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78 Posts authored by: Becky Anderson Employee
Becky Anderson

Assessment Security

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Mar 20, 2020

As more courses move online, one question we keep getting is, “How do I offer assessments in the most secure way possible?”. If you are using a Macmillan Learning digital product for your online class, here are some suggestions below to help you with assessment security. 

 

 

 

For LaunchPad Users:

 

  • Set a Passcode - Requires a student to enter an instructor-specified Passcode to begin the quiz.
  • Limit the Number of Attempts - For higher stakes assessment, only allow students to submit the assessment one time. 
  • Time Limit - This ensures that all students are provided the same amount of time to complete a quiz. If the quiz is not completed within the time limit, the quiz is automatically submitted when time expires. The time limit will also limit students’ ability to look everything up or get too much assistance.
  • Scrambling - Instructors use this setting to randomize the order of question, the order of answer choices, or both.
  • Feedback Control - This gives instructors the control over what information is available to students after they submit a quiz, such as whether to show the correct answers.
  • Visibility - Instructors use the Visibility setting to "hide" a quiz from students until a specific date and time.
  • Hide Grade - Instructors can elect to hide students' quiz grade until the due date has passed.
  • Question Pooling - can further add to the variability of the assessment so that not all students receive the same questions on the exam and instead receive a random set of questions from a set of them. Instructors can set up multiple pools within one assessment to ensure students receive the right number from each desired topic the test should cover.

 

You can see all of these settings explained in this article on setting up assignments: https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/LaunchPad-Tips-for-setting-up-assignments  and the article on question pooling: https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/LaunchPad-Creating-a-quiz-with-question-pools

 

 

 

For Sapling and Achieve Users: 

As the semester comes to a close, you'll need to start thinking about wrapping up student grades and then creating your new course for the next semester. Here are a few links to help:

 

LaunchPad:

 

Sapling / SaplingPlus:

 

Achieve: 

 

And once you've done all that, consider yourself ready for the next semester! 

Image result for luggage images

Throughout this fall, our major goal was to improve the way that students get access to LaunchPad. Before August classes, we redesigned the log-in page a bit to make it easier for students to confirm that they are in the right course.  For January, we are taking that redesign even further. 

 

Trial Access for Everyone

Starting in December, every student will automatically receive 21 days of trial access when they register/enroll in a title, as long as they've never had access to that same title previously.  As a result, the Trial Access option will no longer be available on the Sign In page. 

 

 

In fact, the new flow will require students to create their account and log in before they will be able to purchase access or enter a code.  

 

Create LP Account

 

And once a student's access expires, the student will see this new page that clearly states the next steps of entering an access code or purchasing access. (See the green boxes on the right and left in the image below.) 

 

 

 

Our hope is that changing (and improving) the way students enter their LaunchPad courses will make the process MUCH easier for them--and for us too! . 

We have been doing A LOT of work on Achieve Read & Practice this fall, so here's a recap of what you and your students will have for January 2020. 

 

Course List: 

The Course List redesign (that you'll see when you first log into Achieve in mid-December) organizes courses for students and instructors in collapsible buckets allowing users to easily find their current courses and access past courses.

 

 

Achieve Course List

 

Master Section:

There is a new Master Section option that will allow one instructor or coordinator to set up their course and then create individual section courses (for themselves or other instructors) from the Master Section. The coordinator can set all of the consistent course info for all sections in one place. These settings pass down to the sections. Section courses are set up in a grid format where the coordinator can specify the section name, meeting days and times, instructor(s) teaching, and the level of access that the instructors will receive for that section. (If an instructor has Restricted Access, the instructor has clear indicators regarding what actions they can and cannot take.) Within the tools, coordinators will be able to edit the content and push the updates to Restricted Access sections until the first grade return. We recommend using Restricted Access for your own sections when you want to manage the content for all of your sections in one place.

 

Preview as Student:  Instructors can preview the course as a student, including My Course and Gradebook.

