GradeMark Paperless Grading

GradeMark is a paperless grading system that gives instructors the ability to add comments and corrections to assignments submitted electronically. It is a tool offered within Turnitin, the plagiarism detection software product used at JHU. With its drag and drop functionality, among other features, GradeMark has the potential to save instructors a great deal of time when grading online assignments.  It is also easily integrated with Blackboard.

(Note: In order to use GradeMark, online assignments must be created using Turnitin. If using Turnitin within Blackboard, accounts are automatically created for instructors and students through the Blackboard system. If using Turnitin outside of Blackboard, the instructor is responsible for creating separate accounts for each student. Please click here for more information on Turnitin’s integration with Blackboard.)

Screen shot showing example of using GradeMark

GradeMark contains several different grading features:

  • Dragging and Dropping Quickmarks – Quickmarks are frequently used comments that are readily available to drag and drop into a student’s assignment. While viewing an assignment, the instructor can select from a panel of standard Quickmarks that come with GradeMark, or from a custom set that s/he has created.  For example, the abbreviation ‘Awk.’ is a Quickmark indicating an awkward phrase. The ability to drag and drop Quickmarks to an assignment, instead of typing them over and over again, can save instructors a lot of time.
  • General Comments – Each assignment has a generous space where general comments can be added.  General comments can be used to further clarify any Quickmarks that were added as well as discuss the assignment as a whole.
  • Voice Comments – A recent addition to GradeMark is the ability to add voice comments. A voice comment can be added to the assignment lasting up to three minutes in length.  An instructor can use the built-in microphone in his/her computer to easily record the message.
  • Rubrics – Rubrics created within GradeMark can help streamline the grading process by using a ‘scorecard’ approach. Specific criteria and scores are defined in a rubric that is then associated with an assignment. Instructors grade the assignment by filling in the scores based on the evaluative criteria in the rubric. There is also the option of associating Quickmarks with rubrics when they are added to the assignment.

Students are able to view their graded assignments when the ‘post date’ is reached. The post date is set by the instructor when setting up the assignment. Students have the option to print or save a copy of the graded assignment and can view only their own submissions.

GradeMark Logo showing grade book and apple

Advantages:

  • Flexibility in marking up assignments – Quickmarks, rubrics, text, voice comments all available.
  • Time saved dragging and dropping reusable comments.
  • Increased consistency in grading.
  • Clear feedback to students, instead of ‘scribbled margins.’
  • Opportunity to provide more detailed feedback to students including links and resources.
  • No need to download assignments – everything is web-based, stored online.
  • If the instructor is using Blackboard, when the assignment is graded the grade is automatically transferred and recorded into the Blackboard Grade Center.

Amy Brusini, Course Management Training Specialist
Center for Educational Resources


Image sources: Amy Brusini screen shot of GradeMark example; GradeMark logo

VoiceThread – “Conversations in the Cloud”

VoiceThread is web-based presentation application that allows users to create and share interactive multimedia slideshows. VoiceThread presentations are used to showcase audio, video, images, and documents while allowing users to comment on them in a variety of different ways. Comments can be made using a microphone, a webcam, uploading a prerecorded audio file, using a phone, or by simply typing text. There is also a “doodle” tool which can be used to annotate presentations with digital overlay while leaving a comment.  The result is an ongoing, asynchronous, digital conversation that can be easily shared with individuals, groups, and/or embedded into different websites, including Blackboard.

Image for VoiceThread application. Conversations in the Cloud.

Originally developed at the University of North Carolina, VoiceThread has been used at  the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Public Health for several years. IT@JH recently obtained a university-wide license for all members of the Hopkins community; instructors and students from all JHU schools now have the ability to access VoiceThread free of charge.

At JHU and other institutions, instructors and students have been very creative in the ways they are using VoiceThread. Here are some examples of how this tool is being used:

  • Student presentation tool – Students can use VoiceThread to create individual or group presentations on any number of topics, which can then be shared with the class.  An added advantage – students can watch and comment on each other’s presentations outside of class, freeing up valuable class time.
  • Online lecture tool – Instructors can use VoiceThread to create online lectures for fully online classes or as a supplement to face-to-face classes.
  • Peer assessment – Students can use VoiceThread to share assignments (papers, images, audio, video clips, etc.) with their peers for comments and critique.
  • Foreign language assessment – VoiceThread is especially useful to foreign language instructors who would like to hear their students speak. Instructors can create a presentation (upload an audio recording, image, video clip, etc.) which students then have to translate, describe, or narrate, for example.
  •  Brainstorming session – Students and instructors can use VoiceThread to brainstorm ideas for project topics, group presentation strategies, etc.
  • Digital storytelling – In groups or independently, students can use VoiceThread to create interactive digital stories using various media artifacts (audio, images, etc.).
  • Review Session – Students can use VoiceThread to record a content review session in preparation for a test or exam.
  • Facilitate Discussions – Students can present a topic and then facilitate a class discussion in VoiceThread about the topic.
  • Student Introductions – Especially helpful in a fully online environment, students and instructors can use VoiceThread to introduce themselves, helping to build a sense of community.

