LabRemote manual

Sergiu Iordache

Alexandru Eftimie

Abstract

LabRemote is a complete solution for teaching assistants. LabRemote is composed of two components: a web application used for advanced tasks such as importing courses, editing groups and students, etc and an Android application used for easily grading students. The current manual provides info for both applications.


Table of Contents

1. Web application
User administration
Course select view
Dashboard view
Students view
Student profile view
Groups view
Edit attendances view
Group students view
Public view
Timetable view
Assistants view
Courses view
2. Mobile application
(Current) group view
Student view
Timetable
Student search
Settings
3. Other information

List of Tables

2.1. The semnification of the icons from the main menu:

Chapter 1. Web application

LabRemote's web application provides the complete capabilities of LabRemote. It allows creating and editing the users, importing courses and students from Moodle, editing groups and grades and exporting the current grades to users. The web application is also used by the mobile application for data retrieval and manipulation.

User administration

The process of using LabRemote starts with the correct setup of the web application. During the Django initialization process (while running the python manage.py syncdb command) an administrator user will be created. This will be referenced from now on as the Admin account

The following steps describe the process of setting up the web application(they assume that the web server is already capable of running Django web applications):

  1. Access the front page of the LabRemote application.

  2. Create a new user account for one of the assistants.

  3. Fill in the needed details of the user ( be sure to check "Is Updater" and to fill in the Moodle details: url, user, password and course id), then logout.

  4. Login using the Admin account and click the previously edited user to start the import process.

  5. Select one of the available courses to perform the import.

  6. Click submit and then click "go back to course select".

  7. Go back to the assistants tab and click approve to approve the previously created teaching assistant.

  8. Logout and login as the desired assistant to start using the application.

Course select view

The course select view is shown after logging in. This allows the assistant to choose one of the available courses or to import another course from Moodle.

Dashboard view

The dashboard view contains an overview of the current course. It shows who the logged in assistant is, the current course, the groups that belong to this course and information about the current day.

The information about the current day include: the current week relative to when the course started, the current week of the year, whether the current week is inactive or not (e.g. a holiday week) and whether there are any current activities taking place now for this assitant. There is also a timetable overview on this page with the current day highlighted (for a more accurate view use the "Timetable" option from the menu).

The dashboard view also contains a QR code that must be scanned with the smartphone in order to login to the application from the mobile phone.

Students view

The students view contains a paginated table of the current students imported from Moodle. The table contains their Moodle avatar, the group imported from Moodle and the virtual groups they are part of. Clicking on the name of a student will take you to the student page which contains the attendances of that student.

Students can be searched by name or group using the search form.

Student profile view

The student profile view contains information regarding a student along with a table with the attendances for all the activities of this student(if any). Inactive weeks are highlighted in gray.

Groups view

Moodle Groups and LabRemote Groups

LabRemote uses Moodle groups only as a base for creating its own groups. This solution has been selected because in practice laboratory groups can be smaller than the actual Moodle groups. For this reason is assigned to only one course.

The group view lists the groups read from Moodle was well as the groups created in LabRemote. Users can also create a group. When creating a group you have to fill in the parent group, the group name that will be used in LabRemote and the course for that group.

Besides each of the existing LabRemote group the user can select one of the many available options:

Clicking on any of the LabRemote grup names will open up the list of students for that group along with options to add/remove students, edit attendances and to edit group info. Clicking on the Moodle group names will query the student list using that group name.

Edit attendances view

The edit attendances view offers an editable table with all the grades per week per activity for this student. The assistant can edit the grades by clicking on them and inputting the new grade. Clicking on the "Show week layout" will show the correspodence between the week number and the actual week.

The view is accessible from the Groups view by clicking "Edit attendances".

Group students view

This view contains two columns: on the left a list of the students that have their Moodle group equal to the LabRemote's parent group and are not part of the current LabRemote group and on the right a list of the students that are part of the LabRemote group.

Clicking on the add or remove links on each side will move the student in or out of the group.

Public view

This view presents the grades for a certain group. This view can be seen by anyone without the need to have a valid account.

Timetable view

The timetable view presents an overview of the activities along with their time and duration in a graphical way. Activities can be edited, added or deleted.

Assistants view

This view presents the list of current assistants with their details (name, user, courses where he is an assistant, whether he is approved or not) and options to edit the data. If an assistant is approved then he can access the web application for that course.

Courses view

This view contains details related to courses and options to modify them.

Chapter 2. Mobile application

The smartphone application offers a menu which provides access to 4 main views: (current) group, timetable, student search and settings.

Table 2.1.  The semnification of the icons from the main menu:
Current group Search
Timetable Settings

(Current) group view

We define a group by its name, activity and week. The activity (week day and time interval) and the week give us the exact moment when the group laboratory takes place. The "Current group" view and the "Group view" are different only in the way the group and activity is selected. If there is no current activity the user is presented with a list of activities. The "Group view" shows a user selected activity.

The (current) group view lists the students in a group and their grades. If the user clicks on a student in the list, he will be taken to the Student View in order to see more information about the selected student and its attendances.

The assistant can increase and decrease a grade by using a fling(to right or left) gesture on a selected student item. He can also directly insert a grade by clicking on it and editing a small pop up box.

In order to change the activity’s week, the user will have to click on the header. That will display a horizontal bar with a scrollable list of weeks. From here the assistant can change it’s current activity week, in order to see the group state (grades) from another date. The bar keeps the current week as a bold number and invalid weeks (for example the weeks in which this activity is in a vacation day) as fade grey numbers.

Student view

The Student view displays information about the selected student: group, total grade and grade for each attendance.

Timetable

The timetable view consists of an expandable list where the user can go to an activity (group and interval) from a selected week day. Because the number of activities can be quite large only one item can be expanded at a time.

Student search

The user can fire the student search box in many different ways: pressing the search button on the smartphone(if the device has one), clicking on the search item in the main view or options menu or by simply starting to type the student’s name in the current activity.

The application also supports integration in the smartphone’s global search so that the user can search for a student even though he isn’t currently in the application. Search suggestions are also included.

Settings

The settings activity allows the user to add/modify the information needed for the application to work:

  • Host address -- address of the server that the application will use.

  • Login code -- used to upload a new login code.

  • Current course -- selects the current course for the application.

After managing the settings the user must push the "Done" button to save the settings.

Chapter 3. Other information

The application is licensed under GPL v3. You can read the whole license here.

The information presented here and in other promotional material is for information purposes only. Any resemblance to real information is purely coincidental.