 

 

Contextual Help:  From the "Help" in the upper right of each page, we added in Help links to the most commonly asked questions--like how do I assign something on the "My Course" page or how do I sync with my LMS on the "Gradebook" page. 

Achieve Help

This week, we are making some improvements to the Assessments in Sapling that we wanted to tell you about (since we’re so excited). 

 

  • The Item Analysis & Student Analysis tabs will be combined to a single tab called “Responses”. Under “Responses”, you will see “Question Overview” which has the information formerly shown in the “Item Analysis” and “Performance Overview” that covers the old “Student Analysis” information.
  • There will be a counter bubble to let you know when responses have been submitted from students on an assignment.
  • There’s a new graphical comparison of all the questions in the assignment in the navigation dropdown of the Question Overview card.
  • The Performance Overview card will now only show a subset of students, so it will now load more quickly for larger courses.

 

Sapling Assessment New Functionality Fall 2019

 

You should see all these changes by the end of this week--and we hope you’re as excited as we are! 

 

(We are also working to update the help documentation to help answer any questions you might have.

 

Good luck with the rest of the semester!

In an effort to keep all of our products working smoothly, so you can keep your work going, we are doing a scheduled maintenance of LaunchPad, Sapling, and FlipIt on Sunday, October 20th from 12:01am until 7am Eastern. During these 7 hours, neither you nor your students will be able to access these products, so you should alert your students and make any adjustments to assignment due dates.

 

Hopefully the advanced warning and the fact that most people don’t have assignments due on Sunday mornings mean that this won’t be a terrible inconvenience for you or your students.

 

Image result for toolbox image
 
Becky Anderson

Checklist for Sapling

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Aug 14, 2019

In an effort to make sure you are all ready to go before classes start, here's a short checklist of how to prepare yourself and your students to use Sapling and SaplingPlus this semester.

 

Course Set Up – Prior to Term

❏ Bookmark the Sapling log in page:  https://www.macmillanlearning.com/college/us/digital/sapling

❏ Attend a training and feel confident in your ability to use Sapling

❏ Learn your username and password (and don’t put it on a post-it note in your office for students to see)

❏ If you are using an LMS in conjunction with Sapling, make sure your integration is set up correctly (and the Client Success Team has been notified of your integration plans). 

❏ Bookmark Instructor Help and know how to contact Customer Support AND the Client Success Team

❏ Set up a new course for the new term. (You can copy your existing course or work with the Client Success team to create a new course.) 

Edit Existing assignments or create new assignments for your students to complete.

❏ Confirm that your assignment settings match the goals of your course.  

❏ Confirm that your course is available for students to enroll into. (The client success team can help you with this.)

❏ Prepare for your First Day of Class with students by using our FDOC tools or by talking to your local representative.

 

Getting Started with Students - First Day of Class

❏ Provide students with the access information needed to join your course. 

❏ Explain to students why you are having them use Sapling and show how it can benefit them

❏ Make students aware of the three purchase options: purchase now, enter an access code, and pay later. 

❏ Make sure students know when and how to contact Customer Support.  

❏ Make students aware that the full ebook is included in SaplingPlus, and it’s available to be downloaded for reading offline

 

Gradebook Results and Assessment – During and After the Term

❏ Review the gradebook to identify common student misconceptions and inform course and lecture plans 

❏ Use individual student data for early intervention 

❏ Download my student results from Sapling (or, if using an LMS, from the LMS)

❏ Think about how to change and improve your course for next semester

❏ Review the Macmillan “Webinars on Demand” for new ideas on how to use Sapling in your course.

Becky Anderson

LaunchPad Checklist

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Aug 14, 2019

In an effort to make sure you are all ready to go before classes start, here's a short checklist of how to prepare yourself and your students to use LaunchPad this semester. 

