [plus some other tricks]. 3. Yes, I check attendance and mark students absent [or half absent if they attend more than half the media but don't stay for the whole thing] based on their activity for that lecture.)

I take attendance through the Report tab. Category: Class; Report: Logged Activity Report; then you set the parameters for Users, Starting, Ending before; Select report view: Drill Down; then Export the report as .csv. You'll need to add the .csv extension on your own to have Excel open it.

If you have media on your pages, you know how long each page takes to complete. When the student advances to the next page or to a previous page (depending on your navigation), Angel records that movement. Here's my example:

2/15/09 23:02    [FOLDER] Music/Dance Lecture 12
2/15/09 23:02    [PAGE] MD12a
2/15/09 23:02    [PAGE] MD12a
2/15/09 23:03    [PAGE] MD12b
2/15/09 23:03    [PAGE] MD12b
2/15/09 23:04    [PAGE] MD12c
2/15/09 23:04    [PAGE] MD12c
2/15/09 23:06    LOGIN
2/15/09 23:07    [PAGE] MD12d
2/15/09 23:07    [PAGE] MD12d
2/15/09 23:11    [PAGE] MD12e
2/15/09 23:11    [PAGE] MD12e
2/15/09 23:17    [PAGE] MD12f
2/15/09 23:17    [PAGE] MD12f
2/15/09 23:20    [PAGE] MD12g
2/15/09 23:20    [PAGE] MD12g
2/15/09 23:28    [FOLDER] Music/Dance Lecture 12
2/15/09 23:28    [QUIZ] Lecture 12 Quiz

Angel does double hits. The first one is when the page is accessed and the second one is when the page finishes loading. (Or at least that's what I think happens. I'm a layman, so don't bother me with details.)

This report is pretty straight forward. It's harder to tell what the student is doing if s/he is clicking pages at random or sits on a page for a really long time. The difficulty in knowing exactly what the student is doing comes with the browser's back button. The back button keeps track of the previous pages visited by its cache. (I'm a layman and I don't have time for details. Let me tell my story.) If a student sits on a page for a long time, it could be that s/he is using the back button to view previous pages or s/he has gone to lunch and left the page open. If you have navigation links on your pages and the student uses those hyperlinks to go to the next or previous pages, they will be recorded. If, however, the student uses the back button or forward button, those actions will not be recorded.

Because the use of Angel's Logged Activity Report for taking attendance is subject to errors as I interpret what I see, I send an e-mail to every student who missed part or all of the day's lecture. (Students have 48 hours to complete the lecture rather than on Monday at 11:00 am as in a face-to-face class. But once the 48 hours have expired, that folder is locked, just like in a face-to-face class.) (The other part of this is that I'm sending e-mails to students every time they miss class. I never did that when I was a face-to-face teacher! The students usually ignore me [as in a face-to-face class], but I give them the opportunity to question why I marked them absent.) (Fortunately, Angel is really good about remembering who was in class than me trying to remember if I saw so-and-so in class yesterday. I can go back into a report three weeks from now and the Angel attendance is the same; my memory is not!)

I know about the back button business, so I've been careful about my observations of attendance. Below is the same report as above except that I've removed the double hits and have added the media timings in parentheses:

2/15/09 23:02    [FOLDER] Music/Dance Lecture 12
2/15/09 23:02    [PAGE] MD12a  (no media on this page)
2/15/09 23:03    [PAGE] MD12b  (2'20")
2/15/09 23:04    [PAGE] MD12c  (3'46")
2/15/09 23:06    LOGIN
2/15/09 23:07    [PAGE] MD12d  (5'40")
2/15/09 23:11    [PAGE] MD12e  (3'39")
2/15/09 23:17    [PAGE] MD12f  (7'27")
2/15/09 23:20    [PAGE] MD12g  (12'54")
2/15/09 23:28    [FOLDER] Music/Dance Lecture 12
2/15/09 23:28    [QUIZ] Lecture 12 Quiz

When I checked attendance, I'm looking for 7 minutes on page MD12f and 13 minutes on page MD12g. For this student I have 3 minutes and 8 minutes. I know that once the student starts the quiz, s/he has finished the lecture. At least by her/his actions, s/he has indicated so. Could I have made a mistake? Because the student stayed on task, the total elapsed time is 26 minutes and there's 35 minutes of media. No, I didn't make a mistake. The media is Camtasia for this lecture. There are no commercials to fast-forward through, so the media has to be done in real time. You can't use any short-cuts since there's narration or audio throughout the presentation.

