Forward This manual was designed to serve as a detailed reference guide to the teacher’s software , Classtalk. First time users should not begin here but instead should work their way through the Quick Start Manual. Use this manual for reference. One important component of the Classtalk Classroom Communication System this manual does not cover is the student device . Student Devices Classtalk supports a variety of student devices. From the teacher’s perspective these devices behave almost identically when running Classtalk. They all require students to enter their login information in the same way, they prompt students for answers to tasks in the same way, and they all have the capability of sending identical responses to these tasks. From the student’s point of view however, the key sequences and procedures required to accomplish the aforementioned tasks are quite different from one device to another. The unique requirements required to operate each supported device with a Classtalk system are described in student manuals for each device. As a teacher you probably want to familiarize yourself with at least one of the devices which will be used in your class. Do this by going through the Quick Start Manual with a classroom network running and the devices of your choice connected. When the Quick Start Manual calls for a student action, turn to the appropriate student device manual for guidance and try things from the students point of view. The last element of the CCS is the network. This manual contains a practical guide to trouble shooting network problems that may occur in class. It does not , however, aid in the installation process.
Table of Contents Keep your printed table handy.
The Mac ---------------------------------------------------------
MAC This manual was designed for those teachers who use a Macintosh computer. If you are NOT a Mac user please contact bE. Sometimes we call the Mac the Master Computer because it controls the network and has ultimate authority over the student computers. We have designed the Classtalk network to take advantage of this philosophy by making all network traffic pass through the Mac, and by giving the Mac complete control over all functions of the network. The Macintosh also controls the student devices (but most of the time uses a rather loose rein). Students may proceed through the tasks that have been sent to them without continuous interaction with the Mac. That is, if allowed by the Mac, a student may be given the option of performing a task or other activities (such as logging-in or registering), or passing the computer to another student. On some occasions the reins can be pulled tight. For example, when the teacher pushes the "sleep" button the Mac sends the student devices "to sleep", causing them to show a blank screen and become unresponsive to any activities that students may try to perform. The reasoning behind this structure comes from our belief that the teacher should be in charge . It is the responsibility of the teacher to choose which tasks students should perform and when they should perform them. With this goal in mind, we have aimed to build a tool that gives the teacher control over the tightness of the reins in managing the learning environment in the classroom.
HARDWARE Classtalk II has been tested extensively on Macintoshes as archaic as the original Mac II and the Mac IIsi. Classtalk runs successfully on Macs with 68030 (or higher) processors. Teachers are currently running Classtalk on Apple’s Centris, Quadra, LC, Power Mac, Power Book, and Duo models. We are not aware of an Apple Computer more recent than the IIsi that won’t run Classtalk. If you have used it on another machine, please let us know because we like to keep a list of machines that it does (or doesn't) run on. To run Classtalk, the Mac needs to be configured in a certain way. It needs to have at least 8 Meg of RAM installed and a math-co processor, larger classes need more memory. As a rule classes with more than 40 students should have 16 meg. The minimum memory size required by the Classtalk application is 6 Meg. This system setting is made by going to the finder, selecting the application file, and then choosing “Get Info” from the file menu. Other hardware requirements are a graphic display of at least 640 x 480 pixels. A second video card is not necessary, but is desirable as it provides the capability for an display different from the teacher's monitor that can be projected and viewed by the class.
SCREEN LAYOUT & TERMINOLOGY The Mac screen is divided into seven major areas. These are shown in blocked out in Slide 6 and a copy of an actual screen is shown in Slide 7 . Main Menu The main menu is the strip of menu names at the top of all Mac screens. Each name is linked to a pulldown menu. In Classtalk we have made much more limited use of the Main pulldown menu than most Macintosh programs. The reason is that we think that the classroom environment is distinctly different from the office desktop, and that pulldown menus are less convenient than buttons for routine use while teaching a class. (If you think differently, please let us know.) Main Menu Toolstrip Main Window Bin Color Key Records Active Tasks New Tasks Mode Panels
figure 1 Main Window Autocycle Button Main Menu Tool Strip Mode Panels Bin Color Key
Toolstrip The toolstrip contains a row of buttons that perform frequently used routine actions such as opening and closing login and sending a snapshot of the Main window to the overhead projector. Main Window The main window may be switched between several different windows represented by Window Buttons in the Tool Strip. Some of these windows are only enabled in certain Modes . Most of the Windows are accessible in at least two modes but although they look and act the same from one mode to the next, their function may vary. (See Main Window Buttons, Slide 42) Main Window Autocycle Button Main Menu Toolstrip Mode Panels Bin Color Key
Mode Panels The Mac program operates in three distinctly different modes . We call them: New Tasks (for sending a new task or for preparing tasks to be used in the future), Active Tasks (for viewing tasks presently in progress in the classroom), and Records (for reviewing past classroom sessions). Access to a modes is gained by clicking on one of the three panels at the bottom of the screen. The left panel is "New Tasks", the center one is "Active Tasks", and the right panel is "Records". One mode is always active while Classtalk is running, and only one mode is active at a time. It is critically important that you recognize which “mode” you are in, and are able to determine if you should be in a different “mode.” Classtalk’s functions are specific to the mode. See Slide 10 for a mode-specific list of functions. Room Roll Login Answer figure 3 Classview Pop-Up Menu Mode panels
• To see a visual representation of the class room and the students in it
• To view the students currently logged in
• To see which students have answered the active task at any given time
• To see a graphed analysis of the active task
• To add time to or end the active task
• To view a list of the answers to the active task and the students who created them
• To open sessionfiles
• To view sessionfiles
• To export sessionfile data
• To analyze student performance
• To reevaluate student data
Autocycle Button In a classroom, there are many things for the teacher to think about. Working the computer is an additional burden to add to an already heavy load. The Autocycle button is designed to make running the computer easier. In many classes, pressing the Autocycle button at the appropriate times may be all that it takes to run Classtalk successfully.
