cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Help Students Monitor their Course Progress

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach
29 26 5,901

Students have a lot to think about and remember, especially if they are taking multiple classes. This can easily lead to not viewing course content or missing assignments. What I've done to help my students keep track of what they've done and haven't done is to add a requirement (submit, view, mark as done, contribute to the page, score at least) to each content item in my course Modules. The beauty of this is that once students meets the requirement a green check mark shows up to the right of the content item; see below. This allows the students to quickly and easily see what they've already done (for both content and assignments) and where they should pick back up at.

233261_ModuleRequirement2.PNG

Setting it up

After creating my course content and getting them organized in my Modules I then go through and use the Module settings to apply the requirements for each item. See this guide for more information - How do I add requirements to a module? 

233262_EditModuleSettings.PNG


At this point I could also set-up prerequisites and required students to complete everything in the Module before moving on to the next Module, but for this course I do not use prerequisites. This means that students can continue through the course and content even if they haven't completed a requirement. If you are interested in having students complete requirements before moving to the next module see the following guide - How do I add prerequisites to a module?  

Instructor Benefits

One benefit, beyond helping students monitor their own progress, is that Instructors can also view the "Module Progression" for each individual student. This means that as an Instructor I can see exactly what requirement a student has or hasn't done in each Module! This is especially priceless if I'm trying to see if a student has viewed a specific file, page, or external URL. For more information on this see the following guide - How do I use modules to view the progress of students in a course? 

233264_ModuleProgression.PNG

How is it working?

After trying this for a semester I've noticed that students seem to notice whether they have a green check mark for something or not, and they will definitely say something if I've forgotten to add something as a requirement! To me this is great because they are paying attention to what they've done or haven't done in the class! In addition, if an assignment is late it turns into a red circle icon with a minus sign. This is a significant visual reminder to students that they missed an assignment and if late work is allowed they should probably get this turned in ASAP!

233263_ModuleRequirements.PNG


Overall adding requirements isn't hard to do, does a good job showing students their progress through a course, and allows the Instructor to monitor student progress! So a win-win on all sides!

26 Comments
laurakgibbs
Surveyor

That looks really nice,  @kona ‌! In my classes, students have a lot of free choice about what they do, so I cannot use modules in this way, but I use a chart to show their overall progress in terms of totals points (each week they choose what assignments to do, each assignment has points), and that is a great way to help them see if they are "on track" for the grade they want.

Online Course Wiki / Grading Chart

Obviously if they can see they are off track earlier in the semester, that gives them more time to get back on track. 🙂 

grading chart

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @kona ‌

Thanks for sharing this!

Another advantage for faculty is that this helps to lessen the numbers of email/Inbox messages from students - "I lost track", "I forgot", "what do I do next", "I didn't know", "what are the instructions for ..." etc.

Also, this system encourages students to work through your module content in a more organized manner, even if only to get the check marks. I've purposely designed my module structure to help my students meet the course learning outcomes, but too many students  want to hop around and only engage in what they want to engage in - typically just graded activities.  If I check module progress and shoot out a message asking why a student hasn't engaged in a particular piece(s) of content, they will know I am monitoring module progress and perhaps get more methodical.

Kelley

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

...too many students  want to hop around and only engage in what they want to engage in - typically just graded activities.

Yep, this exactly, which is one of the reasons I started doing this! Too many times students would email asking about the assignment - things I clearly went through in the course content provided before the assignment!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

I can see how with the way you do your assignments it would be difficult to use this, but it's good that you include a way for students to clearly see where they are at grade wise in the course. I'm a firm believer in students needing to know exactly where they stand in a course and make sure all grades are updated so that the grade in the gradebook accurately reflects how the student is doing right now... not 3 (or more) weeks ago.

laurakgibbs
Surveyor

Yes, that's the goal exactly. I teach Gen. Ed. classes which are often at the bottom of students' priority lists (they have capstone courses, courses for their major, internships), and it's easy for them to get off track because other things really do, and should, be their main focus. This helps them stay on track and it also encourages them to finish early since they can see what it means to be a week or even two weeks ahead.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

...encourages them to finish early since they can see what it means to be a week or even two weeks ahead.

I bet your students really appreciate this! In my class we finish learning new content about 2 weeks before the end of the semester. The rest of our time is spent working on the final project - which ultimately they could finish up as quickly as they want.

laurakgibbs
Surveyor

You'd be surprised at how few take advantage! I think because they have so little choice about scheduling in their other classes, they are not very good at taking advantage of that opportunity in my class. Maybe a third finish early (when really, they all should, since I don't have a final, and they really do need time to study for high-stakes finals in other classes!). And around a quarter of them wait until literally the last possible day to finish.

They realize it's not a good approach... and the number one advice they have for future students is "don't be like me: work ahead!" I think if they had more freedom in other classes, it would be easier to get them to be more proactive in taking charge of their own timetables. 

