Using Online Assignments for Asynchronous Learning

Overview

Use MobLab’s Online Assignments to create a playlist of interactive experiments, surveys, and videos. Your students complete an assignment at their own pace, following the activity order you specify. These activities can include (but are not limited to):

  • Pre-Game Instructions
  • Interactive Experiments
  • Post-Game Reflection Questions
  • Concept Review Questions
  • Quizzes
  • and more!

Let’s walk through how to set up a MobLab Assignment below.

Getting Started

Creating an Assignment

From your instructor console, click on the Create Playlist + on the left side of the Library. Enter a Playlist Name and select the Online Assignment’ option from the drop-down menu. The Online Assignment will be denoted by the globe icon next to the newly created playlist.

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Adding Activities

Once your playlist is created, you can start customizing your Assignment by adding multiple activities from our library of experiments and surveys. Drag items from the Library or select the Add button as you hover over your desired activity. Items that are compatible (optimized) for Assignment use will be indicated by a Compatible badge with a globe and checkmark.

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You can also filter the Library to show only the activities optimized for Online Assignments by clicking the filters option next to the Library search box and checking Online Assignment Compatible.

 

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If you attempt to add an activity that is not meant and/or optimized for use in Assignments, you will encounter a warning dialogue. As an example, our Pit Market game is designed only for synchronous play and lacks the necessary features to be played asynchronously online.

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As you structure the Assignments playlist, keep in mind that students will complete the activities in the order that they appear on your instructor console. In addition, there are a few important restrictions to be aware of:

  1. You must Schedule an Assignment before students can see and work through it. You cannot start individual activities in an Assignment on their own.
  2. Assignments only support robotic play. The All Play Only Robots option will always be selected in your game configuration.
  3. Activities in an Assignment will always take the full Duration of the Playlist (from the starting date and time to the ending date and time). This means that any activity in an Assignment will be available for students to join throughout the Assignment’s duration. You can still control how long each round or period of a game lasts by using the Period Duration or Round Duration options.

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Scheduling an Assignment

After you have added the activities that will make up your Online Assignment, you can schedule the availability time and dates for the Assignment. Start by clicking on the Globe icon to set your Assignment Open and Close dates. Use the date and time drop-downs or type directly into the fields according to the format shown, then press Save when finished. Please keep in mind that the Assignment’s availability should account for the time it takes to complete all activities.

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The Globe icon will appear green once the Assignment has been successfully scheduled. A Remove button will appear in the scheduler to allow you to cancel the scheduled dates before the Assignment opens.

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When the Assignment opens, a running indicator will show around the Globe icon, and students will be able to join and participate in activities in the order that you arranged them in the playlist. Once an assignment closes, students will no longer be able to participate in the activities, and all in-progress activities will be stopped.

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Currently, you cannot modify the availability of an Assignment that has already started. If you need to immediately close a running Assignment, you can do so by Deleting the Assignment. Please be aware that doing so will delete all activity data within the Assignment.

We are actively working on adding more options for you to modify the availability of an in-progress Assignment without needing to delete it.

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Monitoring

While the activities are running, instructors can monitor student progress. Once you start a game, the game configuration panel will automatically switch to the game monitor panel. On the monitor panel, you will see the time left in the game, the number of groups started and finished, as well as individual group information.

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You can click on the Details link to see specific details about the game, such as available student moves. For surveys, the Details link will show a live histogram of student responses.

Grading

While it may be tempting to grade students on the points or 'earnings' from a game, oftentimes game earnings are tied to random endowments or roles. This can be perceived as unfair by students. Instead, we recommend tracking student participation in activities. This lowers the stakes for students and encourages them to test strategies or theories without the fear of a bad grade. 

Conversely, surveys and quizzes can be graded for accuracy and are a great tool to check for game instruction comprehension, or to review the main learning objectives of a game or lecture. 

Please review our article about the MobLab Gradebook to learn how to use the Gradebook in the instructor console.

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