Here comes the revelation. Be patient. I sent out my e-mail and the student said s/he did watch the whole lecture. S/he drank it to the very last drop. Obviously, that's impossible. Revelation: S/he said that s/he used the navigation buttons at the top of the page to preload the next page and then used the back button to return to the page s/he's supposed to be on. Pages don't take that long to load unless you're on a dial-up, but since each of my pages has a Camtasia presentation, you can't preload multiple Camtasias. (Maybe you could if you had two browsers. Nope. You can't. I just tried it.) The bottom line is that the media takes 35 minutes. If you have to wait to load the media, then it will be more than 35 minutes. The fact that the student only has 26 minutes in the lecture before the quiz means that s/he didn't finish the lecture.

Ah, the buttons at the top of the page. The default (I think) is this:

Since I bury the content pages inside a folder that's within a folder, I've known that the students could go to the Guide that's on the left side of their window, click on Map, click on the lesson as see everything that's within that subfolder that has all the various pages (e.g., MD12a through MD12g plus the quiz). I've known about the back button and its stealth-like navigation, but I never thought about preloading a page. What I decided to do is get rid of that Previous Next hyperlink.

Go to the Lessons tab.

Click on Preferences hyperlink.

Unclick all the Navigation Menu checkboxes.

Here's what I don't know from the course editor's student view. 1. If the Banner box is checked in the Content Settings of a page, that should hide Previous Next from the students. It does in our student view; I don't know if it works in the student's view. 2. If the Settings of the subfolder are set to Course editors in Viewable by, then the student can't see the pages held in the subfolder. That's the way it is in our student view. If the student's view is different than our student view, then this tip is a waste of your time except that now I'm more aware of a potential misreading of the attendance report.

Anyway, here's what I learned today:

1. Be careful about how you interpret attendance. Know that the back button doesn't record activity. Know that if a student preloads a page, it doesn't mean that s/he can't back button to a previous page and watch the media there. Total elapsed time is a better indicator than individual times for each page, but both are circumstantial.
2. It's possible to hide the Previous Next navigation buttons by the Preference setting in the Lessons window. At least it hides it from us when we're in student view.
3. It's possible to hide subfolders from students by setting the Viewable by to Course editors. (Be sure not to cascade that setting to the contents of that subfolder!) At least it hides the contents of the subfolder from us when we're in student view.
4. You also found out that my online class has lectures comparable to a face-to-face class, that my lectures evaporate the same as in a face-to-face class, that (according to me) my lectures are not "text-heavy," that I have measures to discourage short-cutting the course (such as the use of multiple pages for one lecture), that I take attendance for every lecture, that I contact students who missed my online class (but I didn't do that when it was a face-to-face class), and that I have brown eyes.

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Making Gradebook work for you (2/7/2009)

Let's say that your course has four units or 100 points each.

Let's say that your first unit has six quizzes at 10 points each and one test worth 40 points. That's the 100 points for that unit.

Let's say that, nice guy that you are, you give students 45 chances (that is, questions) to earn 40 points, and if a student gets more than 40 points, you'll post that grade.

You can't set the Assignment tab of the Quiz to go directly to the Gradebook because 45 points will give a total of 105 points for the unit and that will skew the semester grade and make the first unit carry more weight.

You can't set the test to 45 points, send the points directly to the Gradebook, and afterwards change the test to 40 points, because Gradebook will prorate the score. The student who earned 42 points when the test was 45 points will now see 37 when you change to 40 points for the test.

If you let Gradebook do its default setting, when you go to the View, Grade or Delete Submissions screen of Utilities, a 42 will show as 93% for a percent setting or 46.5 for a score setting. You'll need to make a conversion chart in Excel to know that 93% or 46.5 is really 42 points.

The solution is to set up a dummy test for 45 points, click the extra credit box and the hide from students box, and set it for "manual." Yes, you'll have to enter the grades manually, but it's a reasonable workaround so that you are recording the right number of points and the student sees the number of points s/he earned when s/he saw the score after submitting the test.

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Rearrange (1/21/2009)

Let's say I have a 50-question quiz with two section headers. For some dumb reason, I want to put the second group in front of the first. If you're on a Mac, there's some serious vertical scroll bar work ahead of you; if you're on a PC, that little wheel on the mouse is going to be smoking. I discovered an easier method, lazy person that I am.

To get started, I click on the quiz title and then click rearrange. That's the view for the first picture below. Next (2) I'd highlight (click left of the first item and drag through the last item) the first group, so I can see a marker. Third (here comes the trick), I'll reduce the size of the screen. You do that by Apple-minus sign on a Mac; Control-minus sign on a PC. I keep clicking until until all 50 questions are on a screen. It can be pretty small, but you grab and drag the first item below the last blue highlight and put it at the top of the list. Get the next one and drag it to just above the top blue highlighted line. The blue highlight holds as long as you don't make a mouseclick by mistake.

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Exporting a report from the Report tab to .csv (1/20/2009)

Santa brought us a present. Last semester when you exported a Report to .csv and dropped it on your desktop, it would look something like Class.csv. (PC users can hide extensions and maybe didn't notice, but Macs can't. Or maybe I don't know how. I've always put extensions on my documents if I wanted to share with PC users who couldn't handle files without extensions. That was then and now is now.)

Anyway, on a Mac, if I double-clicked on that icon, I would be disappointed. I would get a comma-separated report but the text was a long string when I wanted to be able to sort each field separately. If I would change the .csv extension to .xls and double click, it would open fine in Excel.

That was last semester. Now when you drop the report to the desktop, it has no extension. If you double-click the icon, it opens in Simple Text as a comma-separated value but it's a long string of stuff and I'm disappointed all over again because I want to sort the fields between the commas. If I type in a .csv extension and double-click the icon, it opens in Excel. Problem solved. Thanks, Santa, for nothing.

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WTClass video player (12/23/2008)

If you are using the video player that WTClass made to show Flash videos, here's something to be aware of in case you encounter a problem.

When you move your course from one semester to another, Angel updates the code. Because the WTClass video player isn't an Angel feature, the player will convert, but the code won't update.

For example, in view source, the line to link to the video you're using should be something like "2009SP_HUMA_1315_70/vidxml/video.xml". None of my codes converted. All of my spring 2009 links have "2008SU1_HUMA_1315_70" because I don't know why. Camtasia aren't affected apparently.

So, if you add a new video this semester and copy the code from an existing video player, make sure you change "2008SU1" to "2009SP".

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What you think is hidden isn't (11/21/2008)

Most of our units are contained in a folder. I hide a quiz, my learning activities pages, etc. in a subfolder within the unit folder. When I activate the unit, I go back and hide the subfolder from the students (though the contents of the folder are active).

When I go into Student view and click Lessons on the Map Guide, it won't show the contents of the subfolder. That's what I want. I want the students to navigate to the various pages from the main page.

The students, however, have direct access to those pages without using the main folder page as the navigation for the unit.

Faculty student view is not the same as the students' student view.

I will continue to cover my eyes and think that if I can't see you, you can't see me.

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Grading short answer or essay questions (11/11/2008)

Look, ma. No mouse.

In a Quiz, a short-answer question (single-line answer) and the essay (multiple-line answer) are graded manually. If you Grade by Question, you can grade without a mouse. NOTE: You have to use Firefox; it doesn't work in Internet Explorer.

Click on Grade by Question and throw the mouse away. (Well, not away; you might need it later for something else.) Hit the tab key three times to highlight/select the number of responses for the first question. Hit Enter on the keypad to start grading that question. After the new page appears, hit the tab key four times to position the cursor in the points box (field). (In Grade by Question in a Quiz, there are 25 answers per page, so if there are 45 responses, you'll have to tab extra times to get the cursor in the first points box.) From that point on, your right hand will enter the number of points from the keypad and your left hand will hit the tab key three times to advance to the next points box. (If you're in an Assessment, it's four tabs to the next points box.)

What happens if you hit the tab key four times and go past the points box? Do Shift-Tab to back up one field at a time.

You can submit your answers by tabbing to the OK button and pressing the Enter key or you can press the Enter key on any points box and it will submit.

