All course materials and tutorials are made freely available on GitHub under the Creative Commons license, so that students can refer to it later in their career, others can take the course for free too and instructors and researchers from around the world can use the information and tools for their own work. You can find the WUR Geoscripting course here.
Geoscripting before CodeGrade: a lot of different tools
Before using CodeGrade, Dainius and his team used a wide range of tools to grade and structure their course: “We used Google Docs and spreadsheets to write down the rubrics of each assignment and all the grades that each student would get. To fill this in, we had to somehow coordinate who should grade which student, which was done manually in yet another spreadsheet.”
They used another separate tool to manage submissions and feedback: GitHub. “We tried to give feedback with GitHub using issues, but this took up too much time: first we had to go to GitHub, then create an issue, give it a title and then put in the grades and feedback.”
It is an often heard complaint by students in many CS courses that they are exposed to too many different tools and workflows: “There was not one place where the students could see what they were being graded on or what their actual feedback was. Their feedback was in GitHub, but they had to find the rubrics in Google Drive. Because it’s such a short and advanced course, it was simply too overwhelming to the students to have all these different platforms and new tools. The students frequently requested us to use fewer platforms over the previous years."
Also for himself and his teaching staff, using multiple platforms added too much overhead to grading: “Our course is really fast paced and we have to coordinate grading between the 6 teachers. Because the students need the feedback, we did grade everything before, but the feedback was very shallow. We just tried to do it as quickly as possible and needed more people to help with grading.”
CodeGrade replaced all those tools and forms the heart of their grading workflow
Dainius chose to use CodeGrade to speed up their own grading process and make the workflow more streamlined for his students. The first year of CodeGrade, Dainius integrated CodeGrade into their Brightspace environment and only used our manual grading features to boost the grading workflow: “It did exactly what it needed to do: it helped speed up the process of grading and it made the whole procedure more insightful to us and the students. We no longer have to switch from one tool to the other all the time! The integrated rubrics are very useful and make it immediately clear what to grade on to us and what to expect to the students. We were really happy with CodeGrade, it saved us a lot of time, so it was a useful investment.”