Best Practices: Assignment Grader App (iOS)

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Among the best practices I have found for the Assignment App are:

  1. Never logout: You do not want to log out of the app.  Instead enable the “Pin Lock” to protect the privacy of the files you have downloaded.
  2. Enable the “Pin Lock”: Use the “Enable Pin Lock” switch in the settings (the settings gear is in the upper right-hand corner of the app.  The 4 digit pin will provide privacy for the app without having to logout of the app itself.
  3. Synch early and often: Make sure to synch your app regularly, and especially when you think you might be loosing wireless access or moving to another network (i.e., boing between your office and the classroom, or school and home, etc.).
  4. Make sure to have a stable wireless connection before synching: Make sure you have a stable connection before synching to the server.  You can do this by connecting some other app or webpage before synching your Dropboxes.  It is possible for you to have a wireless connection, without being able to pass Internet traffic though that connection.  (I tested this and had an issue which caused me to receive a message that my credentials had expired, requiring me to logout of the app and log back in.  It was an issue with my wireless router, which I had to reset.  In the process, I lost the grades I had not synche–but not the feedback.  Although I have not tested it yet, this could be an issue on public wireless networks where you have to agree to their terms by opening a webpage before you can connect to other Internet based resources.  So test your connectivity before synching.)
  5. Don’t grade more documents between synchs than you are willing to loose:  There is a small chance you could loose the grades, feedback, and annotations you have added to assignments you grade if your “credentials expire”.  This is something we are trying to isolate and identify the causes.
  6. After grading a group of documents in a dropbox, synch the documents while still on the Class List page:  If you go back to the list of dropboxes and happen to click the download icon to the left of the dropbox’s name, it will re-download the documents and overwrite all of the assessments you have done since the last synch.
Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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