Pousser automatiquement des consignes dans un document de travail en ligne

 

Il peut être intéressant de communiquer progressivement des consignes de travail aux élèves, ou même de pouvoir modifier et adapter les consignes selon le déroulement d’une séquence.

Voici une astuce pour le faire avec les outils Google Docs et Google Sheets. L’idée est de faire collaborer les élèves sur un même document partagé.

N.B. : on peut facilement mettre en place plusieurs groupes d’élèves, en poussant les consignes sur plusieurs documents à la fois (chaque document sera associé au même tableur de consignes).

 

Visualize our submission to the TOS

We have all been faced with the tedious task of reviewing the Terms of Service (TOS) for the various services and applications we use. In fact, checking the box « I have read and agree to the terms” becomes a largely formal, automatic and blind gesture. Users accept pages of legal jargon, without understanding (or being able to understand) the contractual obligations to which they commit themselves, nor being able to negotiate them (thus experiencing a « take it or leave it » situation). Most of us do not read through these legal frameworks, and prefer to accept them with latent suspicion, hasty indifference or naive trust. This state of affairs is now well known (see for example the 2017 study conducted by Deloitte: out of 2000 Americans, 91% accept the CGU without reading them).

One can see in this a  » manufacture of consent  » (to use the title by Noalm Chomsky and Edward S. Herman : Manufacturing Consent). Far from promoting free and informed consent (as committed by the European RGPD), we can see here the promotion of « assisted consent ».

How can such asymmetry between individuals (users) and companies of colossal dimensions be better understood and measured? Experts in data visualization and information design can help us, often with talent. Data visualization can indeed strike minds and make complex and abstract content sensitive.

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Visualiser notre soumission aux CGU

Nous avons tous été confrontés à la tâche fastidieuse d’examiner les conditions générales d’utilisation (CGU) des différents services et applications que nous utilisons. De fait, cocher la case « J’ai lu et j’accepte les conditions » devient un geste largement formel, automatique et aveugle. Les utilisateurs acceptent des pages de jargon juridique, sans comprendre (ou sans pouvoir comprendre) les obligations contractuelles auxquelles ils s’engagent, sans pouvoir non plus les négocier (situation du type « take it or leave it » ou encore de « chantage au service »). La plupart d’entre nous ne lisons par ces cadres légaux, et préférons les accepter avec une défiance latente, une indifférence pressée ou une confiance naïve. Cet état de fait est désormais bien connu (voir par exemple l’étude américaine rapportée par Numerama, ou encore l’étude de 2017 menée par Deloitte : sur 2000 Américains, 91% d’entre eux acceptent les CGU sans les lire).

On peut voir en cela une « fabrique du consentement » (pour reprendre le titre Noalm Chomsky et Edward S. Herman : Manufacturing Consent). Bien loin d’une promotion d’un consentement libre et éclairé (comme y engage le RGPD), on peut voir ici la promotion d’un « consentement assisté » (voir à ce sujet les analyses de Lionel Maurel).

Comment mieux comprendre et prendre la mesure d’une telle dissymétrie entre les individus (usagers) et les entreprises aux dimensions colossales ? Les experts en visualisation de données et en design d’information peuvent nous y aider, souvent avec talent. La visualisation de données permet en effet de frapper les esprits et de rendre sensibles des contenus complexes et abstraits (comme l’explique cet article de Thot Cursus.

C’est ce que propose Dima Yarovinsky, dans le cadre d’un projet d’étudiant, initialement réalisé dans le cours d’infographie de la Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Israël), puis présenté à la conférence Visualizing Knowledge de l’université AALTO (Finlande). Cette installation a été notamment rapportée par designboom.com.

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Communicate ongoing evaluations via email from an online spreadsheet

[Originally published in French]

As much as possible, I practice ongoing or continuous assessment of students’ work (ongoing feedback). The aim is to accompany students in the regular improvement of their work, from the draft to the final version.
N.B. : I do not give in to the fetishism of the “finished” work, not forgetting Borges’ warning that the idea of a finished work is “fatigue or superstition”…

It is, therefore, a “conversational” assessment, as students can respond. This allows feedback to be provided during the task itself. This supports student learning, as Alice Keeler reminds us:

This approach is now facilitated by digital applications, including online word processing, which allows collaboration and the addition of comments. I use Google Docs in GSuite and Word online in O365 (education versions). GSuite also allows direct mail operations directly online from the GSheets spreadsheet. In its current version, 0365 does not allow it (this would however be possible via SharePoint, associated with Microsoft Flow).

Here is an example of a fairly simple device, which I use very regularly.

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Communiquer par courriels des évaluations continues à partir d’un tableur en ligne

Je pratique autant que possible l’évaluation suivie ou continue des travaux d’élèves, que les anglophones appelent parfois « ongoing feedback« . Il s’agit d’accompagner les élèves dans l’amélioration régulière de leurs travaux, depuis le brouillon jusqu’à la version finale.

N.B. : Je ne cède pas pour autant au fétichisme de l’œuvre « achevée », n’oubliant pas l’avertissement de Borges que l’idée d’œuvre achevée relève « de la fatigue ou de la superstition » (comme le rappelle Gérad Genette dans Figures III, 1972).