 

Course Set Up – Prior to Term

❏ Bookmark the LaunchPad sign in page: https://www.macmillanlearning.com/college/us/digital/launchpad/

❏ Attend a training and develop confidence in your ability to use LaunchPad

❏ Learn your username and password (and don’t put it on a post-it note in your office for students to see)

❏ If you are using an LMS in conjunction with LaunchPad, make sure your integration is set up correctly and that you’ve attended the LMS training session

❏ Bookmark Instructor Help and know how to contact Customer Support 

❏ Set up a new course for the new term. (You can copy your existing course and branch it, if  you have multiple sections of the same course, or create a new course.) 

❏ Make a series of assignments for students to complete. If you are new to LaunchPad and want to start small, we typically recommend that you begin with LearningCurve.

❏ Confirm that your assignment settings match the goals of your course.  (For instance, do you want to make the assignments due before class to enable discussion or after class, to confirm understanding.) 

Activate your course so it is available for students to enroll into. 

❏ Prepare for your First Day of Class with students by using our FDOC tools or by talking to your local representative.

 

Getting Started with Students - First Day of Class

❏ Provide students with the access information needed to join your course, whether they are buying access through the Macmillan LearningStudent Store or purchasing codes directly from your campus bookstore. 

❏ Explain to students why you are having them use LaunchPad and show how it can benefit them

❏ Make students aware of the three purchase options: purchase now, enter an access code, and pay later. 

❏ Make sure students know when and how to contact Customer Support.  

❏ Make students aware that the full ebook is included in LaunchPad, and it’s available to be downloaded for reading offline

 

Gradebook Results and Assessment – During and After the Term

❏ Review the gradebook to identify common student misconceptions and inform course and lecture plans 

❏ Use individual student data for early intervention 

❏ Download my student results from LaunchPad (or, if using an LMS, from the LMS)

❏ Think about how to change and improve your course for next semester

❏ Review the Macmillan “Webinars on Demand” for new ideas on how to use LaunchPad in your course.

We are delighted to report that you can now add your TAs (or SIs) to your course without the help of the Client Success Team.

 

In the left-side menu of your course, if you hover over Course Management, you will see Teaching Assistants. Follow these directions for all the details on how to add a TA and what that role means in your course.

 

And while you’re looking at the Course Management button, note that you can Duplicate Your Course as well--a handy feature to remember for future semesters! 

 

I hope this gets your semester off to a good start! Let us know if you need anything else. 

The team has been working hard on improvements to LaunchPad this year. A lot of the changes are ‘behind the scenes’ like security improvements and changes to how LaunchPad works for visually impaired users working with JAWS, but a few to highlight are:

 

We just released some student onboarding changes that adds a "Purchase Access" and "Enter A Code" button to the top of the LaunchPad course if a user has less than 30 days of access remaining. This is designed to make life (and purchasing) easier for students using Trial Access. 

 

 

To further help with student onboarding, we increased character limit of the LaunchPad school name field so institutions with a very long name won’t be truncated, making it easier for students to find their school. 

 

We removed the Flash Player from the LaunchPad System Check since a) we have very little Flash content in LP anymore and b) Flash is going away, as you know. 

 

 

The "Zero score for unsubmitted" Gradebook Preference is now disabled by default for copied/branched course. This prevents the issue where an instructor creates a copy or branch of an existing course but doesn’t update the due dates and then when students enroll in the course, they automatically receive a zero for all past due assignments.

 

 

We will be performing system maintenance on Sunday morning July 21st  from 12:01am Eastern until 7am Eastern as well as Friday morning July 26th from 6am to 9am Eastern. Sapling will not be available during these ten hours for students or instructors. Please change any assignment due dates as needed. 

