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Learning activities

The learning activities application lets you provide different study materials to users, e.g. online lecture notes, sample questions in multiple choice, single choice, or open format, study modules, and sample exams.

General

Learning activities allow you to support your students’ progress by providing them with study materials that are well-structured for efficient studying.

  1. Activate the “Learning activities” application
  2. In the menu bar, click on “New” and select the appropriate item from the drop-down list
  3. Fill in all the required fields and the relevant optional fields and click “Save

The following learning activity items are available:

Folder This allows you to create a folder for structuring your content.
Glossary

You can create a glossary for your students, e.g. to explain technical terms.

Pool folder This item allows you to create a pool of questions from where individual questions can then be drawn at random.
Study module Three types of study modules are available to you to structure content for your students.
Divider Dividers work like sub-headlines and allow you to structure the content of a folder or a study module.
Content This item allows you to create attractive content pages for your students, including text, pictures, tables, videos, and audio elements.
Download You can make individual files or ZIP folders available for download to your students, e.g. PowerPoint slides or PDF files.
Multiple choice question & Single choice question You can use multiple choice or single choice questions to create graded tests or give your students the opportunity to test their knowledge independently.
Cloze This item allows you to create questions where your students have to fill in the blanks. You can choose between drop-down blanks, free text blanks, or answer options to select from.
Assignment This item allows you to create activities where your students have to enter a sentence to answer a question or complete complex exercises and upload their results. Open assignments can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
Combined question This feature allows you to combine up to four types of questions into a combined question. You can combine single choice, multiple choice, and cloze questions. As a teacher, you grade the combined question as a whole, not the individual questions that it includes.
Proxy This item lets you create randomized questions and combine them with an existing pool of questions to reduce the likelihood that different students get the same question.
Sample exam This feature allows you to create a sample exam to simulate a real-life written exam online, including multiple choice, single choice, cloze, and combined questions.

There is no limit to the number of learning activities you can provide to your students. Once you’ve created a learning activity, please don’t forget to publish it, by clicking on the green box , so that your students can see it.

As a teacher, you can switch back and forth between the teacher’s view and the students’ view. When edit mode is turned off, you see the MyLEARN interface as your students see it.

  1. Click the “edit on” button  in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. You’ve now switched to the students’ view.

The button indicates the view you’re currently using.

Edit off Edit mode is currently turned off. By clicking, you can activate edit mode. When edit mode is turned off, the drop-down lists “New” and “Clipboard” are not shown in the menu bar.
Edit on Edit mode is currently turned on. By clicking, you can deactivate edit mode. When edit mode is turned on, you can see the drop-down lists “New” and “Clipboard” in the menu bar.

Creating and editing content is only possible when edit mode is turned on.

You can designate every learning activity either as an assignment or as an exercise.

Assignment Activities designated as assignments let you define a grading mode. Teachers can view the students’ answers, grade them, or give feedback. Assignments can only be completed once, and they are automatically highlighted as to-do items for the students.
Exercise For activities designated as exercises, it is not possible to define a grading mode. These exercises are only intended to help students practice their skills. Teachers cannot view the students’ answers and submissions. You can decide whether an exercise can be done several times over or only once. Exercises are not automatically highlighted as to-do items.

In “edit on” mode, you can change an activity’s status to convert it into an assignment or exercise.

  1. In the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, click on “Learning activities
  2. Click on the appropriate activity (e.g. an existing multiple choice question)
  3. In the menu bar, click on “This page…” and select “Edit” from the drop-down list
  4. Click on “Exercise” if you’d like to designate the activity as an exercise
  5. Click on “Assignment” if you’d like to designate the activity as an assignment
  6. Enter all the further settings
  7. Click on “Save” to save your setting.

It is possible to cross-link materials internally within a community, for instance to show students connections and interrelations between different topics and materials.

  1. In the menu bar of the relevant learning activity, click on “This page…” and select “Edit” from the drop-down list.
  2. Click on the content field and, in the editor, click the icon “Insert internal link.
  3. Use the search function to find the relevant content or click on the relevant content to which you would like to link.
  4. In the “Link label” field, you’ll see the name of the link that you’re about to create. You can edit the link name, if required.
  5. Optionally, you can also enter a “Tooltip” text.
  6. In the drop-down list, select visualization mode.
  7. Click “OK”.
  8. Click on “save”.