Don't press the Enter key while you're on Cancel, because you'll have to grade that whole page again as nothing will be saved. Along with this idea, you have to submit each page as you complete it. If you click on the #2 thinking you're going to go to the second page, you've just lost all the grading you did on the first page.

Once the page is submitted, you be taken back to the Grade by Question page. Hit the tab key three times to position the selection over the next number of responses and then press the Enter key to start the page.

I know PC users like to click their mouse, but by using only the tab key and the keypad you won't have to touch the mouse and thus you'll be able to grade faster and carpal tunnel will come more quickly.

Domenico Scarlatti, an early 18th-century Italian keyboard composer, wrote sonatas that require the performer to cross hands such that the left hand is playing higher notes than the right hand. (Would that be an ultraconservative in political science speak?) If you get bored and feel like a virtuoso, you might try left hand on the keypad and right hand on the tab key. I cannot do that because my arms are too long and there's not enough brain power to get signals to the correct hand when my arms are tangled like that, but you go right ahead.

A variation of this would be to turn around your keyboard so that the function keys are closest to you. That's how an Indonesian composer teaches his composition to the gamelon players. It's rote teaching and he plays the music backwards (that is, from the other side of the instrument).

Regardless of the method you try, give your mouse a rest.

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What you thought was secure ain't (10/31/2008)

I'm talking to Mac users now, because they don't know about "right click."

Some years ago, I started writing study guide questions for the music history textbook I use. The student, for example, should be able to answer these questions after reading the first paragraph (comprehension). It was an example of the kinds of questions they should be forming in their minds as they were reading (critical thinking). If they took good notes by answering those questions, they wouldn't have to go back into the text to study. Why not just give them the questions and the answers? Synthesis, my friends, plus I wanted them to get a sense of the textbook author's writing style. Finally, my study guide questions could serve as model for an American history class: they write their own questions for that first paragraph and supply the answers. (I don't suppose you've ever seen one of those students, have you?) Unfortunately, the students were already familiar with this technique from high school. It was there that they learned to only find the answers and not read anything!

Let's move on. The students would turn in their completed study guide sheet (one page, two sides) at the beginning of class. (We're in a face-to-face class; I'm not at online yet.) After I handed back the SGs (as they are fondly called), I would post the answers on my office window in the Fine Arts Building that faced the hallway. Students could check their answers. The rude awakening came when I ventured on campus on a Saturday afternoon and saw one of the students, who never turned in any SGs, taking a picture of the answers! My premise is that if you are going to get the answers, you've got to toil for them.

When I put my class online—Now we're getting to the online part of this story, so it's relevant all of a sudden. Hello, is anyone still there?—I wanted to do it in a way where the students would have to "work" for the answers. If they hadn't done the work, which is the reading, searching, recording answers, etc., it wasn't going to be easy for them. I decided on rollovers. If a chapter has 78 questions, I made a table that had six rows and thirteen columns. (I'll wait for you to do the math.) I created the answers in Fireworks as .png files. When you put your cursor over a number, there was a mouseover and mouseout javascript in the HTML page source that would activate the appearance of the answer. When you took your mouse off, the answer disappeared. Sure, you could do a screen print, but 78 of them? I was disillusioned enough to think that I was protected.

Do you remember the Indiana Jones movie where Indiana Jones is in a marketplace without any means of escape and that this sword-wielding dude is going to cut him to pieces? Did you think about the years of training that it took for this guy to develop his expertise? Did you think about how many men he had killed that gave him the confidence and the upper hand? Did you see Indiana Jones pull out a gun and shoot him!?!?!?

Mac users: PCs have a gun. It's called right click. (For us, it's Control-click.) Anyway, if you right click an HTML page, you can "Save page as" and it will take everything on that page and download it to the clicker's desktop. And I don't care if that HTML page is in Angel that you think it's protected by a password. It's not. "Save page as" is a browser thing. It has nothing to do with Angel (= WTClass). Once downloaded, you can double-click on that page and it will behave as if it were in WTClass. You can have every WTClass page and it's contents forever.

Here comes the tip: I now use mouseclick and the link goes to one of two pages that house the SG answers. The grid is in a page that I call "Chap17SGHome," if I'm in chapter 17. The answers are in "Chap17SGdrq" and "Chap17SGwpm." And the answers are scrambled between the –drq and –wpm pages. The student has to download the three pages and save them as I have designated them, otherwise the links to and from the home page won't work.

