Instructor Administration Home Page
The MyroC package divides an overall course into approximately 9 sections, called "segments", each containing material for roughly 1.5-2 weeks:
- Eight segments are called "modules", and typically consist of an introduction, about 3-5 labs, and a final project.
- One segment is called a "unit", and consists of an introduction and about 2 labs (but no project).
Within this high-level framework, each logical class activity or "session" may be:
- an overview, introduction, or lecture,
- a laboratory exercise (or lab),
- a final project that combines the ideas of an entire segment into an integrative activity — often involving a Scribbler 2 robot, or
- other designated activity.
Typically, a segment will contain 4-7 sessions, although the supplied unit on data representation contains just 3 sessions. Often one session may correspond to one full class period; but an instructor may decide to combine several sessions into a single class meeting, or to extend one session over multiple days.
The Course Segments and Sessions link at the left shows the current segment and session organization for a MyroC course. Tools provided by MyroC allow an instructor to modify this organization. Naturally, for course integrity, course modification requires a username and password which is assigned to the instructor for a mySQL database.
The Instructor Administration link at the left references this base page for instructors.
In addition, a course schedule may include tests, quizzes, vacation days, etc.
To create a course instance, MyroC provides tools to place course segments, sessions, tests, quizzes, assignments and other details into a day-by-day class schedule.
Step 1: Change Segment and Course Organization and Content
The first main step in organizing a MyroC course involves determining the details of course content. What segments and sessions will be utilized, and in what order? At this stage, an instructor need not finalize how much time will be spent on each activity — only the segments and sessions must be identified.
Initially, the MyroC project provides a full collection of segments, sessions, and resources. For each, MyroC suggests readings, examples, labs, and projects, but an instructor can change both what will be covered, and in what order.
Within the navigation menu, instructors can access tools to
- edit, update, and reorganize segments
- edit, update, and reorganize sessions within a session
- refine resouces to support each session
To ensure course integrity, any change to a course (e.g., segment, session, or resource) requires a mySQL username and password (normally given only to an instructor).
Each tool allows a course to be tailored to the specific needs of a course. Each tool also allows an instructor to experiment before a semester with different potential class activities — working to fit content into days available within a semester.
Step 1a: Specifying and Changing Course Segments
With the change segments tool, instructors can display and refine the high-level segments. The tool allows instructors to:
- View the full list of segments and sessions
- Create new segments, move existing active segments to an inactive status, or reactivate inactive segments. (Behind the senes, existing segments are always available for instructor consideration, but inactive segments do not appear on public course sites and will not be seen by students.)
Focus on segments to edit high-level information, including:
- a segment's full title (for use on course-organization pages)
- a segment's abbreviated title (for use on a day-by-day calendar)
- a segment's type and code (e.g., module 000, unit "", in which the unit code is blank/unused)
- a segment's sequence number within a course.
The following example shows data for the first four segments in one instance of the course:
0, "module", "000", "Getting Started with Linux, C, and the Scribbler 2", "Getting Started", "modules/getting-started"), 1, "module", "001", "Conditionals, Loops, and Scribbler 2 Motion", "Introducing C", "modules/cond-loops-motion"), 2, "module", "010", "Arrays, Functions, Testing, and Addresses", "Arrays and Functions", "modules/arrays-functions"), 3, "unit", "", "Data Representation", "Data Representation", "data-representation"),
- In the example, segments are numbered as consecutive integers, starting at 0, but any non-negative integer may be used for active segments, provided the ascending sequence of integers identifies the desired ordering of the various segments.
- Negative sequence numbers identify inactive segments, which will not appear on schedules or other public course pages.
- MyroC supplies 9 segments, but any number are allowed. For convenience, the page to Change Segment/Course Content provides boxes to add 2 additional segments. Creating more segments is easy by adding them 2 at a time.
Step 1b: Specifying and Changing Course Sessions
Once course segments are determined, an instructor may refine what sessions (e.g., lectures, labs, and projects) are included within a segment. Again, the MyroC project provides suggested readings, examples, and laboratory exerccises for each session, and an instructor may adjust these materials as desired.
Using the link for Change Sessions in Segments, an instructor would normally reveiw the sessions for each segment. Click on a segment to view the current sessions for that module. The tool then allows the following basic segment information to be edited:
- the segment which contains the session
- the session type (e.g., introductory lecture, lab, or project)
- a session title and abbreviated title,
- instructor notes on the session (e.g., introduce dynamic storage allocation)
- file name information for the session (assumed to be in the directory for the segment)
- the sequence number of the session within the segment
As with segments, the MyroC tool allows editing, movement of a session to and from inactive status, and addition of new sessions.
Step 1c: Specifying and Editing Recourses for a Session
Typically, each session may involve some readings in preparation for a class, sample C programs, and a laboratory exervise. With the Tool to Change Resources for Sessiosn, an instructor can edit, insert, and reorganize resources for any session. Some operations include editing the segment and/or session for a resource (e.g., reading), identifying a file with the relevant information, and providing a sequence number for public display within a session.
- Resources are displayed within categories, so that all examples are grouped together, all readings are together, etc.
- The resouce sequence number specifies the ordering within each category.
Step 2: Manage Date/Scheduling Parameters
Once course content is determined, a course schedule requires information about specific dates and the timing of sessions.
Step 2a: Managing Date-related Information
The link to Manage Date Parameters allows an instructor to specify date and time information, including:
- The course starting date
- Days of the week the course meets (e.g., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday)
Specified, semester dates
- Vacation days, during which the course does not meet
- Fixed class meetings, such as days of tests
Step 2b: Managing Session Timing
Within a course, an instructor must decide how sessions will fit together. This integration of sessions involves three pieces:
- Determining high-level segments and their order (Step 1a)
- Determining sessions within segments and the order of these segments (Step 1b)
Determining session timing
- How many full or partial in-class days for the sesson
- Whether a session may start on the same day as the previous session
- Whether the session includes work that students will be required to submit, and, if so, when that work will due: at end of class (0 days after the class), at the next class (1 day ahead), or n class days in the future.
Step 3: Generate Schedule
Once content content and schedule are determined, the Generate Schedule tool generates a static html page that shows the full semester schedule. (The page is static, so that a Web server need not recreate this material every time each student clicks on the course schedule.) Dynamic scripts will consistently show students a brief time snapshot for the previous class, current class, next class and next deadline. This snapshot information will change each day — but the overall schedule can be static.