Initialing submissions

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Kieran Mathieson

The last news item, Lessons from the IRS, reviewed an article listing five things online faculty can learn from the IRS. One of them was "promote positive behavior with a signature box." The article's author, Miriam Bowers-Abbott, wrote:

The IRS has found that online signature boxes improve integrity and accountability...

Skilling didn't use that principle at the time, but it does now. When students submit exercise solutions, they type in their initials to assert that their work complies with course policies.

New user field

The first thing was to add a new field to user accounts. It holds the signature that users will type to confirm policy compliance. The field is required for all users, not just students. Here's how it looks:

User form

New submission field

Next, a field was added to the form students use to submit their work:

Submission form

Skilling won't save submissions without initials, or with initials that don't match those in students' accounts.

Where are submission policies recorded?

When Skilling is installed, it creates a page with the title "Submission policies," and adds a link to it in students' "Your stuff" menus. The page has generic "check with your instructor" language.

To use your own policies, edit the "Submission policies" page. Paste in whatever you want. You can include links to your institution's policies, a photo of a disappointed grandmother... you decide.

Got an idea? Pass it on.

Skilling already includes Good Stuff from the education literature. Formative feedback, schemas, much else. Now, a new thing.

Have an idea for Skilling? Please don't keep it to yourself. Let's talk about it.