By clicking on the link text on the target page, the students can go back to the original page.

The grading scheme defines how a specific type of question is to be graded. You can adjust and customize the scoring for single choice, multiple choice, and cloze questions individually for every course and every course repository in the settings profile. These settings will be applied to all activities that use the respective question type.

  1. In the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, click on “Learning activities
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Learning activities” and select “Einstellungsprofile” (settings profiles) from the drop-down list
  3. In the “Shortname” column, click on “en:parameter_page1” in the line that corresponds to the appropriate course or course repository
  4. In the drop-down lists for the different question types, select the scoring you’d like to use
  5. Click “OK

The scoring scheme set in a course repository is not automatically transferred to the courses connected to the course repository. These settings are only inherited from the course repository if the “eye” icon has been activated. Only then will the grading scheme set for a course repository be displayed automatically in the settings profiles of linked courses.

Only learning activities designated as assignments and graded on a “max. points” basis can be transferred to the gradebook.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on  “Learning activities
  2. Click on the appropriate activity (e.g. an existing multiple choice question)
  3. In the menu bar, click on “This page…” and select “Edit” from the drop-down list
  4. Click on “Assignment
  5. In the drop-down list, select the “max. points” grading mode
  6. Enter the maximum number of points to be earned
  7. Select the appropriate grade release settings from the drop-down list
  8. Enter all the further settings
  9. Click on “Save” to save your settings

If you’re planning to transfer grades to the grade book automatically from the “learning activities” or “assignment” applications, it’s best to keep the default settings in the grade book, i.e. the  "points mode " (Screenshot) .

Copy and transfer regularly

You can use the clipboard to copy and paste or cut and paste learning activities within a community or between communities, or to set up a regular transfer.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities”.
  2. Tick the appropriate checkbox(es) checkbox.png to select one or several activities.
  3. Click on the button “Selected items”.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select “Add to clipboard”.
  5. Go to the place where you would like to insert the content.
  6. In the clipboard, select “Insert content here...”.
  7. Select “copy”.
  8. Tick the checkbox(es)  checkbox.png to select the appropriate content.
  9. Click “OK” to confirm.

Activities available for transferring content via the clipboard:

Copy The content remains unchanged at the original location and a copy is inserted at the destination.
Move The content is deleted from the original location and pasted at the destination.
Transfer regularly The content remains unchanged at the original location and is pasted to the destination and synchronized automatically if you make any changes to the original content.

It is possible to transfer and sync materials from a course repository to specific courses automatically.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities”.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Learning activities” and select “Transfer regularly to courses: Administration” from the drop-down list.
  3. Click on the appropriate semester for the respective course.
  4. Tick the checkbox(es) checkbox.png to select the target course(s) for the regular transfer.
  5. Click the button "Start regular transfer of materials to courses".

To transfer only some selected materials, use the regular transfer option in the clipboard.

Before preparing the materials for the new semester please archive the transfer of materials to the old courses. Thereafter you can regularly transfer materials to the courses of the upcoming semester.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities”.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Learning activities” and select “Transfer regularly to courses: Administration” from the drop-down list.
  3. Click on the appropriate semester for the respective course.
  4. Click the button „Archive transfer of materials to courses“.

All courses in which materials are currently transferred to are then connected to this copy in the archive and not to the actual content in the course repository any more. The learning materials in the course repository are not effected by this operation. After archiving changes to the contents in the course repository are not transferred to the former courses any more but only in those courses for which you start to regularly transfer them.

 

Sample exam, study modules and proxy questions

By creating a sample exam for your students, you can give them the opportunity to practice writing real-life exams. You can include multiple choice, single choice, cloze, and combined questions in your sample exams and specify an exam period during which the students have to complete the exam. For grading purposes, you need to weight the individual questions. You can create sample exams with or without a grading scale.

