Thursday, January 30, 2014

Grading D2L Dropbox Submissions on an iPad

This post is in response to a question about how to grade documents submitted to the D2L dropbox on an iPad using iAnnotate, so here's a run down of what I think is the easiest way. Suggestions welcomed.

First, I learned that students do not need to submit PDFs to the dropbox but iAnnotate needs to be "registered" to convert doc to PDF which means you need to create an account for it if you haven't already (yes, another account. I was really excited about that). That saves a step for the students anyway.

Using the Safari browser to access D2L, I was able to click on a .docx file in the dropbox and had the option to open it in iAnnotate which then converted it to a PDF (after registering my iAnnotate account). The option to open in iAnnotate should appear when you touch the document, on the top right. Mine first wanted me to use Pages, but there were more options just to the right of that if you tap "Open In".



The odd thing is that when the document opens, it replaces the D2L window you were just viewing. You can use the back button to return to D2L.

The next step would be to do whatever annotating you need to do and save it. iAnnotate is a pretty robust program.

Getting the annotated PDF out of iAnnotate and back to the student is the next step. I generally don't recommend emailing students their grading feedback for multiple reasons, but that is the easiest way because you can just go to Email and send it off. If using D2L for grading (which the students prefer, surveys have found), you'll need to go into D2L and add a grade and a note that you emailed the document.

If you want to reupload it to the D2L dropbox rather than emailing, you'll need to do so on a computer. First connect iAnnotate with a storage solution such as Google Drive or Dropbox.com and then save the files there, go to them on a computer, and reupload to the dropbox. That is a lot of work! Don't do more work than the students!

Another option that involves no annotation but allows you to be more specific would be to request for the students to number their paragraphs in the document. Then, you can leave text or audio feedback in the D2L dropbox, yet clearly indicate which area of the paper you are referring to.

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