Using a Learning Management System (LMS) as a technological tool at Universities and Colleges to help with administration, documentation, tracking and delivery of educational courses is a common practice today. D2L Brightspace is one such popular LMS used across many educational institutes to engage students with coursework and assignments, making the learning process faster and efficient for both students and teachers.
The IPython Notebook, now known as Jupyter Notebook, is another tool, an open-source web application, that allows you to create and share documents that comprise live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. It is now a major part of data science workflow at companies across the globe particularly for statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more. Additionally, it is a powerful tool for education as well, by combining written text with code and providing students with an easy environment to work and get direct results in. Because of this, teaching using Jupyter Notebooks has become a common practice in Computer Science and Data Science education. However, using and grading a Jupyter Notebook inside learning management systems like Brightspace is not very straightforward. For instance, since these Notebooks (files ending with the “.ipynb” extension) usually contain a combination of code, text (using Markdown or LaTeX), mathematics, plots and rich media, rendering these in the browser, giving feedback on specific parts or checking them for plagiarism is hard to do. Jupyter Notebooks are a very useful tool in education, but like all aspects of education, are only as helpful to students as the quality of the feedback gotten on them, something hard to achieve right now. Want to learn more about automatically grading Jupyter Notebooks or other Python assignments? Click here to watch our webinar which guides you through setting up an autograder for Python code step by step.