Il s’agit d’une évaluation « conversationnelle », puisque les élèves peuvent répondre. On peut ainsi fournir des rétroactions durant la réalisation même de la tâche. Cela soutient l’apprentissage des élèves, comme le rappelle Alice Keeler :

Cette démarche est désormais facilitée par les applications numériques, et notamment par les traitements de textes en ligne, qui permettent la collaboration et l’ajout de commentaires. J’utilise pour ma part Google Docs dans GSuite et Word online dans O365 (versions éducation). GSuite permet en outre des opérations de publipostage directement en ligne, à partir du tableur GSheets. Dans sa version actuelle, 0365 ne le permet pas (cela serait cependant possible via SharePoint, associé à Microsoft Flow).

Voici un exemple de dispositif assez simple, que j’utilise très régulièrement.

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Évaluer avec O365 : état des lieux

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Sur la base de mon expérience et de l’état actuel des outils et des services, je propose un état des lieux de l’utilisation d’Office 365 (version éducation) comme espace numérique d’apprentissage (ENA, LMS), et plus particulièrement comme moyen de distribuer, de collecter et d’évaluer des exercices dans le cadre d’évaluations formatives.
Office 365 permet organiser le travail des élèves de différentes manières, avec différents outils. Les outils principaux sont : OneNote (avec le module complémentaire Bloc-notes OneNote pour la classe) et Teams. On peut aussi utiliser le courriel (Outlook), le traitement de texte (Word Online) et le tableur (Excel online), ainsi que les formulaires (Forms). On peut enfin, de manière plus avancée, explorer les usages de Sharepoint et de PowerApps.

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Assessing students with O365: my (current) state of the art

[Originally published in French]

Based on my experience and the current state of tools and services, I propose an inventory of the use of Office 365 (education version) as a digital learning space (or Learning Management System), and more particularly as a means of distributing, collecting and assessing exercises as part of formative evaluations.

Office 365 allows students to organize their work in different ways, with different tools. The main tools are OneNote (with the OneNote Notepad add-on for the class) and Teams. You can also use e-mail (Outlook), word processing (Word Online) and spreadsheet (Excel Online), as well as forms. We can finally, in a more advanced way, explore the uses of Sharepoint and PowerApps.

OneNote

OneNote is an exceptionally versatile application that can be widely recommended. However, I hardly use it to follow the students’ work, because my teaching (philosophy in high school) focuses on writing exercises that I have to follow and mark up. However, in my experience, OneNote does not allow fine tracking of contributions, unlike one can do with MS Word. It does not allow to annotate a word or a sentence by a comment bubble that can give rise to a discussion. There are no automatic notifications or revision histories (at this time). As a result, monitoring students’ work is quite tedious.

Teams

Teams, introduced in 2017, is an application in continuous improvement and already very functional. This platform enables collaboration (via teams and thematic channels) and dynamic integration of multiple external services (via tabs).

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Teams has a special homework management module. For example, an assignment can be distributed to students in a group, including a template or canvas document that will be duplicated for each student. Students’ submissions can then be tracked, with or without permission for late submission. Each work can be examined directly from the Teams interface.

In my experience, it works quite well. Students can write directly into the Teams interface on a Word Online document, then hand it in. The teacher can then review and annotate the work.

However, I note some limitations (which make Google Classroom a more advanced platform than Teams or OneNote, so far, for fine and continuous collaborative work).

• Students cannot see the comments posted in the document until the teacher has returned all the contributions to the whole class.

• The document returned by the teacher is automatically set to read-only for the student. The latter cannot then directly edit the document online (the teacher can nevertheless), but only with the desktop Word application (an improvement on this subject is announced by the Teams development team). The changes will be synchronized if the student logged into his account when Word was launched.

• The student may not resubmit a work, explicitly (with a notification for the teacher). This request seems to be being implemented and has been requested for quite some time.

The management of the work process is, therefore, a bit cumbersome. Indeed, the student must inform the teacher that he has made changes (the teacher not seeing this information spontaneously). It can do this via Teams’ chat service or via email, — but this will scatter information and complicate the follow-up work for the teacher (for example, the link to the document will not be automatically integrated).

In short, following a continuous writing activity can be quite laborious with Teams, in the state of features.

Forms + Word/Excel/Powerpoint…

One effective solution — the one I currently prefer — is to ask students to communicate their work via a form (Microsoft Forms) made available to them. Students communicate the link to share their work (hosted in OneDrive: very simple operation). The teacher will have been able to send them a document template beforehand (they will have uploaded it to their OneDrive).

The advantage is that submissions are archived in the spreadsheet associated with the form, which automatically enters the student’s identity (in the case of an O365 Education account). The form may contain other fields, such as whether it is a first submission or an improvement, as well as any other information the teacher deems useful.

The teacher can use the worksheet to enter evaluation and monitoring elements. It can group students according to the state and level of their work.

To communicate to students the status of their work (by reminding them of the link to their document), the teacher can do a mail merge.

For my part, I switch at this stage the data on Google Sheets, because I can then use an add-on module such as YAMM or FormMule. Microsoft does not currently allow direct mail to be generated using only online services.

Liste

N.B.: work by email only is to be avoided, because tracking becomes really tedious (unless perhaps a very rigorous nomenclature for email objects and document names). In the case of e-mail communication, the student must at least communicate the document sharing link, without directly attaching the document (this makes collaboration a little easier; the link can also be retrieved).

SharePoint & PowerApps

We are entering more advanced uses here, which I am only beginning to explore. I hope to be able to communicate on this subject soon. The idea is to ask students to submit their work via a form-like interface created with PowerApps, then process the submissions in SharePoint, with individualized mailing possibilities.

Let’s talk if you want about the best ways to organize work with students on O365.