20 Mar 2016 ............... Length about 900 words (7,000 bytes).
(Document started on 18 Mar 2016.)
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My notes on setting up the NBarr ACJ software for my exercise
Department of Psychology,
University of Glasgow.
- Would be very helpful to see the original file name, with the whole
file-path, as well as the encoded tag, on the upload page.
This is important:
- To see what didn't upload, which given the human user errors and the
software bugs which stop uploading working as desired, is needed all the time.
- When a ranking is completed, a further vital use of this is to link back
to the meaningless code names of each item to a location where my students
could then find it.
Not having the filename means that after ranking is complete I will have to
have 2 windows open, opening each file in the ACJ upload window to see what it
is, then doing the same in a window with my files listed, to try to match them
up: long, tedious, and completely unnecessary work.
- There is no display of the criterion or any instructions
(except to the teacher upload view).
Having the criterion in the window with each pair displayed is important.
- When, as a student rater, I click "was involved, gimme a diff. pair" it
just gives me the same pair again.
If it doesn't work, then hide the button.
- What does "allocation" mean? how does it know how many student judges are
- Seems to only upload 20 files at a time. Cuts off after 20 files. So
have to do a second upload selecting the remainder ...
- Can't give a URL, only pdf from file-chooser.
If I change it so it is students who put in URL, and change my role to student,
and give it a URL, it says "unknown submission type"
- On upload page, can't close PDF viewer (to see the list better).
- Would be helpful to have a delete button on upload page, unless it
overwrites versions of a file. But better a delete button so it doesn't
matter if the new version has a different name: you could delete the old and so
still wouldn't have both files in the set.
- I'm setting my students to do 3 rankings at once. So would be very
useful to have simple visual way to distinguish the 3 when a student is in the
middle of them. Have to do a cumbersome workround in Moodle to give even a hint
- Naming in the teacher setup of the software is misleading: had to phone
to find out what settings to use. E.g. "all submissions are uploaded by
teachers" vs. "What would you like students to do?: Upload a PDF file"
In general, the idea that teachers see the settings, students only the
ACJ user interface is sensible, but is not signalled to the teacher.
Similarly, that actually all the settings can be done in the ACJ setup, so no
need to worry about the Moodle-activity settings again after the first visit:
it is good, but not clear to the teacher-user.
How-to instrs to me
- What's good:
- MUST not use IE browser. Advise students to use Chrome on std. stud.
- Having access controlled through Moodle and so course membership.
- That this software lets me open/close/re-open the ranking contributions
very quickly and easily. (Evasys has some major pains here, with whole surveys
being destroyed with their data at a single click; that once collection is
stopped it can never be re-opened.)
- Software only does PDFs not URLs at the moment, and anyway probably
wouldn't work well with multi-web-page html docs. So I should convert to 1-doc
- I created a directory in my Unix web space; and on desktop can drag/copy
PDF files into it from elsewhere (could be aliases/ symb-links).
Then can upload conveniently to Niall software. After ranking, can put a link
on the course page to that directory, and use default HTML dir listing in the
- To get round the PDF viewer being open on upload page, get rid of var-val
in page URL and reload.
- I've NOT taken Niall's advice in setting his software to open in a new
window, because of doing a workround in Moodle where I have to make it do the
new window then re-use the new window for the ACJ software.
Otherwise two new windows are created each time.
This in turn is because Moodle only allows coloured highlighting of link-text
in a label, not in the normal appearance of an Activity. So I put the
activities somewhere not noticicable; create HREF links from text inside a
Label to the activities, so I can use colours to help emphasise that three
different rankings are beign collected in parallel.
- To install ACJ in your Moodle page:
- In Moodle, turn editing on, use the "Add an Activity" menu;
- (On the menu:) Select "External tool"
- In the Edit Settings page (of the ACJ activity),
which you are dumped straight into:
- Set "Activity Name" (it will appear on main moodle page; but is easy to
re-edit there too).
- Set "External tool type" to "ACJ experimental"
- And set "Launch container" to "New window" if you follow Niall's advice.
- Save the Moodle activity setup; and return to main page.
- Click on the activity and if your role is "teacher" then you are sent
straight into the setup page internal to the ACJ software;
otherwise straight into the pairwise rating activity.
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