Task Cycle cont..... As you go click repeatedly, the task cycle the task moves through the three modes described in Slide 9 . First you SEND the task from New Tasks thereby pushing it into Active Tasks. Active Tasks is a dynamic mode where you can see change that results from network activity ( class activity). If you have 100 students in your class the task in active tasks turns into 100 tasks with 100 responses. When you click ANALYZE you stay in active tasks but are taken from the Class window to the Analysis window . Here you can assess the classes response to the “active task” even as the task continues. PROJECT lets you share this assessment with the students helping them to see where they stand in relation to the rest of the class. If the task is still running when you click DONE it is ended and pushed into Records where it is added to the list of tasks in the current session. Each student’s response is recorded and stored with the task that provoked it (see Sessionfiles and Folders) . You won’t see this however because the DONE button returns you immediately to New Tasks preparing you to begin the cycle again. Note : Although you almost always SEND a task using the autocycle button it is NOT necessary to view the analysis, project the histogram, or send the active task to records using the autocycle button. All of these things can be accomplished using the Main Window buttons and mode panels. If for example you have sent the task and your students inform you that this question has already been answered, you will probably want to return immediately to New Tasks (simply click on the New Task mode panel) where you can be ready to send another task. The first task will remain in Active Tasks until the second task is sent at which time it will be pushed into Records.
Bin Color Key The Bin Color Key contains important details of the task. A task may be a single multiple-choice, numeric, algebraic, word, or text question. Another task might be a Question Set (QS)--a collection of questions. The Bin Color Key contains a timer to specify how long the task should run, a hot-text button for special instructions or information that is to be sent to the student computers, and bin descriptors for specifying analysis of student responses. Timer Bin Descriptors Task Type Hot Text Button If you select “Range” in the Color Key pop-up you see the criteria you have specified for each bin. In this example all students who answer “A” will be color coded green in Classview and Analysis views. See Task Fields Window
Timer and Hot Text Buttons Hot Text is the portion of the Task that is sent to the student computer - usually the written part of the question. The Hot Text button allows you to view or edit the Hot Text sent to the students with a Task. The instructor may click this button after the task has been sent to review what the students are seeing, for example to clear up a question about wording. The Hot Text field can hold up to 4000 characters - although most teachers usually limit it to about seven lines. Hot Text for a multiple choice question, for instance, might have a two line question with four or five one line answer choices. Using the HT button is one alternative for entering hot text. In generally, clicking on a Bin Key item provides an alternate method for entering task field specifications (try double clicking on the bin descriptors). Normally field entry would be done in the Task Fields Window . See section on Task Fields Window The Timer button can be seen at any time. The Timer Window can be accessed in the New Tasks and Active Tasks Modes by double clicking on the timer button. In New Tasks mode this allows you to pre-set the time for the selected task. In the Active Tasks mode the timer allows you to add time to the currently running or just-ended task. In Records, the total time the selected task was available to the class is displayed on the button. The timer window is automatically brought up when you press the autocycle button to Send a task, which gives an opportunity not only to change the task time, but also to check the grouping and feedback options also available in this window. For more information on Grouping and Feedback see Slides 40 and 41 respectively.
GUIDE TO CLASSTALK FILES & FOLDERS Classtalk deals with five types of files. They are the: • Taskfile • Classfile • Sessionfile • Configuration File • Instructor List 16 24 29 36 37 Slide Slide Slide Slide Slide
Taskfiles What is a Taskfile? A Taskfile contains tasks which can be "sent" to a class using Classtalk. A task may be a single Question , a Question Set or a Slide . The purpose of a taskfile is to hold questions that have been prepared in advance for use in a classroom session . To learn how to create questions refer to the Quick Start Manual. Question Question Set
Creating a Taskfile Typically you might create many different taskfiles over the course of a semester, each containing questions on a particular subject. Save a taskfile by pulling down the Files menu-- select “Taskfile” and then “Save” or “Save TF as”, in the hierarchical menu. In the example below the taskfile has been named “My Taskfile.” The given filename appears in the title of the task-list window and also can be seen here as the selected taskfile in the taskfile pop-up menu . Sessionfile Taskfile Collected Session Page Setup Print Export Setup .......... ...... .. New TF Open TF Save Save TF as My Taskfile Active Tasks Task List
Shortcut for Saving the Current Taskfile In the toolstrip there is a Save Taskfile button which instantly saves changes to the currently active taskfile (the file named in the filename pop-up in the New Tasks panel). “Save” if you make any changes to your Taskfile and want to keep them. Warning : Changes to Taskfiles are not automatically saved when you Quit the application. If you didn’t click the “Save” button after your last modification, you MUST MARK the “Save Taskfile” checkbox in the “Ready to Quit” Dialogue Box (see Slide 25). Taskfile Size A single taskfile can hold an indeterminate number of questions, but it is easier to view the contents and pick-and-choose among the tasks if you limit your files to 23 questions (the maximum that fit on one list-view screen). Currently Active Taskfile
Opening a Taskfile A previously created taskfile can be opened by pulling down the Files menu, selecting Taskfile and then Open in the pop-up menu. You cannot view the contents of a class-file without running the Classtalk application. However double clicking on the Taskfile icon will automatically start Classtalk AND open that Taskfile. Classtalk does not limit the number of Taskfiles you can have open at one time. Selected Taskfile - Selected Task Before you can view the contents of a Taskfile or the specifics of a question within the classfile, you must open the taskfile or select its name on the New Tasks’ task-file pop-up. Selecting a Task and Taskfile makes them “active.” Classtalk assures that some Taskfile and Task are selected at all times . Whenever you start Classtalk a new taskfile and blank task are automatically created. These are given the default names “Untitled 1” and “Question_1” respectively. At that time Question_1 is the selected task, so if you go to the Task Window or the Task Fields Window and make changes you can make changes to that question. To select a different task either click on that task’s name in the Task List view (note the change in highlight color or shade) or select the task name in the task pop-up menu in the New Tasks mode panel . To change the selected Taskfile use the Taskfile pop-up menu in the New Tasks mode panel.