We apologize for the inconvenience, but one of the benefits of this maintenance are some improvements to Sapling. Based on customer feedback, we are making a number of changes to the gradebook in Sapling Learning and SaplingPlus. These updates should be available to users mid-day on Thursday, July 18th. These improvements include:

 

  • We are making the report names more intuitive, using Gradebook and Student Report instead of Grader and User report. 
  • Clicking on Student Report shows a list of students and the overall grade for each student
    • The list can be sorted by student name or grade
    • The list can be filtered by typing in student names above the list
    • Clicking on a student name goes to the grade report for the individual student
  • The export pages have an improved page to select the grade items included in the file. You can now preview the download as well. In addition, export shows Excel by default.
  • From the gradebook, individual grades can be edited by clicking on the grade. Viewing the submitted work and grade details are available on a menu next to the grade item.
  • Scrolling grades to the side keeps the navigation tabs at the top of the page.
  • When “Show Hidden Items in Gradebook” is set to No, grade items that are hidden (set on Categories and Items) will not be shown on the full Gradebook view.
  • On the Categories and Items page, the icons have been updated. The buttons were moved to the top. The columns for "Keep the highest" and "Drop the lowest" are on the simple view. And Reorder Gradebook has been moved to a button next to the other buttons.

 

In addition, we are making changes to the Assessments Editor tool.  These updates should be available to users mid-day on Thursday, July 25th. These updates include:

  • Updated visuals and labels throughout for better readability and usability.
  • On the Assessment tab, we renamed “Shared” item sets to “Related Set” for easier understanding. 
  • With regard to re-ordering items, we added a “Reorder” button, restyled the “Move here” and “Move to top/bottom/Pool” target zones, and added animations and highlighting of moving items. 
  • We retired the Settings tab and replaced it with a Grading Settings button on the Assessment tab. We also revamped the policy dropdown to quick-view Template cards (to make life easier) and condensed the canonical system policies to four: Homework; Test/Quiz (formerly Test); Unpenalized (formerly Practice); Student-Comment Quiz (formerly Test with student comments). We also converted other, old canonical policies and custom policies into Custom Templates cards. 

 

We hope you will find these improvements worth the inconvenience. (We will be updating the help files shortly and your Client Success Team will be able to help with any questions as well.) 

Today we had a release that allowed us to share some much-asked-for changes to the way the homepage in Sapling works.

 

  • Instructors can now select multiple items on the course home page, including assessments, labels, and resources

  • Selecting multiple items (or single items) allows the items to be moved, deleted, or have the visibility status toggled

  • The move option opens a new menu with an outline of the course showing the possible locations to where the selected items can be moved

Macmillan Learning has a Faculty Consultant program that might work for you.  

 

 

The Faculty Consultants talk about how they implement our products in their classes. They can speak about how our products actually work in real classes with live students.

 

They can talk about how LaunchPad changed their class or what students think of Sapling or how they included Achieve Read & Practice into their syllabus or how they use iClicker to engage students. So if you are thinking about using LaunchPad, we can connect you to another faculty member to learn more about what they  use in LaunchPad and why they like it. Or if you aren't sure how Sapling would fit into your program, you can talk to an Faculty Consultant about their experience with Sapling.  Or if you want to know if Achieve Read & Practice really works, you can talk to a peer about the benefits of R&P. Lastly, if you want to know anything about iClicker--active learning activities, grading best practices, or benefits of the student app & remotes--our Advocates are prepared to help out!

 

If you want to learn more, just comment on this post and we'll be in touch! 

 

 

Thanks for your usage of Sapling and we hope you’ll continue to work with us. In fact, if you tell us by 4/20/19 that you'll be using Sapling in the summer or fall, we think it will make you healthy, wealthy and wise. How so? Because if you tell us now, then we’ll send you one of our great trade books--and you can choose which one...
 
 
 

 

If you missed our Spring 2019 Webinar Week, you can watch all the recordings here. And if you're inspired, comment on one or more of the recordings and you could win one of our great trade titles (see the list below) just for communicating with us. If you're interested, check out all the rules here. And we hope to hear from you soon! 

 

  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
  • The Sun Does Shine by Ray Hinton & Laura Love Hardin 
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty 
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling et al 
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer 
  • A Higher Loyalty by James Comey 
  • Free Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
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