Creating a sample exam with a grading scale:

  1. In the menu bar under “Learning activities,” click on “Learning activities” and select “Grading scale” from the drop-down list.

  2. In the menu bar, click on “New” and then on “Grading scale”.

  3. Fill in all the required fields and the relevant optional fields and click “Ok” to confirm.

  4. In the menu bar under “Learning activities,” click on “New” and select “Sample Exam” from the drop-down list.

  5. Fill in all the required fields.

  6. Select your pre-defined grading scale or grading key and decide whether you’d like to create the sample exam as an exercise or an assignment.

  7. Define a grading mode and a release date for the grades.

  8. Fill in the additional required fields.

  9. Click on “Save” to save your data.

  10. Publish the sample exam.

  11. You can use the clipboard to add existing questions or you can enter new questions directly within the sample exam. To enter questions directly, go to “Learning activities,” click “New” in the menu bar, and select the appropriate activity from the drop-down list.

  12. Weight the individual questions.

You can weight individual questions differently in a sample exam.

  1. When you create a sample exam question, the field “Weighting” will be displayed at the end of the question. This field allows you to specify the weight given to the respective question.
  2. Within the sample exam, you can use a slider to change the weighting of the questions (Screenshot) .

There are two ways of weighting questions:

Points If you would like to weight your questions using points, please simply add the appropriate number of points for each question. For a sample exam with a total of 10 points and five questions, you could for example make each of your questions worth 2 points, which corresponds to an equal weighting of 1 for each question. The students’ grades are then calculated on the basis of the predefined grading scale (5-level grading scale).
Percentages You can also weight questions using percentages. For example: For a sample exam with a total score of 100% and five questions, you could for example give every question an equal weight of 20%. However, the weighting can also be distributed in any other way that is suitable, depending on the importance and complexity of the individual questions. The exam results will be displayed to the students in the form of percentages. The students’ grades are then calculated on the basis of the predefined grading scale (5-level grading scale).

You can add as many questions as you like to your sample exam. This allows you to simulate a real-life exam online as realistically as possible.

With the proxy question feature, the students get a question that is drawn at random from a pool of predefined questions (pool folder). To create a proxy question, you first need to set up a pool folder.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities
  2. In the menu bar under “Learning activities,” click on “Learning activities” and select "Pool folder” from the drop-down list
  3. Fill in all the required fields
  4. Configure any of the further settings you’d like to make
  5. Click on “Save” to save your data
  6. Click on the folder “Pool folder
  7. Now start adding questions to the pool folder (e.g. multiple choice questions). You can either create them directly within the pool folder or copy and paste them into the pool folder using the clipboard.

PLEASE NOTE! Please make sure that you have properly published all the questions in the pool folder. Any unpublished questions in a pool folder will not be used for your proxy questions.

The next step is to create a proxy question at that position in your learning activities where you would like to offer your students a question randomly drawn from the pool folder. In the form, you can now select one or more pool folders. Only those pool folders will be shown that contain at least one active question.

  1. Click the folder or study module where you would like to add the proxy question.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “New” and select “Proxy” from the drop-down list
  3. Fill in all the required fields
  4. Enter all the further settings
  5. Select one or more pool folders
  6. Click on “Save” to save your settings
  7. Publish the proxy question

Please note:

  • If you add several proxy questions that point to the same pool folder, it is possible that students may get the same question several times.
  • It is possible that different students may get the same question. The more questions there are in a pool folder, the more likely it is that everyone gets a different question.

The students will not see the short name of the selected question in their history, which makes it more difficult for them to discuss the questions among themselves. When a student clicks on a proxy question, he or she will see a question randomly drawn from the pool folder. Proxy questions can only be answered once.

You can structure learning activities in many different ways, for example based on topics or class units.

  • You can structure your contents by topic and assign these topics to the following phases: Topic, wrap-up and assessment.
  • If you follow a class-based approach and would like to publish study materials automatically “before and after class,” you can use the "before class - in class - after class" template.
  • Study materials that are sequenced and build on each other can be structured with the “strict sequencing” template.