Try opening Classtalk by double
clicking on a Taskfile
Moving Tasks Among Different Taskfiles Once you have created several Taskfiles you might want to reorganize your Tasks among them. To do this open the pertinent Taskfiles one at a time. As each file opens, notice that its name is added to the task name pop-up menu in the New Tasks mode panel. Once you have successfully opened the source and destination taskfiles, you are ready to begin. From the Taskfile pop-up menu in the New Tasks mode panel, select a Taskfile that contains a Task you are interested in moving. Select the task from the Task pop-up menu directly below the file name. Next, in main Edit menu choose Cut (or copy, as suits your needs). Return to the Taskfile pop-up menu to select the destination Taskfile. And finally from the Edit menu and select Paste. Your Task will have been removed from the source taskfile and added to the destination taskfile. Taskfile Pop-up Menu Task Pop-up Menu DNA Sci.&Tech. MRNA
Printing a Task or Task List It is often useful to print a task. To print a task list select the taskfile name from the New Tasks pop-up menu. Then select print under File in the main menu. When the “Print…” dialogue box appears choose “Task List” and your off and running. This will give you a print out of the task list exactly as it appears in the Task List view. To print one or more tasks from the task list, repeat the above steps but choose “Selected task(s)” in the Print... dialogue box. This will give you a one or two page summary showing you the Task Screen plus all of the details from the Task Fields . Print Dialogue Box
Using Task Templates A Task Template is generic task from a special Taskfile-- the Task Template file, which contains a variety of different templates. Use a Template task to speed up the building of a new task. The Task Template pop-up is in the Task Fields Window. If you wish to customize Task Templates, rename or move the Task Template file before you start Classtalk. Then open and edit it as if it were a normal taskfile. At start up, Classtalk will tell you if it doesn't find a Task Template file in the CT folder. Task Template Pop-up menu
Using Quick Questions The Quick Questions file is another special taskfile to help you speed the asking of questions. In fact the Quick Question speeds things up so much, you don’t even have to press the Send button. As with the task template file Classtalk locates and loads the Quick Qns file at start up. Rather than aiding you with your question design however the Classtalk’s Quick Questions allow you to skip the design process entirely sending a generic task with a single selection from Quick Qns menu on the Main menu. The question type is indicated by the its title in the menu. You may then adjust the time in the timer window, making sure grouping is on or off, before starting the task. The students will receive a generic question that says something like “enter a number.” or “enter T for True or F for False” or “enter a word”, or “answer in one sentence”, or “.....a paragraph”, or “..... an Algebraic Expression “, etc. The actual topic of your question obviously can not be anticipated, so you will have to ask the question out loud or write it on the board. For instructions on how to customize your Quick Qns file see the section in the back of the manual entitled Customizing Classtalk.
The Classfile What is a Classfile A classfile contains the student roll for that class. Information on the roll includes student names, IDs, “handles”, and passwords. A student’s “Handle” can be a his/her familiar name (such Billy or Mike), a nom-de-plume, or a nickname BUT in any class section, each “handle” must be unique. Student ID also must be unique. It might be the student’s school ID number. Passwords need not be unique. Active Tasks Roll Classview Pop-up Menu Roll
Creating a Classfile Often a Classfile is created in class, on the first day of a semester. The teacher chooses the “Create New Classfile” button in the Select Classfile Dialog Box shortly after the Classtalk application is started. Name the new Classfile as you create it. The Open Login dialog box lets you allow the self-registration of new students whether you’re creating a new Classfile or starting up one that has already been created. To self- register, a student enters his/her name, password, handle, and other information, and is added to the class roll. You will be asked if you want to save the Classfile when you quit Classtalk. For information on creating a Classfile outside of class see “Importing Data.”
Create New Classfile
New Students OK
Opening a Classfile A previously created Classfile is opened to begin a new class session. Do this either by choosing it from the Select Classfile Dialogue Box that comes up when the Classtalk program is launched, or by Double-clicking on that Classfile’s icon. Using Anonymous Login If you would like to hold a class where students are not individually identified but you are still want individual or group responses-- perhaps for an opinion survey, you should use Classtalk’s “anonymous” login. An “anonymous session” starts fast because students only enter their seat location. If you are giving a one time presentation remember that an Anonymous login does not require registration. Printing the List of Registered Students. Often it is useful to print the class roll. To do this, go to the Classview pop-up menu in Active Tasks mode, select the Roll view and then choose Print from the File menu. Anonymous Login
Editing Registration Data If it becomes necessary to change a student’s registration data after he or she has already registered, this must be done by the instructor. Go to Active Tasks, Click on the Class Window button, choose Roll from the Classview Pop-up menu and double click on the record that you wish to edit. Notice that should you delete a student from the roll, the record does not disappear, instead it is marked with an asterisk and the student is prevented from logging in again. This lets you keep a record of those who register but later drop the class. Classview Pop-up Active Tasks
Exporting & Importing Registration Data Before you decide to export registration data be sure that's really what you want to do. Remember you can sort , edit , and print registration data from within the application. See Slides 26, 27, and 56 . Exporting and importing registration data for creating new Classfiles. For example if several teachers using the same system to teach different classes to the same body of students, we suggest that instead of taking valuable class time for the same students to self-register in each of several different classes, every student should register once in one class on the first day. (If everybody is required to take Math , let the Math teacher use the system on the first day and have all of the students register.) Then Export the registration data, creating a tab-delimited text file containing each student’s registration data. Open this file it in a spreadsheet or database, sort the students into classes , and save each class as separate tab-delimited text file. The final step is to import each file into a separate classfile. Before exporting you are required to specify the Label fields and Data fields that you wish to export. You do this in the Export settings dialog box which is accessed by choosing Export setup from the Files menu. In the Export settings dialog box notice that the score field related to exporting task data is not relevant....remove it from the selection box. We recommend that you export all of the fields that you see in the roll except for time and seat location. Be sure to pay attention to the order in which these fields are exported, they must be imported in the same order . We recommend that you export Student ID, Last name, First name, Handle, and Password - in that order. Now click OK , return to the File menu and choose Export , Name your export file appropriately, choose it’s destination, and you’re ready to go. To create a new Classfile by importing Classfile data, you must choose create new classfile when you start the application. Choose Import Setup from the File Menu and select the appropriate data fields in order. Make sure the fields you select are identical to and ordered the same as the ones in your text file. When you have completed this step all that's left to do is select Import from the files menu, and find the file that you want to import. It is important that the file you import is a text file, and that it has no blank lines at its beginning or end , and no column headings.
