Assessing (evaluating) a discussion topic

  1. Setting up assessment
  2. Assessing users
  3. Linking an assessment to a grade item
  4. Rating discussion messages
  5. Associating activities with a learning objective

Setting up assessment

You can evaluate users' individual messages and have Learning Environment automatically calculate a topic score for each user, or you can assign a topic score directly to each user. If you choose to assess individual messages, you can specify how you want the system to calculate each user’s overall topic score.

Configure a topic for assessment

  1. On the Discussions List page, click Edit Topic from the context menu of the topic you want to configure.
  2. Click the Assessment tab.
  3. If you want to link a topic score to a grade item, select your Grade Item from the drop-down list.
  4. Specify the number you want to Score Out of. This is the scale, ranging from zero to the number you enter that users are evaluated on. For example, if you enter 15, users are assessed on a scale from zero to fifteen.
  5. Click Add Rubric to associate the topic with a rubric. Click the Create Rubric in New Window link to create a new rubric. (See Creating a rubric for more information.)
  6. If you want to assess individual messages (rather than assigning an overall topic score directly for each user):
    1. Select the Assess each message and automatically calculate the topic score check box.
    2. Select the Calculation method you want to use to determine users’ overall topic scores based on message scores.
    3. By default, unassessed messages are ignored when calculating the topic score. However, if you want the calculation to treat unassessed messages as if those messages had received a score of zero, select the Include unassessed messages in the calculated score as zerocheck box.
  7. Click Save.

Back to top

Assessing users

Once a topic is configured for assessment, you can assess users from two places: inside the topic while reading messages, or on the Assess Topic page. Assessing users from within the topic lets you read users’ messages in context and evaluate as you perform other reading-related tasks (approving messages, marking messages read, replying, etc.). Assessing users from the Assess Topic page enables you to see topics scores for all users and view all of a user’s messages together on one screen.

Note  If a topic uses message approval, you must approve a message before you can assess it.

Assess users from within a topic

  1. On the Discussions List page, click on the topic you want to assess.
  2. Do one of the following:
    To assess In Do this
    Individual messages The Grid Style message list
    1. Ensure the Assess each message and automatically calculate the topic score check box is selected in the Assessment tab of the Edit Topic page.
    2. On the Discussions List page, click on the topic you want to assess.
    3. Click on the user's message.
    4. Click Assess from the More Actions button to assess message.
     
    Individual messages The Reading Style message list
    1. Ensure the Assess each message and automatically calculate the topic score check box is selected in the Assessment tab of the Edit Topic page.
    2. On the Discussions List page, click on the topic you want to assess.
    3. Click on the user's message.
    4. Click the Assess link beneath the user's name.
     
    The topic as a whole The Grid Style message list
    1. On the Discussions List page, click on the topic you want to assess.
    2. Click on the user's message, then click Assess from the More Actions button.
     
    The topic as a whole The Reading Style message list
    1. On the Discussions List page, click on the topic you want to assess.
    2. Click on the user's message.
    3. Click the Assess link beneath the user's name.
     
  3. Enter the Message Score or Topic Score.
  4. Click Save then Close.

Assess users from the Assess Topic page

  1. On the Discussions List page, click Assess Topic from the context menu of the topic you want to assess.

    Tip  If the Score column is empty on the Assess Topic page, click the Manage Columns button, select the Score Value and Percentage check boxes, click Save.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • On the Users tab, click Topic Score beneath the name of the user you want to assess.
    • In the Assessments tab, click the name of the user you want to assess.

    Tip  In either tab, you can search for specific users by typing all or part of a user’s name or user ID in the Search For field and clicking Search. You can also filter the view to display members of a specific group or section by selecting from the View By drop-down list and clicking Apply.

  3. In the View Topic Score window, do one of the followingt:
    • If you are evaluating the entire topic holistically, enter a score for the user in the Topic Score field.
    • If you are evaluating individual messages of the topic, enter a score for one or more messages in the Score column at the bottom of the page.

      Note  If a user’s messages are displayed across multiple pages, be sure to save the page before navigating to another page of messages. Any new message scores entered are lost if you change pages without saving.

      You can also enter comments in the Feedback field.

  4. Click Save then Close.

Back to top

Linking an assessment to a grade item

You can link a topic’s score to a grade item in your course’s grade book so that users’ scores are automatically transferred to the grade book. This enables you to factor the topic score into users’ final grades for the course. It also enables you to display the result to users; users cannot view their topic score directly through the Discussions tool, but they can view their grades in the grade book.

Note  You can only link numeric grade items to discussion topics.

Releasing topic scores to the grade book

You assess topics linked to grade items in the same way you assess stand-alone topics, by assigning a score to each message or to each user for the topic overall. However, Learning Environment will not update the grade item until you release the score to the grade book. This prevents inaccurate grades from being displayed before you are finished assessing users.

When you release the topic score, Learning Environment updates the grade item in the grade book. Any additional changes you make to a user’s score are automatically sent to the grade book.

Release a topic score to the grade book

  1. On the Discussions List page, click Assess Topic from the context menu of the topic you want to release scores for.
  2. On the Assess Topic page, do one of the following:
    • Select the check box in the Graded column beside each user whose score you want to release to the grade book, then click Save.
    • If you want to release scores for all users, click Mark All Graded.

Tip  You can also release a user’s score in the same place that you enter it by selecting the Graded check box.

Back to top

Rating discussion messages

Message ratings can be effective in shared discussions where a lot of messages might be posted over a long period of time. Message ratings enable the community to collectively assess the value of each message, which helps significant messages gain prominence as they collect the highest ratings over time. This helps everyone find messages that are regularly referenced as classic contributions, and helps new users focus on the most important messages posted in the past. Your rating is anonymous.

Some of your courses may use message ratings. Each message’s Rating is a five-star scale. The Average Rating scale is displayed beneath it as a row of five blue stars. Click on the starts in the Rating section to rate the message, and view the filled-in stars in the Average Rating section to see the average rating for the message. A message's average rating displays beside the message.

Tip  You can search by average rating in Search Options to find the highest rated messages. In a large discussion, this is a good way to find the most helpful and agreeable responses.

Enable message rating

  1. On the Discussions List page, click Settings.
  2. In the Org Unit Settings section, select the Messages can be rated check box.
  3. Click Save.

Users also need the permissions Rate Messages and See Average Message Ratings to enable message rating.

Rate a message

In the Rating section beside a user's message, rate the message by clicking on the number of stars you think the message deserves, You can give a maximum of five stars.

Back to top

See also

 

Desire2Learn Help | About Learning Environment
© 1999-2012 Desire2Learn Incorporated. All rights reserved.