Watch out, PC users. You might have the gun, but I've got my finger in the barrel and that bullet is going to hit you, not me.

What did we learn today? Your pages are not safe, but there's a way you can attempt to foil a plot by a lazy student who wants an effortless education.

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Links to HTML pages outside of WTClass (10/31/2008)

How come you guys don't share tips with me? I had an epiphany today. The more I thought about, however, it occurred to me that this might be common knowledge to you, that I'm the last person to find out about this, and that my revelation is no big deal because I live in my own private world. (And to let you know how small my world is, you are the only one I ever talk to.)

All my courses are self-contained. I don't have links to any HTML page that I haven't created myself. I house .pdf and .jpg things in my User drive and link to them. Otherwise, all my pages are inside a folder contained within the day's lecture folder.

Guess what happened to me today? I received e-mails today with KEYBOARD in the subject heading from students. That's the way I used to take attendance in WTOnline back in 2004. I couldn't figure out why the students were doing that (actually, only half the students were doing an e-mail because the others were just sitting in the course waiting for enough time to elapse so that I'd be mislead into thinking that they were doing the lecture!) when I have a different way now. I finally found the link that they were clicking on that requested the "Please send me an e-mail when you have finished this lecture" instructions. The page came into WTClass just like it lived in the course! Why is that exciting to me? Because Angel pages don't give you access to the <head> element. In Angel, all you can edit is the <body>. When you only have a <body>, you have to do inline javascript and CSS, for example, and some of those don't work. If that's the case, then you can build your HTML page, put it in your User drive (I don't know what PCs use), and reference it from WTClass. (Oh sure, you can paste a full HTML page into a WTClass HTML page, but you won't be able to edit the head element.) You can even put a "Return to main page" link in the imported HTML page instead of having the student click' the back button (unless you're putting target="_new" in the <a href> to get the HTML page, in which case you would just close the new window to return to your WTClass page.

The whole point of this online tip is that I've known I have had a body, but now I can have a head too. Yahoo.

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Links to HTML pages outside of WTClass (follow-up) (10/31/2008)

The question is "If I send students to an outside page, how do I get them back to the original page?" One answer is the "back button," but there are other ways.

Let's say you're on your Angel page and you have a link to an outside page. Click the "source" icon to modify the <a href> tag. Add this: target="_new" When you click on the link, it will open in a new window. When the student closes the window (or clicks back to the original tab in IE), you haven't moved from your original page.

If you're going from one page to another within Angel, when you do the Settings, you have to check the "no banner" box. You'll have to set the anchor (  <a name="anchor"> and put in the closing element </a>   ). To go to the destination, you'll have to make you link and find the <a href. Just before the "> business you'll paste in the destination name as #destination so that the end of the <a href ends something like page2#destination">. Put in your "destination" anchor. Put in an <a href with the #anchor to get you back to where you started.

Anyway, it's the "no banner" checkbox that will allow linking between pages. If it isn't checked, you'll be frustrated that the answer you'll get from an expert is "Frames."

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Spying on quiz takers (10/31/2008)

I have daily quizzes with each lecture (38 during the semester). Students are not allowed to use notes, and I can't monitor that, but I construct the lectures in such a way that students can't download anything of much benefit to them. They have to take notes like in a classroom setting.

Because of the way I've set up the lectures, students are sometimes tempted to go back into the course to look for answers to quiz questions. One way to monitor that while you're checking attendance it to run the "Class" "Logged Activity Report." Normally it will show "Submitted" in the fourth column immediately after "Delivered."

But students who have wandering eyes will have something like the following:

10/30/08 18:55 [QUIZ] ArtQuiz5 [Delivered]
10/30/08 18:58 [FOLDER] Art Lecture 5
10/30/08 18:58 [PAGE] Art5aMedia
10/30/08 18:58 [PAGE] Art5cMedia
10/30/08 18:59 [PAGE] Art5Transm
10/30/08 19:00 [PAGE] Art5aMedia
10/30/08 19:00 [PAGE] Art5Transh
10/30/08 19:01 [QUIZ] ArtQuiz5 [Submitted]

Because they're online, they think no one is watching (I guess). I can't catch the ones who are using notes, but I can send a gentle e-mail to those who display behavior as above.