Sessionfiles & Session Folders What are Sessionfiles and Folders A Sessionfile contains a complete record of a particular classroom session. It includes student attendance, tasks that were sent, and student responses. The Classtalk program tries to keep all Sessionfiles for a course in a single folder that is indexed to the Classfile for that course. For example if you teach Physics and you’ve named your Classfile “Physics 1” then the corresponding Sessionfile folder will be named SF for Physics 1 . SF for Physics 1 Current Session Save Current Session and it will be automatically named and archived. S 16 -10 /14 /1994
Creating a Sessionfile A Sessionfile called “Current Session” is automatically created when a classroom session is started. At the end of the session, when Quit is selected from the "File" menu, the Ready to Quit check Box lets you choose to Save current session or not. If you click Save and Quit then the “current session” is renamed (with a number and date-stamp) and saved in the session folder for that class. Save and Quit Button
Opening Sessionfiles To review data from a prior session of your class, you must first open the Classfile for that class. See Slide 25 Next pull down the File menu, select Sessionfile and then Open Sessionfile from the hierarchical menu. Soon the Sessionfile name should appear in the Records Mode panel in the upper pop-up. This pop-up menu enables you to choose among all of the sessions that you have opened, including the current session. The lower strip pop-up allows you to view any of the tasks in the selected session. Shown below, the selected task is “energy and work” and the selected session is “S 16-10/14/1994”. Records Mode Inactive Activated Records Mode Selected Session Selected Task Pop-Ups
Suspending a Session You have probably noticed that when you quit Classtalk one of the choices you are given in the Ready to Quit dialog box is Suspend . Choosing this option allows you to halt a session, perhaps turning off the computer, and yet resume the same session at a later time or date. You might want to do resume a session after an hour’s lunch break, or just minutes after you are forced to restart the computer because of a system crash. If a system crash occurs Classtalk will automatically suspend the session for you. You need not choose to suspend because you did not quit voluntarily Suspend Button
Resuming a Session In order to resume a session in Classtalk you must have suspended it before quitting unless the program crashed (in which case Classtalk will have suspended it automatically for you). When restarting Classtalk after suspending a session a dialogue box will appear asking if you want to resume . After resuming the session, students do not re-enter their login information. Resume Interrupted Session
Exporting Sessionfile Data Probably the most obvious reason for keeping student records and sessionfiles is for the purpose of evaluating class-room performance. One way to do this is to export the answer data of selected tasks that you feel are important or to export the entire session and then open the export file as spreadsheet. Looking at the Export Settings window, notice the data fields that Classtalk makes available for export. The top boxes specify “label fields” consisting of Registration data. The boxes at the bottom specify the answer data. If you created your tasks with a score for the correct answer of each tasks, then your spreadsheet can consist of columns of student scores, otherwise you will have to edit your records or give equal credit for all answers. We suggest 1 pt. just for answering and 5 or 10 pts. for answering correctly. This provides the students with the incentive to participate. You need not change the Export Settings if you are satisfied with label & data fields. To export sessionfile data go to Records, select the Session or Task(s) that you want to export. Then choose Export , and name the export file .
Collected Sessions A Collected Session gathers into one file, student answers to key questions during a curriculum unit lasting two to three week, allowing you to keep track of each students progress and participation over multiple sessions of that class. Each Collected Session also includes a Performance Summary (which looks like a question set) that contains attendance, participation and score summaries for each individual student. For information on building a Collected Session and using the collected session Performance Summary, please refer to the Quick Start manual page 17.
The Classroom Configuration File The Classroom configuration file contains the ID and coordinates of individual seats within the classroom. There should always be at least one configuration file in the same folder as the Classtalk application. The Classtalk program use this file to constructs a view of classroom seating layout. If there are more than one Classroom Configuration file, Classtalk will prompt you at start up to choose one. Configuration files are text files and may be created and viewed in a word processor (or a text editor like Simpletext). The format is shown in the example in Customizing Classtalk Slide 60 . Every Classroom configuration file must include “.config” as a suffix to its name.
The Instructors List File The Instructors List file contains a list of instructors and passwords. This serves as a low security barrier limiting access to the Classtalk system and protecting the privacy of student response data. Instructors-List files are text files and may be created and viewed in a word processor (or a text editor such as Simpletext). For expert users who are interested the format, is shown in the example in Appendix 1 of the Users Manual. Example of Instructor-List File Format 7 R.Caton; R; L.Abrahamson; L; F.Hartline; F; D.Heddle; D; M.Fabert; M; R.Knapp; R; L.Tannen; L;
The TOOL STRIP Cameras The “cameras” in the toolstrip are the controls for the overhead projector. Clicking on the still camera sends a snapshot of the main window to the overhead screen. Taskfile Tools There are two buttons in the toolstrip to perform quick taskfile operations. These operations are: • save the active taskfile : clicking on this button saves changes to the taskfile currently displayed in the New Tasks panel; • duplicate the current task : clicking on this button duplicates the task currently displayed in the New Tasks panel; Note : these buttons are only active in the New Tasks mode. Send To Overhead Erase the Overhead Save Active Taskfile Duplicate Selected Task
Login / Register Button This very important button controls when students may register or login during a classroom session. At the beginning of every classroom session a dialogue window is displayed asking whether login should be opened. When login is opened by clicking Yes , the word Login is shown in the upper strip of the Active tasks mode panel . If New Student OK is selected before clicking Yes , new students are allowed to register, then the word Register is shown in the Active tasks panel . In both cases the login button will appear depressed. Whenever login or registration is open, students may login as they please. We have found that teachers usually set the login timer for about 15 minutes to discourage latecomers. Login can be stopped at any time after startup by clicking on the login button which pops out to indicate that login is closed. Login may be reopened at any time by clicking on the button again. Within the login dialogue window, the two check boxes enable the teacher to specify: 1) New students OK -- allows new students to self-register in the class roll (adding to the classfile). 2) login quiz -- disables the normal automatic termination of a task that occurs when all logged-in student have answered. A login quiz is any task sent at start up while students are logging in. When login quiz is unchecked and all students have answered a task, a dialogue box appears asking you if you want to Continue the task. If you do not answer yes within a few seconds the task will automatically end. Login Button-- login closed Login Button--login open
The Grouping Button This button allows the teacher to require group answers to tasks, rather than individual answers. Selecting Grouping displays "Group " in place of the menu of student names (handles) on the student computer after a task has been started, If Grouping with dissent is specified, then individuals are allowed to dissent (enter their own answer) after the group answer has been entered. When a group answer is entered, the student computer sends this same answer to the Mac for each student in the group. If a dissenting answer from a particular student follows the group answer, then this answer replaces the group answer for the student who sent dissented. The Grouping button should be pressed before a task is started. If Grouping is pressed while a task is running each team should reanswer as a group , individual answers will be replaced by the group answer unless reentered as dissent. Grouping disabled Grouping enabled
Feedback Button The Feedback button lets you see at a glance whether feedback is turned on or not. By clicking on it you can access the Feedback settings dialog box. The default setting is as shown below... in this case feedback may be seen, after a task is over, for any new task as well as for the active task. Hint : Feedback is most constructive when it doesn’t give away the answer but instead gives the student a reason to reconsider. With this kind feedback you might enable feedback “immediately after an answer.” This gives the student a chance to go back and change his or her answer. Feedback Button Feedback Settings dialog box Note : Feedback text for a given answer is entered either in the Task Fields window or by double clicking on the desired bin in the Bin Color Key and entering the feedback. Feedback is only transmitted at the time the question is sent!
