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CATME(http://info.catme.org) is a system of secure, web-based tools that enable instructors to implement best practices in managing student teams. It has two modules. First, CATME Team-Maker is designed for automating the assignment of students to teams to meet weighted criteria set by the instructor. Second, CATME Peer Evaluation is designed for the creation, administration, and evaluation of student self- and peer-evaluations using a behaviorally-anchored rating scale.
The CATME project began in 2003 with the development of an instrument for self and peer evaluation called the Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness. Initially, CATME was NSF funded and the result of the collaborative efforts of researchers from multiple higher education institutions. Professor Matthew Ohland in Engineering Education at Purdue University was the Principal Investigator.
It is a free tool and the user base has been up to 300,000 students of 6,000 faculty/staff at 1100 institutions in 61 countries. There are around 100 faculty on campus who have signed up for instructor accounts. For more information about CATME, please request a consultation at email@example.com.
Since mobile devices are often the access point for email, it’s logical to assume that someone might view your survey link on a mobile device. Checking to see if your questions will display properly is an easy thing to do.
First you should know that Qualtrics surveys are built to be “adaptive” to a device’s screen size and type. The devices that are recommended as compatible, include Android, iOS, and Windows Phone systems. Secondly, while all surveys are set up to be adaptive, be aware that some questions may not display well because they are too wide in their format. So, it’s useful to check your survey questions with the Mobile Compatibility Advisor in Qualtrics.
To use the Mobile Compatibility Advisor, from the edit mode on your survey:
- Click on Advanced Options and then select Mobile Compatibility Advisor. The Advanced Options tab is in the upper right of your screen.
- In the survey, small mobile icons appear to the left of any question box that might have a display concern. You can click on the icon and read the display issue message. An orange icon means the question might wrap or display poorly due to the length of the answer choices. A red icon means that question format will not display consistently on mobile devices or may not display at all on a mobile device. In either case, you may adjust your question format and run the advisor again to recheck the survey before sending it out or posting the link.
Recently, a faculty member commented to one of my colleagues and I that Blackboard was simply “too much” for things he wanted to do within his course. That got me thinking as to why someone might consider Blackboard Learn to be a tool that might be excessive for specific needs.
Blackboard Learn offers to faculty a rich set of tools – but what happens when a faculty member does not want to use the clear majority of those tools? What if a faculty member only wants a place to place their syllabus and course schedule, content for students to read, upload an occasional video, and so forth? Does a faculty member have an option for a simpler way to get course content to students at Purdue?
The answer is yes – the Confluence Wiki.
While it might seem odd that a wiki could be an alterative to Blackboard, the Confluence Wiki can perform many of the same functions for faculty that a traditional LMS would be able to provide. Confluence offers the following for faculty:
- On-Demand Course Creation: Unlike Blackboard, where course sites are created automatically, faculty may create their course’s space (site) in Confluence on demand by using the Space Creation application located at http://www.purdue.edu/apps/Confluence. This will automatically create a space on Confluence for the class and enroll all students and instructors in the class into the newly created Confluence space.
- Automatic Enrollment Management: When a space is created using our Space Creation application, as noted before all students and instructors will be added to the newly created space. In addition, as students add or drop the class, those changes are reflected in the Confluence space.
- Content Management: Faculty can easily upload documents and images to Confluence, and then quickly replace those documents with up-to-date versions. For example, if the course syllabus changes, a new syllabus can be uploaded and replace the existing file. Additionally, web links to other sites and to multimedia may also be included in Confluence.
- Flexibility: A Confluence space can be very simple (one or two pages with all the content needed) to highly complex, depending on needs.
- Privacy: Academic spaces in Confluence are only accessible to those enrolled in the course; they are not accessible by the public.
There are a few features Confluence does not have that is important to note. First, Confluence does not offer integrated homework submission and quizzes/exams, like Blackboard. Faculty who want to offer online exams (such as pre- or post- assessments) would be able to use Qualtrics and survey panels within the Qualtrics tool to control assessment delivery.
Also, Confluence does not offer an electronic gradebook, which would require students to track their own grades. Additionally, while Confluence does offer the ability for students to comment on pages, there is no threaded discussion board available like what is available in Blackboard.
One other concern would be that if Confluence is used instead of Blackboard Learn, students will need to be directed to Confluence to access course content. In this case it is recommended that any instructor using Confluence provide directions to students in class on how to access the Confluence site and make the site a favorite, so the site is quickly accessible after login.
Although there are these concerns, the Confluence Wiki does provide a great amount of flexibility on how the online portion of a course can be set up. As much (or as little) information can be made available to students as desired.
While Blackboard Learn has many tools that faculty may wish to use in their teaching, there may be a desire for something that simply does not do everything that Blackboard can do, and that’s where Confluence can assist. An example “course” in Confluence has been created at https://wiki.itap.purdue.edu/display/confcourse/Confluence+for+Courses+Demonstration+Home to provide some ideas on how Confluence may be used as an alternative to Blackboard.
For more information about using Confluence as an alternative to Blackboard, or adding wikis to your course, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.