You can also combine modules. You can for example define a fixed, linear path within a package from the "before class - in class - after class" study module by integrating the “strict sequencing” module.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities
  2. In the menu bar, click on “New” and select “study module” from the drop-down list
  3. Select the appropriate study module
  4. Configure the settings in the respective study module as required and click on “Save” to save your settings
  5. Publish the activity and/or the study module

There are 3 templates for study modules:

Topic - wrap-up - assessment The "topic - wrap-up - assessment" template is well suited for phases of independent study. It includes a proposed module structure and allows you to assign learning activities directly to three phases: topic, wrap-up, and assessment. Students can use the continue and back buttons to navigate freely through the study module. You can also change the template headlines.
before class - in class - after class The " before class - in class - after class" template is particularly suited for courses where students are required to prepare for individual class units and to complete assignments after class. To implement this sequence, you can assign a folder to the date of a class and define a publishing schedule for the study materials. The materials can be published before class, during the class, and after class. You can use a drop-down menu to assign the different learning activities included in the folder to the respective phases so that they are published at the predefined times. The learning activities are displayed to the students in the form of a to-do list.
strict sequencing The “strict sequencing” template is particularly suited for materials that build on each other in a specific sequence. This template defines a sequence that students have to follow when working on the materials. Students can only access the second activity once they have completed the first one, and so forth. The sequenced activities are listed below each other on a single page.

These study modules help you to structure your study materials for your students. You can use dividers to structure your content visually as well.

Things to keep in mind when publishing study modules:

  • If you have defined a starting date and time for the study module, you only have to publish the study module. It is not necessary to manually publish every single learning activity contained in the module, as the activities are published automatically along with the entire module.
  • If you have not defined a starting date and time for the study module, please publish the study module as well as all the individual learning activities it contains.
  • Please note that the individual learning activities included in "before class - in class - after class” and "topic - wrap-up - assessment” must not be published, but the template itself has to be published. This means that when you’re adding further folders to the study module, you have to make sure that the activities included in the folders have already been published. Otherwise, only the folders themselves will be published, without their contents.

Students' submissions

The “overview of assignments” feature helps teachers keep track of the assignments submitted by their students. You can use this feature to view all learning activities submitted by your students. The overview only lists completed learning activities that you have designated as “assignments.”

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities”.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Learning activities” and select “overview of assignments” from the drop-down list.
  3. In the “Title of assignments” column, find the assignment for which you’d like to view the students’ submissions,
  4. Go to the “Status” column for the appropriate assignment and click on the “submitted” number. You’ll see a table where you can manage the submissions.
  5. In the “Submitted” column, click on “Submission” to view detailed information on the students’ submissions.

On the submissions management page, the “submitted” field shows you all submitted assignments. The number shown in parenthesis tells you how many students have already completed and submitted the assignment. Once the assignments have been graded automatically or manually, you have to publish the grades and assessments so that your students can see them.

Assignments where the available answer options are predefined (multiple choice, single choice, and cloze questions) are assessed automatically by the system, but you can also add additional comments for your students or attach a feedback document. In the case of open assignments, you have to calculate the assessment yourself and enter it manually.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Learning activities” and select “overview of assignments” from the drop-down list
  3. In the “Title of assignments” column, find the assignment for which you’d like to view the students’ submissions
  4. Go to the “Status” column for the appropriate assignment and click on the “submitted” number, or click “Actions” and select “Access student submissions” from the drop-down list.

You’ll see a table where you can manage the submissions. The grades and assessments are entered in the “grading” column, either automatically by the system or manually.

There are several assessment options:

Points If you would like to assess the assignment by awarding points, please enter the points scored by the respective student.
Comment If you would like to send the student a comment or a brief explanation of your assessment, please add your message in the comment field.
Feedback file If you would like to send the student more comprehensive feedback on an assignment, you can upload a file with your comments.

There are three different options for publishing your assessments:

  1. To publish your assessment individually for each student, click the “Actions” column for the respective student and select “Publish feedback and sample answers” from the drop-down list.
  2. To publish your assessments for several students, tick the checkboxes on the left, go to “Selected items,” and select “Publish feedback and sample answers” from the drop-down list.
  3. To publish your assessments for all students simultaneously, click the button “Publish feedback and sample answers”.