Sleep Button The Sleep button allows the teacher to deactivate the student terminals, showing a blank screen, and display "ZZZ " when they are turned ON. Pressing the Sleep button again “wakes” the student computers up. (The only way that a student HP unit can be brought out of this state by a student is by rebooting the unit.) During sleep, the student computers consume minimal power. We have built "sleep" into the "Done" autocycle button--when the timer for a task has finished running, pressing the "Done" button terminates the task and automatically sends all student computers into sleep. Main Window Buttons In Slide 10 and Slide 11 we talked about windows , and how they related to the mode panels . Understanding how to access and use these windows is a key to understanding the Classtalk. For this reason they have been given a separate section entitled the Main Window. Task List Task Screen Task Fields Analysis Class
Task List Window The Task List button is enabled in both Records and New Tasks modes. When the Task List button is depressed, the Main window shows a list of task titles from the selected taskfile (New Tasks mode), or from a Sessionfile (Records mode). The list includes additional parameters associated with each task. Tasks may be selected by single-clicking on their line, or opened by double-clicking to display the Task screen . Tasks may also be dragged up or down in the list, effectively rearranging their order. Task List Button
Question Sets in the Task List To view individual titles within a Question Set , click on the rotating arrowhead to expand the listing. Single Question may be added to a Question Set by dragging them to the QS header line (QS title). Similarly, the order of questions within a question set can be rearranged by dragging the titles around in the List view. When the QS list is collapsed (the arrowhead is pointing horizontally), individual questions seem to disappear if they are dragged QS Header line but actually they go automatically to the end of the Question Set. Clicking repeatedly on the QS Header line arrowhead alternately expands or collapses the QS list of questions. Rotating Arrowhead Question Set Header
Question Sets Cont..... A Question Set Header can not stand alone. the QS header is helpful in the Task List but has a specialized QS Settings window, and can’t be “sent” by itself. A QS Question, on the other hand, is a normal question. If you select one QS question and click Send , you will get a message asking you whether you want to send the entire QS or just the selected question. To create a new Question Set go to the NEW pop-up menu in New Tasks panel and choose QS. When you get the QS Settings window choose whether you would like the questions to be sent in order (one at a time) or randomly (the students choose a QS question from a list of titles answering them in any order they like). If you wish to use a Question with confidence choose one using the Apply template pop-up menu. Questions with confidence are two part questions first soliciting an answer and then requesting the student’s confidence in his or her answer. This question type, pioneered by Prof. Eric Mazur at Harvard, and adds richness to the Socratic dialog. Question Set Settings Dialogue Box Click here when done
Task Screen Window The Task Screen is the graphic screen shown to the class when the task is sent. The Task Screen button is enabled in all modes allowing you to view a selected task’s “screen” at virtually any time. The Task Screen may be used to convey any information that the teacher desires, but it usually describes the task in consideration. The Task Screen also contains a Timer showing the class how much time is left for answering the task. Example -- For a multiple choice question, the Task Screen might contain a description of the question and a list of the choices. However for a question that has been spoken or has been written on the blackboard, a Quick Question might be used, with a generic Task Screen that just says "Multiple Choice Question (answer A thru D)". Task Screen Button Timer Box Projected to Student Display
Task Screen for a Question Set For a Question Set consisting of several questions there is only ONE Task Screen. In this case the Task Screen might contain general directions for the whole Question Set. Text for individual questions would be sent as hot text directly to the student computers. To designate which Task Screen is projected select its associated question title in the task list before you press send. For more information about Question Sets see Slides 44 and 45
Task Screen Tools To the left of the task screen is a vertical row of drawing tools similar to many standard object oriented Macintosh graphics programs. It is also possible to import "pict" type files or even Quicktime video clips into Task Screen. A Title box , and Font and style pop-up menu are located at the top of the Task Screen window The Tasktitle box can be dragged into the screen if desired, and will remain there in future tasks unless it is returned to its original place. Import Pictures Import Video Clips Task Screen Button Imported Pict. Drawing Tools
Task Fields Window The Task Fields window contains the description of a task along with Hot text and the analysis and scoring Bins for that task, including Feedback . A Task may consist of a single question or a question set QS . There are five question types: Multiple Choice, Numeric, Algebraic, Word, and Text. Task Fields Button Question Type Bin Descriptors Feedback Task Fields
Overview of Task Fields The Classtalk system for designing questions is quite versatile. For impromptu questions it is easy to ask a Quick Qn , in a few seconds, with no typing. At the other extreme a carefully craft a question might employ all of the following features: • Task Screen-- a graphic screen to be shown on overhead projector; • Prompt-- specific directions for the student describing the answer form; • Hot Text-- the entire written question or just the portion of text you wish to go to each student computer ; • Range -- answer-analysis specification for categorizing student responses into pre- determined bin (groups of possible answers) ; • Feedback-- answer-specific textual feedback to student answers which have been machine-categorized as belonging in a pre-determined bin; • Score-- a number score assigned to each predetermined bin; • Bin color-- the display color-code for each bin; • Timer setting-- the preset time limit for each question. Hot Text Button Timer Button
Question Type, Format and Range As mentioned in Slide 49 there are five different question Types . When creating a new question, the Type is the first thing that you should be decide. The Type pop-up menu is located in the top left hand corner of the Task Fields window. Once again the options you have to choose from are MC , multiple choice ; Wd , Word ; Nu , numeric ; Tx , Text; and Al , Algebraic. To decide which one to use you must think about the answer to your question. “Question type” really means “answer type.” The Question type you choose will affect how you proceed with the Format and the Range fields. MC type ( multiple choice answer) has a default Format of A..D. If you wish to ask a multiple choice question that does not fit into this category consider other options in the Format pop-up menu. You also can change the format manually by adding bins (using the Add bin button at the bottom of the Task Fields window). Notice that when you choose a format the range and color of each bin are specified for you - to change color manually click on color square and drag to the desired shade . For Multiple Choice questions students are only permitted to send one character answers (a letter or numeral) with no spaces before or after the answer. The analysis is NOT case sensitive. The Range of a MC question may be a single character, or several characters separated by commas. Special Feature : the range fields of a MC question may contain textual information to the right of the the answer data which will not affect binning. All question types have catch-all Other bin with a preassigned uneditable range. This bin “catches” unforeseen answers that do not match any other bin’s criteria. Nu, Wd, Tx, & Al types When designing questions with broadly defined answer types such as these, you are unlikely to anticipate all possible student answers. Therefore you might plan to use Autobinning or a combination of Autobinning and regular binning analysis, called “Expanding regular” binning, which can be enabled under Tasks/Autobinning setup in the Main menu.
Question Type, Format and Range cont... Nu type (numeric answer) has a default format called General with no other options. Just two bins are provided, one with the 1:2 range and an Other bin. The 1:2 range catches numbers between 1 and 2-- edit it to fit your needs. Numeric ranges use the syntax x : y . This is equivalent to the statement x ≤ answer ≤ y. You may wish to add more bins with ranges appropriatly designed to catch specific misconceptions. Example : if 32 is the correct answer, then in one bin you should specify the range 32:32. Tx and Wd type answers are treated almost identically. Text has a default format entitled General and word has one entitled Other . Both of these will bin any text answer. If you send a question of type Word the student may NOT enter more than a single line of text, Text questions however, allow answers that are up to two full pages in length. Binning answers is tricky with these two question types but word answers, because of their brevity, are easier to implement. To bin these answer types you specify key words, groups of words, and or pieces of words using the range syntax shown in Slide 53 . AL (Algebraic) type answers have two possible formats; 1-char (for algebraic expressions with single-character variable names) and m-char (for variables with multiple-character names). Select one of the two formats. For a bin Range , enter an algebraic expression. All student answers in a similar form are binned together For example 3x^2 + 4x - 7 are binned together with -7 + 4x + x^2(3) and x4 + 3x^2 - 7, while (3x + 7)(x - 1), (-1 + x)(7 + x3), and (x -1)(3x + 7) are grouped in a separate bin. With Autobinning, bins containing various forms of equivalent expressions are grouped at the top and and those containing nonequivalence are grouped at the bottom. The example answers given above would be divided into two bins grouped at the top. For the range you could enter any of the given expressions and but the format must be 1-char .
Range Syntax For a numeric question, the teacher may create a number of bins each specified by a numeric range. For word and text questions, we have created the embryo of a natural language processor which can search students' text responses for given strings of characters. These bin specifying strings may contain standard wild cards such as * and ?.
: Numeric Range separator. Means “to” in specifying the range of
numbers falling within a particular bin. For example a bin collecting all numeric answers between 1 and 10, inclusive, would have the range: 1:10 .
* “Wild card” used to represent zero or more characters. For example if
you wish the answer “Dinosaur” to be placed in a certain bin and you
are not concerned with the spelling, you might specify the range: Din* .
Dinasaur , Dinosaur , Dinersore , and Dinner set are all answers that
would fall into this bin;
? “Wild card” used to represent a single character;
~ Boolean (logical) Negation “NOT”;
& Boolean (logical) Conjunction “AND”;
| Boolean Inclusive Disjunction “OR”;
, Boolean Inclusive Disjunction “OR” (alternative form, same as |);
( ) Nested Expressions;
EXAMPLE: For a question requesting that correct combinations of conditions labeled A, B, and C be submitted as a “word”, if A and B together make a correct answer, or A and C together make a correct answer, but A, B and C together are incorrect. The range would be:
((*A* &*B*), (*A*&*C*))~(*A*&*B*&*C*) , or AB,BA,AC,CA.
The Class Window The Class window button is enabled in Active Tasks and Records. When the Room view is selected, the main window shows the rows of seats representing the view of the classroom seen by the teacher from the location of the teacher's station. If the seats are empty, then only their outline shows. If occupied, seats show as shaded gray. If a question is active and selected, then each seat is color coded with the bin color representing the student's response to the question. Class Window Button Empty Seat Students present but have not answered Task
The Class Window Classviews The Class window contains several views which can be selected from the Classview pop-up menu. These Classviews include the Room view, Roll view, Login view, and Answer view. The selected view may be printed by choosing print from the Files menu. As students login, the time and their seat numbers appear next to their names in the roll. Active Tasks Roll Classview Pop-up Menu Roll
Clicking on the seat icon in the Room view brings up an information box which shows either the student's name and his or her response to the selected task or his or her login information. If Answer is selected in the Student Info. pull-up menu, the Task title of the selected task will be displayed on the left hand side of the grayed area and the student’s answer to that task will be displayed in the center of the grayed area. You may review the student’s answers to all questions in the selected session by holding the mouse button when the pointer in the gray area. Task Titles Student Answers Reviewing Student Answers Dinosaur Bird Time Line 2000BC Newton D
Analysis Window The Analysis window button (“PLOT”) is enabled in the Active Tasks and Records modes. When the Analysis button is selected, the Main window shows an analysis summarizing the class response to the selected task. Possible analyses include two basic plots, and one individual response display. The most commonly Analysis is the horizontal bar chart in which each bar shows the number of student responses falling into a particular analysis bin . The nature of the criteria for sorting responses into bins depend on the teacher's choice and on task type. See Slides 51 & 52 on Ranges . For ordinary multiple choice question there is one bin for each choices plus a catchall bin labeled Other . To see the list of students who gave the answers in any bin, double click on the histogram bar. Analysis Window Button Dinosaur Received 10 20 30 40 50 60 80 90 100 Answer Bird Reptile Ostrich Lizard Other
Analysis Settings There are a variety of ways to analyse and display student data in the Analysis window . To change from the default horizontal bar chart analysis you must use Analysis’ Type pop-up menu(s) found at the bottom right of the screen below the bin color key. Analysis’ Type and Source settings are available whenever the Analysis window is open. To change the analysis type, use one or both of the Type pop-up menus. There are two Type pop-ups because Classtalk lets you view two different analyses at once (see Slide 62, Graph Settings) . Normally the upper Type pop-up is used to choose the analysis since it controls Graph1 (the default). The lower Type pop-up controls Graph2 (which is Off by default). Analysis Type Settings Answer vs. Count: the default horizontal bar graph; % vs. time: graph of % of answers that have come in since the question started; List of Answers: (especially useful for text answers) shows a list of answers without binning them. You may choose individual answers to project. The list may be projected with or without the students’ names. Stacked Histogram: compares two questions in one “stacked” horizontal bar graph. The Primary source question bins make up the histogram bars, the Shading source bins are used to determine the pattern of shading. (see Slides 63 ) Mean and Standard Deviation: ( for numeric type questions) computes and displays Population Mean and Standard deviation of student answers. Hierarchy: ( Algebraic only) shows bins of algebraically similar student answers.
