Monday, February 13, 2017

Second CaptainTeach Assignment

My first assignment with CaptainTeach was well received by students. They like getting that much feedback and were able to indicate the benefit of reviewing work to familiarize themselves with the instructor's expectations.  The negatives they mentioned were only superficial: CaptainTeach isn't the pretty, commercial software that they are accustomed to. They were able to distinguish between early release software and buggy software; the consensus being that, while not pretty, CaptainTeach works.

This week we are going to use CaptainTeach to have students review tests that they write for a problem statement. Students have a series of problems that they need to solve by the end of the week. The problems are divided into three levels. Today all students are to write series of tests for each of the first group of problems and submit a file with the ten problem statements and their accompanying tests.

My .yaml file for the Captain Teach assignment is below. I am asking students to provide in-line feedback for their classmates' tests, then rate the work on completeness and thoroughness.

name: Function Design Lab Tests
id: tests-1
description: Students review tests for simple functions.  
  - id: Submit-Tests
    instructions: Submit a Pyret file that contains only problem statements and at least three tests per problem. The file extension should be .arr. Your file should not contain your name. An example file name would be function_design_practice.arr. Problems should be labeled from 1 to 10. Problem statements are comments. Tests should be inside of check blocks.
      - student-submission:
          id: Review-Tests
          amount: 3
            - instruction: Review the tests submitted by your classmates. Add at least one inline comment for each test to provide feedback. Your feedback should first attempt to identify one test per problem that your classmate has completed successfully. Next your feedback should suggest possible parts of the domain that should also be tested. Suggest specific values that should be tested.
            - likert: 
                id: completeness
                text: Indicate the number of problems for which the classmate has submitted at least 3 tests.
                min-label: None
                max-label: All
                granularity: 10
            - likert: 
                id: thoroughness
                text: How thoroughly do the tests attempt to tests different values in the domain?
                min-label: Minimal testing
                max-label: Extensive testing
                granularity: 10

Sunday, February 5, 2017

First CaptainTeach Assignment

I assigned a reading from a computer science text book to my 10th grade CS Principles class. They started the summary in class on Friday and had to submit the first two sections of the chapter by the end of the period. The remaining three sections are due before school Monday morning.

I didn't get the quality that I wanted from the first sections submitted on Friday and I thought this might be a good time to start using CaptainTeach. Students will submit the first section of their summary to CaptainTeach and those submissions will be distributed to classmates for review. I've decided to combine the students who will be piloting, so students may receive feedback from a students who are not in their class section.

Here is my first CaptainTeach assignment. Assignments in CaptainTeach are written in a "data serialization format" called YAML. The most important thing to learn was that indentation matters. The assignment asks students to review their classmates summaries using two likert scale questions: (1) does the summary include all important information, (2) is the summary text-based. Finally students are asked to provide any missing information to the student as feedback.

name: PaPl Chapter 3 Summary
id: papl-3
description: Students read chapter 3 of Programming and Programming Languagues and develop a summary of each of the five sections.
  - id: section-1
    instructions: Submit your summary of section 1. Separate your summary of section 1 from the other sections and submit it separately.
      - student-submission:
          id: section-reviews
          amount: 3
            - instruction: Read your classmates summary and provide feedback.
            - likert: 
                id: completeness
                text: Does the summary include all of the elements found in the example?
                min-label: Incomplete
                max-label: Complete
                granularity: 5
            - likert: 
                id: text-based
                text: Is the summary rooted in the text without making inferences or including outside information?
                min-label: Not Text-Based
                max-label: Text-Based
                granularity: 5
            - free-form:
                id: missing-information
                text: If applicable, provide any missing detail to the student that should have been included in their summary.

I was think about having them submit all five sections from the chapter but I think it will be too much and this is really a first test to get the workflow figured out. The first challenge for students will be that they are used to working in Google Docs and have their chapter summary in a single document. They will have to move the first paragraph into a new document, download as a text file and upload to CaptainTeach. I'll need to see how they break down the workflow before planning a larger assignment.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Captain-teach Day 1

I'm beginning to use the captain-teach system, developed at Brown University, to facilitate peer review while an assignment is in progress. I'm going to pilot using this system on two of my 10th grade sections currently enrolled in AP CS Principles. I have a third section that is struggling with engagement and behavior that I am not going to try a new system with in the middle of the year.

AP CS Principles requires students to write about a computing innovation and about an original programming as part of the final course assessment. However, during the administration of these two tasks (8 hours for one, 12 hours for the other) I am not permitted to give students feedback on their work. At the same time they are encouraged to collaborate with each other.

Captain-teach accepts student submissions and distributes them to classmates for peer review. Reviewers can add in-line comments and provide feedback on likert scale determined by the teacher. The system is agnostic about the medium in which students are working, so I can use the same system for developing programs as for developing the documentation and written responses.

Our next unit is analyzing data. Students will need to be able to formulate questions that are answerable with a given data set. Captain-teach should provide a great way for students to give each other feedback on those questions.