But after working on this with students for many years, I am willing to admit that procrastination is a formidable enemy! We are all struggling with it usually in some aspect of our lives; it's just that, unlike our students, are have gotten better about procrastination when it comes to academic things, even if we might procrastinate about other things (I know that's true for me ha ha).

myerdon01
Adventurer

I am going to share your blog with my faculty so they can see how awesome and easy this is!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Excellent! I'm glad you found it useful!

yuyenchang
Surveyor

Hi Laura, I manage an asynchronous online course that allows 120+ students to pick whichever (of the 65+) topics that interest them in whatever order they prefer. We have come a long way from D2L to Moodle and now to Canvas, but since our grading system is very similar to yours, we have never found a very good way for the students to track their own progress. I clicked on the chart you shared above and it took me to a Blackboard page. So I'm curious about how that chart was actually used. Was it an Excel that students had to download and manually check off items done so they can get a total of the points in each column? We give the students 1 point for each required assignment, but the assignment types range from online text submission, to interactive modules designed in Articulate Storyline and Microsoft MIX, to attending web conferences, so that also complicates the matter. In past years, we've offered an Excel spreadsheet for them to download, but very few students used it. Every year they ask us for a way within the learning management system that will easily and clearly display their progress. So I'm really interested to know what other people in a similar situation have been doing in Canvas.asynchronous track progress canvasgradebook #chooseyourownassignment

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

To make sure laurakgibbs‌ sees this I'm tagging her on it. 🙂

laurakgibbs
Surveyor

Hi yuyenchang‌! My system is student-choice-driven: the idea is that there are 14 assignments each week, 6 are required (well, semi-required, some students opt not to do those), and 8 that are optional, every week. To do that in Canvas, I use true-false quizzes, where students see a checklist that identifies the requirements for the assignment to be complete, and when they answer "true" the points for the quiz go in the Gradebook, and I grade based on total points. It works really well for me. The Gradebook is clunky and ugly (over 200 items in the Gradebook, of which students complete usually around 100 orso), but since it's divided up week by week with very clear naming conventions, that's okay.

I've written up details here:

https://community.canvaslms.com/people/laurakgibbs/blog/2017/04/30/points-based-grading-student-grad... 

For me, it's a big plus in Canvas that blank assignments really ARE blanks, not zeroes.

Students see their total points, and I offer them the chart (see above) so they can see if they are on track for the grade they want/expect. 

I've used this grading system in Blackboard, D2L, and Canvas. The LMS Gradebooks have all been about the same for me with this system, since these are just true-false quizzes, nothing fancy. 

I wish Canvas let me do a truly points-based grading scheme, but since it does not, I just have my students look at their total points, and they can figure out the letter grade easily enough (410 A, 360 B, 320 C... we don't have pluses and minuses at my school).

yuyenchang
Surveyor

 @kona ‌ thank you so much for tagging Laura. This is a slightly unrelated (to the original topic here) question: do you or anyone else know, if there is a way to tag specific classmates/instructors within a course when we write something to be posted on a Canvas discussion forum? Thank you so much!

laurakgibbs
Surveyor

yuyenchang That is something we REALLY need in Canvas discussion forums if it is going to feel like a community!

I know that has come up as a feature request.

But you cannot use @ to search for the @ sign here. But I am sure that was an idea proposed in the past; at least, I think I remember voting on something like that.

Maybe  @Renee_Carney ‌ or stefaniesanders‌ will remember or figure out how to search for that feature request.

I've complained about the lack of @ as a huge problem in making the discussion really feel like discussions.

Long live the power of @ !!!

🙂

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

laurakgibbs, I believe https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1066-mentions-in-discussion-forums (currently in Product Radar status) is what you have in mind.

yuyenchang
Surveyor

Yes thank you so much! I just found that as well (that it's currently in Product Radar)  Smiley Happy

t_logvynenko
Community Member

Oh, yes! Tracking the current status of an assignment is more than important; it helps both a teacher and a student understand at what stage they are, where they are moving and, also, it gives a clear picture of weak and strong points. This reminds me a good time-manager tool, a filter against excuses, and, at the same time, it’s a booster to do more and on time.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Yep, exactly!

jwelchans
Community Member

Sharing this with staff at our PD today. Thanks for the clear concise write-up,  @kona ‌!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Awesome! Glad you found it useful!

colleen
Surveyor II

I know it is a few months since this discussion began but does anyone have any ideas for the following.

Our students need to obtain 100% in every assignment to receive their qualification. We do coach them to reach those marks and they have up to 3 resubmissions in order to get all questions correct. 

We would love to use the modules for students to keep track of how they are going but once the assignment is submitted, it gives a green tick whether they got the required mark or not. That is misleading for students who still have resubmissions to do.

At the moment the only way we have to be able to get the students to work out where they are up to is to look at their Marks and if they don't have full marks for every assignment then they still have work to complete.

Does anyone have any other suggestions to be able to help our students? It needs to be efficient as we have up to 175 students in an online class so can't be individually hand feeding each one. Deleted User

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Do you have it set so the student has to complete the assignment at 100% in order for it to be “done.” I honestly haven’t played around with this scenario, but I would think if you did it wouldn’t mark it green until they accomplished this goal. 

donna_gibson
Community Member

I noticed in your screen shot under How is it Working, you had an assignment that said "score at least 3.0". 

I am intrigued about using this to help nursing students complete and pass basic math content before beginning medication calculation content. How is this working as a gatekeeper for you? 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Very good! We also have a physics instructor that’s using this scenario for basic math skills before students can progress deeper into his course.

colleen
Surveyor II

Yes! I think this is going to work. By changing the module settings to full marks in every module assignment, it shows with either a circle (not yet submitted) or a red circle with a minus (Some questions need redoing). Now all we need to do is teach our new batch of students each year, and their supervisors, to look in the modules section to see where they are up to. Deleted User I think this will solve this problem for us.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Yay! Glad to hear that you think this will help solve your problem!