Assessing and Grading Discussions
This guide will show how to grade and assess Discussions in VU Collaborate. This is a great way to encourage students to interact with teachers, the content and each other.
If you have not already created your Discussions and associated grade item, see Using Discussions.
See the points below for the steps of how to assess and grade discussions.
1. From the main navigation bar within the space currently being used, select Communication and then Discussions.
You can see notifications in the Updates Widget (bell up the top of the screen with an orange dot) informing you of the new unread discussion messages. You can click this link, but it will only appear when they have not been viewed.
1. In the Discussions list, find the Discussion topic you would like to assess. Click the small drop-down arrow to the right of the title and select Assess Topic.
2. Click the Assessments tab and select the student you would like to assess.
3. An assessment window will open in a new window. There you can view the student's topic message under the General Feedback box.
4. In the assessment window you can type in feedback in the General Feedback area and enter a score by clicking the empty Topic Score on the top right-hand corner. You can then Save as Draft or Publish the feedback and score.
Selecting Publish will automatically publish the feedback and grade to the student. Saving a Draft will allow you to edit the score again before publishing.
When you created your Discussion, you will have selected how to score – see Step Four of Using Discussions – and this will determine how your scoring is calculated.
1. Publishing or saving a draft will return you to the Assessments menu within Discussions. A score will appear in the numerical and percentage form.
2. If you saved the score as a draft, tick the checkbox in the column next to the student of choice to have their score and feedback published, press the Publish Feedback button to publish the selected status.
If you do not tick the checkbox and Publish Feedback, students will not see their grade.
Entered data is automatically saved.
3.1 Scoring and Creating Feedbacks within the Grade Book
1. Scores which are given within discussions sync with the grade-book.
Grades and Feedback can also be directly added into the grade-book; they will automatically transfer to the discussion area fter they have been saved.
2. To access the Grade Book and edit scores and feedback, first select Assessment in the navbar and press Grades in the dropdown menu.
3. In the Grade Items area, select the Dropdown arrow next to the grade item associated with the Discussion activity and select Enter Grades in the dropdown menu.
4. In the Grade Book you can enter a score for a student by selecting the Grade box in the Grade column. You can also type feedback by selecting the Pen icon in the comments column.
5. Selecting the Submission Icon in the Submission column will open the assessment window found within Step Two allowing you to update the score and feedback.
Posts and Threads can be edited by students before the due date or locking of a Discussion Assessment.
Students who are the creator of a Thread can edit their specific Thread if necessary. No other Thread can be edited by that student. Students can also edit individual posts they have produced and replied to.
1. To view an edited Post or Thread you will notice a Pen Icon next to the heading of each Discussion Type. If a Discussion Type has not been edited, there will be no Pen Icon.
2. To view all Discussion Types including the original before it was edited, select the dropdown arrow next to the heading of an edited Post or Thread and select View Post History.
3. The History window will open showcasing all previous edits, the original text will be at the bottom of the list. Press close to close the history window after viewing.
All updates including the last updated post or thread will be listed under Message Changes.
1. Discussions can be locked to stop participants from creating and editing posts and threads.
This feature is suitable for a Discussion Thread that is apart of an assessment or caters towards a mark.
2. To add this setting, select Communication then Discussions.
3. In the Discussions list, find the Discussion topic you would like to assess. Click the small drop-down arrow to the right of the title to access the dropdown menu and select Edit Topic.
4. Once in the Edit Topic Settings, select the Restrictions tab and scroll down the page until you see Locking Options.
5. There are three locking settings available for use.
- Unlock Topic - this allows participants to continue to post, create and edit within the Discussion
- Lock Topic - this will completely lock participants from posting, creating and editing within the Discussion, participants can only view within the Discussion space.
- Unlock Topic for a specific date range - this leaves a window of time for participants to create, post and edit their threads and posts before the topic locks the participants out, just like the second setting. This option is recommended for Discussions under strict assessment or exam-like conditions.
Locking a Topic can only be unlocked again if you select Unlock Topic and save the changes before closing the edit settings.
5.1 How to use Unlock Topic for a specific date range
1. Select the radio selection next to the third setting, Unlock Topic for a specific date range to activate the setting options. Then tick the two tickable boxes to turn on the Has Start Date and Has End Date settings.
2. Press the Date to open the virtual calendar, then select the month and day of choice you would like the discussion space to be available for editing by participants.
The Has End Date setting is the same process; choose a month and date the discussion space should close editing availability for participants.
3. Press the Time to open a dropdown list of hours to select from, the time selected for each setting will indicate the start time and end time of allowed editing time for participants.
Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service http://servicedesk.vu.edu.au for further technical support.