Problem In Brief: Allow Staff To Set Homework Online...
The Head has asked me to come up with options as to how we can allow staff to set homework for students online so that:
It is accessible to students at all times.
Students are automatically notified when homework is set [this was not stated in the conversation as a requirement but it seemed to me that it was implied]
It is accessible to parents
It is user friendly [so that staff will feel comfortable/confident when using it]
We have Sun Global Desktop. The homework could made available there but we are limited to 90 concurrent users. The head would like a solution for the homework setting that does not have this restriction.
My first thought was that we could use SharePoint but I haven't used it before so I am in the dark as to how that might work/if it would work at all for this situation.
The Head has suggested that the homework could be as simple as 'Read page 53' or whatever, but that would limit us for future development [For example we could not then give them a PowerPoint presentation to look at and answer questions on it, or give them a spreadsheet with problems set for them to complete, or ask them to write an essay (not less than 500 words on the topic of...)]
Does anyone have a solution that approaches what our Head has requested?
Hope I have stated the problem clearly. If not please ask.
I hate to say it, but - that's what a VLE does. Parental logins, homework with deadlines, a range from "do some reading" to "upload your work" to whatever other modules you can find to install, email notifications, always online... if he only wants it setting up for homework, you can always just build a Moodle server yourself and not bother setting up courses etc. too much, but just use it to set the homework and organise it around that.
Other than that, I can't think of anything automatic that'd achieve what you want, other than using a free forum with email subscriptions perhaps? (Or, if you're so inclined, setting up phpbb yourself on a server) Bit of a square peg in a round hole but it should suffice.
Yeah. We had [and still do have] a VLE in Moodle. We did loads of work on it. We ran training sessions. We added assignments to it for staff [to get them up and running] but it never took of because "...it wasn't user friendly..."
We are now looking for another solution that staff will find usable.
In that case, I envy your inhuman patience, to have provided a full solution, invested hour upon hour into it, only to have staff complaining that they want to do something you've already empowered them to do they just don't want to do it that way.
There is a point where user-friendliness needs to be met halfway by friendly-users, who will give it a go. God help you with whatever you end up going with.
...to have provided a full solution, invested hour upon hour into it, only to have staff complaining that they want to do something you've already empowered them to do they just don't want to do it that way...
Our webmaster allowed some members of staff to add content using forms a while ago. Submissions often had to be corrected because staff did not check the content properly or were not patient enough to allow the upload to complete [either abandoning the upload altogether or submitting the content more than once] This is despite the staff having being briefed on how to use the submission form.
While it seems that I am saying 'No' to helpful suggestions I am very grateful for the input so far. These are all options to be considered again.
My preferred option is SharePoint asit can be used for a front facing internet platform and allow pupils to access there homework and can also be used to capture and analyse data for performance purposes. The advantage is it integrates seemlessly with office products and can be rebranded to match your schools existing identity. It can be hosted on your schools servers or by a thrid party provider. It is excellent for VLE's or infrastructre solutions. We created a VLE for shelfield academy in Walsall. you can view the site by visiting the Novotronix Ltd website
Hope it helps