Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Using what I have learned.

This post is an illustration of using what I have learned in this course. I needed to grab a screen image to show our staff a problem I am having with gradequick.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Manipulating Data

I have had experience working with Excel spreadsheets before, especially the formula tools, so this assignment was relatively straight-forward. I did learn how to create multiple worksheets and combine information between them. This is a very powerful feature. In the distant past, we had to simply make one huge spreadsheet and then manipulate the cells within that one spreadsheet. This was very awkward and cumbersome. The ability to 'link' between worksheets is a feature I will be using from now on.

The only real trouble I had was the final step, emailing the Excel spreadsheet to Dr. Pierce. I uploaded the Excel file to GDocs and published it. I then went into Gmail and created an email to Dr. Pierce. When I attached the file to my email, Gmail went to my home PC and uploaded the file, apparently as an Excel file. I sent it out, CC to myself to check it out. I found that the 'Download' option on opening the attachment allows one to get the original file, formatted the way I set it up.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Creating an Assessement in Google Docs

I have created an assessment for my Earth Science course. They will have a chapter test on Friday and I plan to give them this quiz on Thursday to motivate them to study Thursday night.

I found that editing the quiz after I had saved it was a bit tricky. I had to open the file given in the sent email to allow editing of the questions. You must make any later changes to you quiz by using the file that has the Google Docs menu active, most of the cases the menu was inactive (grey). Now go to the Form menu and select Edit Form. This will allow you to directly edit the questions just as when you were composing the quiz. VERY IMPORTANT, look at the link at the bottom of the Form/Quiz page in black and tells you that you can see form at this address. Highlight and COPY the entire address. I believe that this is your only chance to grab the link to the quiz, so DO IT NOW. Paste it into the blog editor immediately.

After changes are saved, all the versions of the quiz are updated, even the version displayed in this blog. I also had trouble finding a link to the quiz after I finished the quiz as discussed above. Apparently that info is gone after you close the Save screen. I later found the file address when I edited the quiz and created a link to my Rocks Assessment. I also embedded the quiz in this blog but this embedded structure greatly slowed the loading of my blog. Thus I opted to delete the embedded version.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Create a Lab Report Rubric using RubiStar

Rubrics have become common in high school assessments, especially in the humanities. In addition to using them as a less subjective alternative to assigning grades, they also convey to the students what is expected of their work. I see this second function as a more beneficial use of rubrics.

I signed on to RubiStar and created a rubric for a science lab report. I have expended a great deal of time and effort to teach my students was a proper lab report should contain. Unfortunately I see time and time again that they have not learned what I have tried to teach them! Hopefully this rubric will help.

RubiStar is straight forward and intuitive. I saved the lab report rubric and a rubric about simple graphing on the Rubistar permanent storage so I can retrieve them later. There are several ways to output the finished rubric and I played around until I was satisfied that the regular Excel was the best way to go. I retrieved my lab report rubric from their storage and saved it as an Excel file to my home computer. I then uploaded it into GDocs and published it (Share, with everyone, view but not edit). It appeared to be saved into Google spreadsheets. You can see it here.

I was not happy with the Excel format that the rubric was displayed in, so I copied and pasted the rubric into Word, edited it and uploaded it to GDocs. I will probably use this version to show my students.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Publishing a MovieMaker version of Drake Equation Presentation on YouTube

I created a MovieMaker version on my Drake Equation presentation. This was fairly straight-forward using Dr. Pierce's Sample Video. My biggest problem was adding narration at the right moments.

I published the Drake Equation video on YouTube. You can view it here.

I embedded the video directly onto this blog entry, using the instructional video in YouTube Help. Simply go to the Embed window while the video is running, highlight code, copy and paste onto the blog editor (remember to be in the Edit Html mode when you paste).