JHU instructors and students can go to http://jhu.voicethread.com and login with their JHED ID and password.  All users are automatically set up with a ‘Basic’ account that they can begin using immediately. There is no software to download as all VoiceThread presentations are created and stored in the “cloud.”

Additional Resources
VoiceThread Overview: https://www.voicethread.com/about/features/
VoiceThread ‘How-To’ Basics: https://www.voicethread.com/support/howto/Basics/
JHSPH VT Site: https://sites.google.com/site/ctltteachingtoolkit/resources/voicethread

Amy Brusini, Course Management Training Specialist
Center for Educational Resources


Image Source: VoiceThread image [http://d25wzyo6b5ic8t.cloudfront.net/rev/c32981bd/media/custom/www/banner_cloud.jpg] edited by Macie Hall

These are a few of our favorite… apps!

Faculty often ask CER staff about our favorite smart phone apps. There are many categories of apps including entertainment, games, books, lifestyle, productivity, communication, collaboration, news, shopping, social, and education. This post will focus on apps that can enrich the teaching experience or help instructors with their daily work flow.

Control
Apps like “Gmote” for Android and “Touch Mouse” for iOS allow you to control a computer’s cursor from across the room using your smart phone. This can un-tether instructors or presenters from podiums and allow them to walk about freely while controlling their presentations. The “Crestron Mobile for iOS”  and “Crestron Mobile for Android” apps allow these devices to control lights, media, climate and projector controls remotely in any of the “smart” classrooms at JHU. Contact IT@JH for information on using this app in specific classrooms on the JHU Homewood campus.

File Management
Android has a convenient app for managing the files on your device: “ES File Explorer.” With it you can move, copy, rename, make folders, and even unzip compressed packages. It also comes with a simple text/image viewer to give you a better sense of the content of a file.

File Transfer
When you need to make files available for multiple people to view later or on a different computer, “Dropbox” for iOS and Android lets you store your files “in the cloud” for sharing. Using “SkyDrive” with your Windows Phone affords a similar ever-present file repository.

Note Taking
Simplenote” and “Evernote” are very popular, easy to use programs that let you
take notes, tag them, and sync them with your computer from an iOS device. The
latter has more features, such as storing audio, images, and maps, and it is available
for both Android and WP7.5. WP7.5 also comes with “OneNote Mobile,” which
gives you more features than the basic note taking app.

 Photography
One of the most useful aspects of a smart phone is the ability to take photos. Each
device comes with basic camera functionality, but apps like “Camera Zoom FX” for Android and “Camera+” for iOS will give you control of the camera’s settings, increase the chances you’ll take a good photo, and support post-production editing/enhancing of the photos. “Thumba Photo Editor” for WP7.5 also allows you to extend your post-production editing options and edit GPS data. If a single photo doesn’t do your location justice, apps like “360 Panorama” and “PhotoSynth” for iOS and WP7.5 can stitch photos together for a panoramic experience.

Reader
The portability of a smart phone makes it easier to bring your normally heavy
reading material with you wherever you go. Apps like “Instapaper” and “Pocket” (formerly Read It Later) for iOS and Android allow you to save, sort, and share webpages with or
without images for reading anytime, even if you don’t have a cellphone signal or
wireless internet connection. The “GoodReader” app for iOS is a robust reader
that allows you to render just about any file, annotate PDFs, view videos and share
what you’ve read with others. The “Kindle” app is available for every device; it
allows you to sync and read all your purchased Amazon e-books.

Reference
With information at your fingertips anytime, reference apps like “Merriam-
Webster’s Dictionary” for iOS and Android will ensure you are never at a loss for
words. And when your reference material needs to be translated to different languages,
“Google Translate,” also for iOS and Android, allows you to write or speak words
for translation to over 20 different languages. “Wolfram Alpha,” another great reference
app available for iOS and Android, gives you robust answers to technical questions.

Task Management
Everyday tasks can be managed through your smart phone using apps like
Remember the Milk” on an iOS or Android device; Windows Phone has a task
manager built in. Staying on schedule is made easier by the app’s ability to sort,
send notifications, and sync with your computer.

Where to get apps
Online app stores are available for each device operating system:

Reid Sczerba, Multimedia Developer
Center for Educational Resources


Image source: © Reid Sczerba