Monthly Archives: December 2019

rampage blog

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Submitted by Fan Zhang

For the technology assignment, I made a rampage blog as the repository for all the online teaching resources I found. The home page of rampage can be easily found using google and keywords VCU rampage. once you find the site, the first you need to do is register for a personal site using your VCU email. The process is very simple, but if you run in to any problem, you can easily find help by using the “trouble?” tag on their home page. I had to research out to them due to forgotten password once, the respond was fairly quick, and the recovery process was very simple.
The first thing you will see when you first log into your won site is the page of dash board. In here, you can make personalized modifications on the overall outlooks of your site. Under the “activation”, you have a number of high quality pre-made themes available. However, if you want make you site more personalized, using the taps under “active theme”, you can make changes to the color, background images, and placement of menus, widget etc.
The next step will be making contents. On the rampage, you can making content through three different ways: 1. Making a post. 2. Make a page. 3. Make a form. The posts are the first thing people will see when they log into you site. You can post all the content through here, however, in my case, since the contents are from to multiple courses, put all that information here might be too messy. So I only made one post as my home page. On this post, links to different course content can be found (as right now, only one link is live)
For the actual course contents, I used the page functions. The links provided on the homepage will lead the reader to the chapter outlines of each course, from there the the readers can make there ways directly to the chapter of interest. For each chapter, a page is created, and inhere I uploaded all the online teaching resources that I found that are related to this chapter. The edition of the page is very intuitive. The only thing I think is worth mention is that when you are trying to upload a online video, it is easier to do it using a coded link though the text edit mode.
The nice thing about the blog format is that you can make any changes at any time, and there is not a limit in the amount of content that you can included in there. And since the coding used here are universal to all WordPress site, when you are no longer associate with VCU, all these work can be easily copy and pasted into another WordPress site.
A link to my sites attached:
For the technology assignment, I made a rampage blog as the repository for all the online teaching resources I found. The home page of rampage can be easily found using google and keywords VCU rampage. Once you find the site, the first you need to do is register for a personal website using your VCU email. The process is straightforward, but if you run into any problem, you can easily find help by using the “trouble?” tag on their home page. I had to research out to them due to the forgotten password once, the response was reasonably quick, and the recovery process was very simple.
The first thing you will see when you first log into your won site is the page of the dashboard. Here, you can make personalized modifications to the overall outlooks of your website. Under the “activation,” you have several high-quality pre-made themes available. However, if you want to make your site more personalized, using the taps under “active theme,” you can make changes to the color, background images, and placement of menus, widget, etc.
The next step will be making content. On the rampage, you can make content in three different ways: 1. Making a post. 2. Make a page. 3. Make a form. The posts are the first thing people will see when they log into your site. You can post all the content through here; however, in my case, since the contents are from multiple courses, put all that information in one place might appear messy. So I only made one post as my home page. On this post, links to different course content can be found (as right now, only one link is live)
For the actual course contents, I used the page functions. The links provided on the homepage will lead the reader to the chapter outlines of each course; from there, the readers can make their ways directly to the chapter of interest. For each chapter, a page was creat, and here, I uploaded all the online teaching resources that I found that are related to this chapter. The edition of the page is very intuitive. The only thing I think is worth mention is that when you are trying to upload an online video, it is easier to do it using a coded link though the text edit mode.
The nice thing about the blog format is that you can make any changes at any time, and there is not a limit in the amount of content that you can include in there. And since the coding used here are universal to all WordPress site, when you are no longer associate with VCU, all these work can be easily copied and pasted into another WordPress site.
A link to my sites attached:
https://rampages.us/zhangf3/

Excel for reducing the pain of grading

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Submitted by Polina Beloborodova

Have you ever had over 500 submissions to grade in one week? If you have, you would understand my desire to optimize the process as much as possible. In this post I will share several MS Excel tools that I’m using for fast grading.

1. Grades calculator for tests

In one of my courses we have periodical tests with a combination of multiple choice and open questions. I do all the grading in Excel and then upload the file with the resulting grades to Bb. The process may look complicated, especially if you don’t work in Excel. But it becomes really easy when you actually do it! Also see attached my file for one of the tests. I removed students’ personal information, but left the grades so that you can see how they are calculated.

Here is the algorithm that I use: shorturl.at/czNX6
And the file: shorturl.at/jwNS0

2. Feedback phrasebook

In another course where I’m TAing, students submit a two or three little assignments each week and two additional big projects. My feedback tends to be repetitive, so I copy it from a separate file. To do it quicker, I organized my “feedback phrasebook” by tone of comment (positive/negative) and topic.

Here is the one I’m using: shorturl.at/IST26

3. TA hours tracker

In order to make sure that my TA hours don’t exceed 20 hours per week, as well as have a more realistic picture of how much I’m working, I made a spreadsheet to track my hours for each course.

I usually put my TA hours in my Google calendar, and then at the end of the week calculate weekly hours for each course where I’m TAing and put the result into my spreadsheet. Excel calculates total weekly hours, average weekly hours for current semester and draws a plot depicting my working hours throughout the semester. This helps me to plan my time and remember that each “hell week” is usually followed by a quiet period.

Here is the template: shorturl.at/afPS7