Sometimes you can spot students who may be conferring from IP Addresses where a quiz is started within minutes of a previous one being submitted. Sometimes you can catch questionable behavior when you get two exactly identical bizarre answers to a fill-in question. In that instance, it would be better if you were in an Assessment rather than a Quiz, so you can see the names of the students who submitted the whacko answers, though you can track it down in a Quiz by hunting in each submitted quiz individually. It takes time, but it's fun.

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Relying on "Last Logon" to verify attendance (10/27/2008)

In the Report tab, you can check to see who didn't log on since the last time you checked attendance. Category: WhoDunIt; Report: Last Logon. But it's not accurate. You also need to run Category: Class; Logged Activity Report. You can export it as a .csv and open it (and manipulate it) in Excel. (I'm on a Mac, so I have to add the .csv extension first before opening the file.) Some students have figured out that if they just log on and log off, which takes less than a minute, it will keep them off the WhoDunIt report.

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Video clips and instructor commentary simultaneously (10/13/2008)

Have you ever shown a video clip in your online class and kept interrupting with commentary? Me too. I usually put my comments below the video and the students would have to scroll back and forth. I have a solution to the scrolling back and forth part.

Here are some questions to consider while you're watching the video.

1. First Question?

2. Second Question? answer

3. Third Question? answer

First answer.

Second answer. Why would that be? answer

Because I'm the teacher and I said so.

Third answer.
That's the end of the questions.

Before, when I've had something to say, I'd write it below the video and students would have to scroll back and forth between the video and the commentary and they would become frustrated with all that mousing. By placing the commentary to the right side of the video, everything is visible all the time and you can still irritate them.

In this demo, I'm just showing you how the commentary works, so the video isn't active. WTClass can set up the Flash video, but you might need to go to the faculty development lab in the HELC basement to make the .avi. You can go into View Source and steal the code, however, if you want to embed the video.

You can also steal the code for the commentary. One of the commentaries I made had 20 questions for the seven-minute video clip, so the scrolling field was great. When the student clicked "Return," I put in an anchor so that the top question was the next one s/he would attempt. That was to help students keep track of where they were.

Since everything was on the same page, students can start and stop the video with the spacebar, which I thought was convenient.

Anyway, here's a way to talk to the students while they're watching the video.

Here is the code. If you're not a WTClass person, you'll have to modify the code.

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Sending a mass e-mail and keeping it completely anonymous (9/9/2008)

Let's say you want to send an e-mail from within Angel to some of your students but there are too many to send individual e-mails and, if you send a group e-mail, you don't want the students to see who else got the message about failing the first test.

The solution is to send the e-mail to yourself in the To box and put the students in the BCC box. When you view the e-mail in the Inbox, however, it shows all the dang students (and that was really scary the first time I did it)! To test BCC, I sent an e-mail to Bill Clark and Anson Henthorn and myself, and the blind copy does not reveal the other recipients. It's truly blind. Only in Angel will it show the BCC recipients (and that could be a good thing), but the students won't know who else received the nasty note.

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Dealing with usernames in Angel (9/5/2008)

Do you know how annoying it is to go into Pending Items of a Quiz or to click on the new feature in an Assessment (UserName) and all you get that 14-character string of upper case/lower case mumbo-jumbo ending in JtOs or vitrY or worse yet VETRO and you don't know who in the world you're about to delete or who you caught in the act of cheating? Me too. Here's a way to beat Angel at its own game since you can't sort the UserName  in Roster like you can in an View/Grade/Delete screen of a quiz!

1. Go into your Roster.
2. Select everything from "Edit" through the very last "Send Notification" on that Roster page. (Place the cursor to the left of the first "Edit," hold down the mouse button and drag through the last "Send Notification," and release the mouse button. All the text should be highlighted in blue.)
3. Copy the selection into memory.
4. Open an Excel spreadsheet and paste in the selected text.
5. Go get the next batch from Roster and repeat steps 2-4 until you've reached the last name
6. When you are finished, delete the columns you don't need, move the UserName code to the left of the person's name, and then sort by UserName.
7. Depending on how many names you have, you can either print the information from the spreadsheet or copy it into memory and paste it into MSWord and put it into columns.
8. Now you have a ready reference of the UserName codes with the accompanying user's real name.

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