Analysis Source Setting The Analysis Source settings allow you choose to display Graph1 or Graph2 (or both) As well as what session and task to use as the Source of the data used to construct the graph. Usually you’re interested in the default source, the Selected task, in the Selected session. By default these are used as the Primary Source . The task immediately following the selected task is used as the default Shading source . The Shading source is only used in Stacked Histograms. For more information on stacked stacked histograms see the Slide 63 .
The Stacked Histogram and Questions with Confidence Below is an example of a Question with confidence as seen from the Stacked Histogram View . A Question with confidence is a two part question sent as a Question Set. This particular Question Set contained an MC question with seven bins followed by a second MC question with three bins. The Quick Qns file contains Question with confidence set up just like this. For this Stacked Histogram analysis the default primary source is the 1st question and the default shading source indicates the student’s self-reported confidencein their answers. The shadings are “clear” for the first bin, “spotted” for the second, and “diamond” for the third. An interesting aside … The two stacked histograms below are from a Question w/ confidence that was asked twice in the same period. After answering individually the first time, the students were asked to try “convince their neighbors” of their own answers. After a two-minute of free-for-all discussion, the Question w/ confidence was sent again, and the students answered a second time. Notice that ... at first most of the students answering “6” were not sure, a few were sure, and few were just guessing. After Peer Instruction , more were “right” and many more were “sure”.
Autobinning Mode Autobinning is a binning mode that can be switched on and off as needed. Autobinning differs from the normal analysis in that it does not use the bin descriptors set as ranges . Instead Autobinning create it’s own bins based on what the students actually answer. Turn on auto-binning by clicking on the Auto Button in either Classview or Analysis view. One click will activate Autobinning analysis and a second will deactivate it returning you to the normal analysis view. An analysis combining Autobinning and regular binning, called “Expanding regular” binning, can be enabled under Tasks/ Autobinning setup in the Main menu. Autobinning Button bird reptile lizard alligator ostrich kangaroo parrots 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Answer Received
Autobinning cont.... Autobinning groups together incoming answers that are identical. Whichever answer receives the most votes is always the top bin in the Autobinning view, the next most popular is placed in the second bin and so on. If there are more than nine different answers however the remainder are all grouped together in a tenth bin called Other . The Other bin often appears to be an exception to the hierarchical structure, but remember it includes all the less popular bins-- each group of identical answers within the Other bin has the same or fewer answers than the ninth bin. To see the list of students who gave the answers in any bin, double click on the histogram bar. 0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Tchaycovskiy Tchaykovskiy Tchaykovski Stravinsky Strauss Verdi Lenyn Lennon Schaikopfski Other 18th Century Russian Composer Received
Customizing Classtalk Classtalk comes with four files that allow you to customize it to your personal needs. Some of these custom setting are necessary to run Classtalk while others just make things more convenient or better suited to your particular needs. The Classroom Configuration File (room layout) Following is an example of a classroom configuration file format . This file, along with many other sample config files, can be found in the “Classroom Config. Files” folder . For general information on the Classroom.config (i.e. what is the Configuration file) see Slide 36 of this manual. WARNING-- The Classroom config file must be constructed and modified only with great care. Any mistake in format will cause Classtalk to crash as soon as it tries to read this file. !classroom.config (New style w/ SNA Locator text) !York Middle School Room 123 ! Indicates new-style config file 0 0 !Significant lines till width & length data 17 SNAID 100 4 Loc 101 201 Text 1 SNA 100: SNAID 184 4 Loc 101 201 Text 1 SNA 184: SNAID 192 4 Loc 101 201 Text 1 SNA 192: SNAID 200 0 Loc 101 201 Text 1 SNA 200: 600 520 Commented lines begin with “!” and are not considered to be significant.. Take note if you are modifying a configuration file that you used with Version 1.47 or earlier. Should be (#SNA’s * 4 +1 ) if you are using NTWK I or the (#NA’s *16 + 1) if you are using NTWK II. Each four-line sets represents one SNAID. NTWK I has one SNAID per SNA and NTWK II has four. Classroom dimensions. The first field gives the SNAID. This ID can be found on a sticker on each physical SNA. The 2nd field names the coordinates for the SNAs equivalent location in the Classroom view. (this feature is unimplemented as yet in Classtalk) The 3rd field describes the number of lines of text that will follow. The 4th field describes in words the physical location of the SNA in the classroom.
!Width and length (height) of class room. !Units are arbitrary -- everything will be scaled !Width measures the x direction. Length measures the "y" direction !0 0 is at bottom left of screen !Number of chairs in classroom 34 !Chair IDS followed by Chair locations x y in same units as length and width above !row 1 A1 350 150 A2 350 200 A3 350 250 A4 350 300 A5 350 350 A6 350 400 B1 300 150 B2 300 200 B3 300 250 B4 300 300 B5 300 350 B6 300 400 B7 300 450 !Config File Style: 0=new style 0 !Number of SNAS 4 !Number of Exit Signs 1 !Exit sign orientation followed by X and Y position LEFT 50 75 Comments refer to the dimensions which are indicated on the last line of the last page. Must remain in the same proportion. Must be equal to the total number of chairs contained in the following section. Unique seat IDs followed by coordinates of screen location. If you are using a version of software greater than V1.50 then put “0” here, otherwise put “1”. This equal to the number of NA’s * 4 with NTWK II or simply the number of SNA’s with NTWK I The options LEFT, RIGHT, and HORIZONTAL here designate the orientation of the Exit sign. The coordinates that follow designate its location.
