All posts by Pinelopi Zaka

I am a Flexible Learning Advisor at the University of Canterbury, working with the e-Learning Support team (ELS). I see learning as an exciting journey!

Flipped teaching and learning in a foundational engineering course

Ako project team

From left to right: Pinelopi Zaka , Dr Paul Docherty, Dr Wendy Fox-Turnbull

A collaboration between Dr Paul Docherty (School of Mechanical Engineering), Dr Wendy Fox-Turnbull (School of Teacher Education) and Pinelopi Zaka (e-Learning Support) provided research driven validation of flipped teaching strategy in foundational engineering. The flipped approach proved to be a successful pedagogical mechanism for this unique cohort of students and was well-received. The research was also successful and has yielded three conference submissions and three journal papers have been submitted. Details of the research outcomes can be seen on the Ako Aotearoa website https://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/projects/flipped-classroom-foundation-engineering.

UC Learn upgrade & e-Learning staff workshops

The e-Learning Support team invites UC staff to our e-Learning workshop series that are taking place from the 19th January to the 25th of February (We will be offering the same workshops every week for six weeks so people can choose the day and time that best suits them). These hands-on workshops focus on important new Learn features and cover the following topics:

  • What’s new in Learn 3.0? Click here to find out more!
  • Assessing students in Learn
  • Configuring the new Learn Gradebook
  • Tracking student engagement in Learn

Form more information about the workshops including times and venues click here.

Feel free to contact e-Learning Support for any questions 🙂

Gradebook on the go

If you are a UC staff member or student, you are almost certainly using Learn, since nearly 100% of UC’s undergraduate courses have an online learning environment in Learn. Learn is the University of Canterbury’s Learning Management system which is based on Moodle, an open source software platform used worldwide. Learn is being used in a variety of ways across UC, from sharing of resources and communicating with students, to engaging students in online self-paced learning with blended and distance courses.

One of the most useful features in Learn (and commonly used) is the Gradebook. It is a powerful feature which – if set up properly – can provide teachers and students with a clear overview of all assessed items and grades in the course. It can calculate course totals based on different aggregation methods and provides teachers with the opportunity to export grades. But how can you set it up properly? Below is a list of steps you can take to get you started.

1.  Start with pen and paper

Write down an overview of your Course assessment plan:

  • What types of assessment is your course going to have? E.g. Essay, online quiz, participation.
  • What is the weight of each of the assessments?
  • What is each item going to be marked out of?
  • What type of grade do you want to show to the students (e.g. real, letter, percentage)?
  • Is the assessment taking place online or offline? For example, assignment submissions and quizzes can take place online. Participation and in-class presentations take place offline.
2.  Understand your course’s Gradebook

Access your course’s Gradebook from the course main menu link or via Course Administration, Grades. See how many items it includes. Some of them will be linked to an online activity (e.g. an assignment submission box or online quiz). Others may be manual items representing offline activities (e.g. in-class presentation, participation). See an example here.

3.  Tidy up!

Select Full view of Categories and items to see how each of these items is set up. Are there any items you will not need? Are there any items missing? See an example here.

  • To delete an item linking to an online activity: find the online activity in the course and delete it from the section where it is located.
  • To delete a manual item: click on X on its right while looking at the Full view of Categories and items in the Gradebook.
  • To create an item linking to an online activity: go back to the course section where you want the activity to be and create it. It will then automatically appear in the Gradebook.
  • To create a manual item representing an offline activity: select Add grade item, while in the Gradebook, looking at Full view of Categories and items.
4.  Set up the aggregation method

Once you have all the items you want in the Gradebook, set up the aggregation method. The easiest aggregation method you can use is Weighted mean of Grades. This allows you to use different maximum marks and different weights. For example, a quiz may be marked out of 50 and have 30 as weight in the Gradebook. Make sure you Save changes when finished. Other aggregation methods you may use include Sum of Grades (marks for each item are added) or Simple weighted mean of grades (an item’s maximum grade is used as its weight).

5.  Request additional help

There are other settings that you can configure in the Gradebook, such as grade visibility, type of grade shown to students (e.g. real, letter, percentage etc). Your Flexible Learning Advisor is able to provide you with additional support in setting up your Gradebook and looking at these aspects. Having your piece of paper with the notes described in 1 when you meet your FLA will help you both in setting it up easier and faster!

See also: Moodle Gradebook help