The plagiarism check assists teachers in assessing open assignments submitted by students.

  1. In the menu bar under “Learning activities,” click on “Learning activities” and select “overview of assignments” from the drop-down list
  2. Search for the appropriate assignment in the “Title of assignments” column
  3. When you’ve found the appropriate assignment, go to the “Status” column and click on the “submitted” number. You’ll see a table where you can manage the submissions.
  4. In the “Submitted” column, click on “send to plagiarism check.” A pop-up window will open where you have to acknowledge important legal information regarding the plagiarism check.
  5. Click on “send to plagiarism check” to start the check
  6. Once the plagiarism check is finished, click on “view details” to see the results in detail

Please note that the plagiarism check only works with .rtf, .doc, .docx, and .pdf text files that have at least 1,000 characters (excluding spaces). Please brief your students on the correct file formats.

The plagiarism check will take a few minutes. Once the check is complete, the results will be displayed to you in in a table. You can click on “view details” to see the detailed results in the iThenticate web window. In the bottom-right corner, you’ll see three icons that let you select various settings and viewing options:

  •  „view sources“ = overview of all sources and results
  •  “view/edit filters and sources“ = filters and sources
  •  „view/edit excluded sources“ = deselect individual sources

You can return a submission to the student who sent it and ask him or her to revise it.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Learning activities” and select “overview of assignments” from the drop-down list.
  3. In the “Title of assignments” column, find the assignment for which you’d like to view the students’ submissions.
  4. Go to the “Status” column for the appropriate assignment and click on the “submitted” number, or go to “Actions” and select “Publish feedback and sample answers” from the drop-down list.
  5. Find the line that corresponds to the student to whom you’d like to return the submission.
  6. In the “Actions” column, select “Return for revision” from the drop-down list.

Bei zurückgereichten Aufgaben bekommen Studierende auf der Übersichtsseite der jeweiligen Aufgabe, die Information angezeigt, dass diese Aufgabe zur Überarbeitung an sie zurückgereicht wurde. Wenn die Aufgabe ursprünglich eine Abgabefrist hatte, dann prüfen Sie ob der/die Studierende sich noch in dieser Frist befindet. Sollte die Frist bereits abgelaufen sein, dann setzen Sie für die ausgewählte Person eine Nachfrist.

You can set a grace period for a submission. This feature is often used when a teacher returns an assignment to a student for revision and the original submission deadline has already passed.

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click on “Learning activities”.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Learning activities” and select “overview of assignments” from the drop-down list.
  3. In the “Title of assignments” column, find the assignment for which you’d like to view the students’ submissions.
  4. Go to the “Status” column for the appropriate assignment and click on the “not submitted” number.
  5. Find the line that corresponds to the student for whom you’d like to set a grace period.
  6. In the “Actions” column, select “Set grace period” from the drop-down list.
  7. Enter the ending date and time of the grace period and click on “Set grace period”.

How to set a grace period for multiple students at the same time:

  1. 1. Tick the checkboxes left of the respective names.
  2. 2. Under “Selected items,” select “Set grace period” from the drop-down list.

You can only set grace periods for assignments for which a grading period was defined and where the submission status is displayed as “not submitted” in the “overview of assignments” table. If you have set a grace period, the respective student(s) will be notified on their overview page.

Troubleshooting

The materials you create are only displayed to your students once you have released them.

There are two options you can use for releasing content:

Go to the overview page that lists all learning activities:

  1. Click on the  icon, or
  2. Click on the cogwheel icon and select “Release” from the drop-down list.

Go to the relevant learning activity:

  1. In the menu bar of the learning activity, click on “This page…”.
  2. Select “Release” from the drop-down list.

Every new learning activity you create remains unpublished and therefore inaccessible to your students until you release it.

You can also release multiple learning activities at the same time:

  1. Tick the checkboxes  checkbox.png to select the appropriate learning activities.
  2. Click on the “Select item” drop-down list and select “Release”.