The Classroom Preference File This file is designed so that teachers can set their own preferences and make things operate more smoothly for their classes. The Preference file is not comprehensive but with a few guidelines it can be adjusted to your requirements. Begin by finding the Preference file in your Classtalk folder. Double-click on it to open it in Simpletext. Once you have it open you will see that the first line begins, "$HotTextLineLength" , without the quotes of course. This is a tag (marked as such by the $ sign) and you will notice that each setting in the preference file begins with such a tag and closes with an almost identical one. The closing tag includes a dash in front of it, the "$HotTextLineLength" setting for example closes with the tag "$-HotTextLineLength". Following are a list of all of the tags in the preference file and the purpose and functionality of their associated settings. $HotTextLineLength 3700 $-HotTextLineLength The setting here depends on whether you are using Network I or Network II. The number placed there determines the line length to which the Mac will pre-wrap hot text. If you are using Network I this should be set to around 29 characters because this is the approximate width of the HP palmtop display. If you are using Network II the line length varies from one type of device to the next so the Mac is not responsible for text wrapping. Network II users should set the line length to 3700 characters If you select HP style Hot text from the Other Menu Classtalk will override this setting and automatically set the length to 29 characters. But to avoid having to do this every day simply change this preference setting to 29.
$IQTemplateName Quick Qns $-IQTemplateName This setting allows you to change the name of the taskfile that Classtalk automatically finds and puts in the Quick Qns menu. Remember the file must be in the Classtalk folder. $StripControls Login 5 1 23 23 ... $-StripControls This setting lets you Change the location buttons on the toolstrip. If you would like to swap two buttons simply swap their coordinates. $Palete Color1 1 ... $-Palete This is for reference only and lists all of the colors on the color wheel. It is necessary when choosing the default bin colors for new tasks created. The remaining settings let you indicate the default settings for new questions. The same options are available for each question type. The number of bins , the range of the bins, and the colors of each bin are all options that can be set. These same options can be set for the performance summary question as well.
Quick Questions file For basic information on Quick Questions see the explanation in the section of this manual entitled Taskfiles . A Quick Qns file is a normal taskfile with a special name. It can be opened as such and the tasks can be edited individually as they normally would be in the Task Fields window. In fact you could use any Taskfile as a Quick Questions file. Classtalk, however, doesn’t ask you at start up what taskfile you would like to use as a quick question file (that wouldn't be quick). Instead it looks for and opens a taskfile with the name that is specified in the Preference File (see previous section). So how do you edit the currently designated Quick Question file? If Classtalk has already opened the Quick Question File you won’t be able to open it again to edit it. There are a several ways to get around this problem: 1. (recommended) remove the Quick Qns file from the Classtalk folder before you start Classtalk, this way Classtalk won’t be able to find it so won’t open it; 2. (recommended) rename in the Quick Qns File before starting Classtalk; 3. (not recommended) change the filename designated in Preferences file. Task Template file The Task Template File also can be customized. This file, although named differently, works rather like the Quick Questions file and it can be customized using the either strategy 1. or 2. above. For more information on what Task Templates are for the Taskfiles section of this manual. NOTE: the Task Template file can contain both single questions AND question sets. The Task Fields window gives you access only to individual questions, whereas the QS Header Settings allow you to select only QS templates.
Recognizing and Recovering from Crashes As much as we hate to admit it, someday when you are in class something will cease to operate as it should, for some unexplained reason. At this time you will need to be able to quickly recognize the problem and fix it. This section is divided into two parts because there are exactly two types of crashes that you have to be able to distinguish in order to choose the correct recovery procedure. Teacher’s Mac Application Crash This type of crash is the most immediately obvious to the teacher. Characteristics might be: the Mac simply freezes and wont respond or you get a message telling you to “live dangerously” or “quit and restart” or a message saying that the application unexpectedly quit do to some inscrutable error . To recover quickly from a Mac Application Crash, follow these steps: 1 . Notify students that they will not be able to send any answers for a couple of minutes so they don't waste their time trying. Also make sure that they do not change seats or plug into a different port. 2 . Reboot the Mac Computer if necessary and restart Classtalk using the same Classfile. You will be shown a dialogue box asking if you would like to resume the session . Choose yes and, if prompted, choose save the recovered data . 3 . You may be asked if you want to relogin students. If so, answer yes and within a minute or so, Classtalk will have restored all the students in their seats. NOTE : Any tasks that were Active at the time of the crash will have to be resent but all Records will be preserved.
Classtalk Network Crashes A Network crash is characterized by the sudden inability to send or receive messages across the network. Generally the teacher’s application should behave normally except usually a red arrow will flash on the NET button in the toolstrip (the appearance of this arrow does not automatically point to a network crash although a net crash causes the arrow to flash). If one student device does not receive a task this does not necessarily mean the network has crashed (while this loss of communication should NOT happen, occasionally a message is lost). If resending the task does not succeed and the student device is works correctly in another port, you can be reasonably confident that a port has crashed. Ports, Network Adapters, and entire Networks can crash. Not to worry, these occurrences are rare and, unlike hardware failures, are fully recoverable. If you are in class and you think part or all of the network has crashed follow these steps to recover: 1 . Notify students that the network will be down for a few minutes and that they need not waste time trying to send messages. Then reboot the network by powering it off and then on-- don’t for get to wait a few seconds before turning the network back on. NOTE: It is useful to have the network power supply close by and on a switchable powerstrip by itself. 2 . If you are using Network II go to the Network menu and choose “Reinitialize and Relogin students on TIs”. If you are using Network I ask the students to press F7 or ESC to activate the relogin on their Palmtops or PCs. NOTE Student devices can also crash. Refer to the device manuals for appropriate procedures.