A platform offering teachers and educational designers the capacity to use data to personalise the experience for the learners.
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README.md

OnTask: Personalised feedback at scale

Current Version: 4.0.0 (documentation)

OnTask in a nutshell

  • Data upload through CSV, Excel files or SQL connections

  • Actions such as personalised email, personalised web page

  • Basic survey engine to collect student responses or instructor annotations

  • Visualization of columns (population measures) and individuals with respect to the population

  • Email tracking integrated in data table

  • Workflows shareable with other users (for teams of instructors)

  • Time-based scheduler for actions

  • Import/Export functionality to share workflows, data and actions.

  • Import/Export functionality for surveys

  • Table views to see a subset of the data

  • Execution of plugins to process and modify workflow data.

  • Authentication through LTI, LDAP, Shibboleth

  • NEW Creation of ZIP file to upload feedback files in Moodle assessment

  • NEW Support for internationalization (initial versions for Spanish and Chinese)

For a detailed description of the tool, how to install it, and how to use it check the OnTask Documentation.

OnTask FAQ

Welcome to OnTask, the platform offering teachers and educational designers the capacity to use data to personalise the experience for the learners. For a detailed description of what is OnTask, how to install it and use it, read the OnTask Documentation.

Here is a quick summary about ontask:

Q1. What is it? A web tool that allows instructors and learners to connect data collected during a learning experience with the use of basic rules (if this then that) to personalise support actions.

Q2. What kind of data? OnTask assumes there exist data related to how learners interact while participating in a learning experience. This can be obtained through a Learning Management System, collected by hand, through surveys, etc. OnTask allows you to upload the data, it stores it in a table in which every row contains information about one student, and use that data to then personalise how learners see certain resources or receive certain information (these are what we call the actions).

Q3. Does OnTask collect the data for me? In its basic form, no. It assumes that you have access to the data yourself and offers a simple way to upload it into the platform to be then used to deploy actions. If you you have specific needs to obtain data, let us know and we can discuss other options.

Q4. For which courses is OnTask most useful? OnTask is ideal for courses with a large number of students, in which it makes sense to contact the students either through email or providing them regular suggestions, and for which there is data available to decide how to personalise such suggestions. These emails or suggestions are called actions within OnTask and can be easily created with different elements depending on the student data available.

Q5. What is an action? In OnTask, an action is the process of either providing (action out) or requesting (action in) information to/from learners. An action out can be an email to the learner with text that is personalised based on the collected data, or a web page with content selected based on this same data. An action in is page requesting information from the students (like a simple survey) that can then be used to personalise the actions out.

Q6. But how is this personalisation done? Simple. OnTask allows you to write simple rules that decide if a portion of text in an email or a web page appears or not based on the available data. For example, you may choose to write two different blurbs for those learners that passed and failed a set of questions in an exam. Or different suggestions for those that are minimally, partially, or completely engaged with the course activities (although you need data about this!). Theses rules are then applied to every learner to obtain the personalised text (or resource). This is particularly useful when you have a large student cohort and want to provide some level of personalisation at a reasonable effort.

Q7. If I send these personalised emails, how do I know if they are used? OnTask will help you track that information and add it automatically to the data table.

Q8. And what if I want to know which email was sent to which student? Every time you send emails OnTask offers you the possibility of storing a snapshot of your workflow. You can save that file and upload it as another workflow in the platform to simply browse through the emails that were sent.

Q9. Will OnTask help me collect information such as attendance? Yes. This is a case of an action in. OnTask simplifies the task of defining the type of information that needs to be collected and then offer instructors a simple way to enter that information as it is captured.

Q10. How about collecting information such as student annotations? Yes. As in the case of attendance, OnTask allows you to pre-define the type of information you would like to annotate and then quickly select a student and enter the required data.

Q12. How about if I want the learners to enter their own annotations? Yes. OnTask offers a URL through which (authenticated) learners provide their own annotations. This can serve as a simple survey engine with the data ready for you to use to personalise actions.

Q13. What if I have a team of instructors? No problem. OnTask bundles all the information related to a course in a workflow. The creator of a workflow can then share it with other OnTask users that will have access to a subset of the operations.

Q14. Nice, but sometimes you only want to see a subset of the data. No problem. OnTask allows you to define views of the data by selecting a subset of rows and columns. You can simply set up these views for the different instructors, so that they only have to deal with the data relevant to them.

Q15. After a course finishes, there seems to be quite a lot of information and intelligence captured in OnTask. How do I reuse it? Easy. OnTask offers you the possibility of exporting and importing your data so you can either archive it for future reference or share your actions, rules, views, etc with other user.

Q16. Can I use OnTask with my institutional authentication? Yes. OnTaks comes with the basic functionality to be compatible with the most common authentication mechanisms such as LTI, LDAP, Shibboleth, etc.

Q17. How are these emails sent? OnTask offers the functionality to connect to an SMTP server so that emails are sent to the learners. This connection may need specific parameters to make sure the emails are delivered properly and are not mistaken by span.

Q18. This seems like a complex tool to install OnTask is a web platform and as such, it needs some basic infrastructure to execute (a machine to keep the server running, proper authentication, connection with a SMTP server, etc.) You can deploy the tool in your own personal computer, but it will have restricted functionality.

Q19. Where do I find the details on how to install it and some more information? Check the OnTask Documentation.

Contributing

  1. Fork it!
  2. Create your feature branch: git checkout -b my-new-feature
  3. Commit your changes: git commit -am 'Add some feature'
  4. Push to the branch: git push origin my-new-feature
  5. Submit a pull request

Credits

OnTask started as a project combining ideas that were present in the Student Relationship Engagement System SRES and subsequent versions. Support for this activity has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching as part of the OnTask Project titled Scaling the Provision of Personalised Learning Support Actions to Large Student Cohorts (OLT project reference SP16-5264). The views expressed in this activity do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

License

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2017 Office for Learning and Teaching. Australian Government

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Other applications distributed as part of OnTask

Additional libraries used by OnTask

OnTask uses the following additional libraries/modules with the following licenses: