IRC log of #schooltool for Tuesday, 2006-01-03

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masonfhey im just looking atschool tool can someone point my in the direction of a tutorial that would show me how to insert grades?01:15
th1aCan't do that yet.01:17
th1aWe're just starting to write that part now masonf.01:18
masonflooks good so far.01:20
masonfare you gonna stay with ZEODB for the backend?01:20
masonfnot mysql?01:20
masonfIve heard ZEODB be called a 'toy database' on some mailinglist somewhere01:22
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th1amasonf:  As an object database, ZODB gives lots of flexibility and aids rapid development.01:52
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erchacheth1a: are you here?11:41
erchachewhat is a CanDo meet? :-S11:44
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erchachewhat is a CanDo meet? :-S13:03
mgedminlong time no see13:09
mgedminCanDo meet is when CanDo developers come to IRC and talk13:09
mgedminCanDo is
erchacheahhhh cando program13:11
erchachei have a jobmate are working on that13:11
erchachenot on cando but its similar13:11
erchachehe works on formation personel on my job13:12
erchacheand has a stadistic php class to do that13:12
erchacheto get corrects values of stadistics.....for each item calcs his proof to make a correct test13:13
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povbot`/svn/commits: * vidas committed revision 5559:15:19
povbot`/svn/commits: Minor modifications in real time attendace form.15:19
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povbot`/svn/commits: * jinty committed revision 5560:15:38
povbot`/svn/commits: If a command fails, divert its stdout to the error logger.15:38
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th1aOK, let's try this again.16:30
th1aGood morning everyone.16:30
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th1aOr evening.16:31
th1aIs it dark in Vilnius?16:31
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srichtergood morning16:31
mgedminI think it is past sunset here16:31
th1aHope everyone had happy holidays.16:32
srichter(went skiing the last three days ;-)16:33
th1aOK.  So the main question is when we'll be ready for the snapshot.16:34
srichterdepends on what you want in there. :-)16:35
th1aOn your end, I'd like to have the tutorial done.16:35
srichterI think jinty has the nightly TAR balls running, so at least we could create a release16:35
srichterok, this week it will definitely be done16:35
algawe're done with our part16:36
srichterI have to check in the Zoep 3 trunk fix into Zope 3.2, so I can reactivate some tests16:36
algain fact, we were aiming at Friday, and had it all done by the end of it16:36
algasrichter: so ignoring buildbot was not a good idea after all ;-)16:37
srichterwhat do you mean?16:37
* mgedmin doesn't understand either16:37
alganever mind then...16:37
mgedmin(actually, buildbot does not use 'make update' -- that one turned out to be too fragile, due to subversion caprices -- buildbot uses its own clever SvnSource build steps that I have to configure manually)16:38
mgedmin(buildbot now uses Zope 3.2 branch)16:39
th1aOK, so either I forgot how the attendance UI is supposed to work or it isn't working on my svn checkout.16:39
th1aI'm logged in as a teacher, how do I do attendance?16:39
algaonly section attendance is done at this point16:39
algayou choose a section, and click the attendance link on a calendar event16:40
algayou get to the "realtime" section attendance form16:40
mgedminif you're a teacher, just look at your calendar16:40
mgedminall section meeting events will have attendance links16:40
th1aOK.  I see.16:41
th1aI guess we need to move our sample data to the spring instead of the fall now.16:41
algawe have sample data for fall and spring16:42
algawe can move fall 2005 to fall 200616:42
th1aOh... I guess the spring semester hasn't started yet.16:43
th1aI was just confused because there are no classes today in the sample data.16:43
algathe little calendars on the left are handy16:43
algayou can zoom to december or february16:43
algaI wish you were on IRC last week.  I wanted to show you all this, but couldn't find you.16:44
th1aI was at my parents.16:45
th1aYes, sorry I'm just looking at it now.16:45
th1aOverall, it looks very good.16:45
th1aThe bit that I hadn't considered is that after the initial submission you can't add another absent student... which some people probably won't like.16:46
th1aOn the other hand, it is probably the right way to do it.16:46
algait does not leave any place for errors16:47
algawhich is unusable in the real world16:47
th1aWell, it as as unusable as paper, if you have to send the form to the office.16:47
th1aWe'll see what people think of it.16:48
algabut on paper you can erase, cross out, correct, etc.16:48
th1aNot if you have to send the form to the office at the beginning of class.16:48
th1aWell, the nice thing now is that we can have people in schools look at this and tell us what's wrong.16:49
th1aAbsences can't be excused yet, right?16:50
srichterwe really should have a way to correct those things16:50
srichterone of the most annoying things at Tufts is that I cannot correct a grade online once I have submitted it16:50
srichterI always have to fill out stupid paper16:50
srichterbut with many students, errors happen16:51
th1aThere will need to be a way to make a correction, but it might not be as simple as simply checking the box.16:51
th1aBut perhaps easier then stupid paper.16:51
th1aThe point here is that the main office will want people to do this at the beginning of class and get it right.16:51
th1aAnd not be arbitrarily changing it thoughout the period.16:52
th1aSo what are POV's work plans at this point?16:52
th1aAre you still focusing on SchoolTool?16:52
alganot 100%16:53
algawe are thinking of splitting into two teams though16:54
algaso that switching costs would be lower16:54
th1aSo I should be expecting ongoing but slower progress?16:55
algaI suppose so16:55
algawe'll definitely do our best to meet the deadline16:56
th1aWe're not generating any sample data for attendance yet, right?16:56
alganot yet16:56
algado you have an idea how should it look?16:56
th1aWell, just a bunch of random absences.16:57
th1aSo... getting back to the snapshot.16:58
th1aI'm satisfied with the attendance.  We've got enough to get some feedback.16:58
th1asrichter:  When can you have the tutorial done?16:59
srichterby Friday16:59
srichter(just to give me some extra time)16:59
srichterwe are meeting on Friday, right?17:00
th1aWe're meeting on Friday, right?17:00
th1aOK.  I guess that'll have to do.17:00
srichterso you come and pick me up and then we had over to the school?17:00
th1aThat sounds fine.17:01
srichterif you send me the address again, I'll look for a good route17:01
th1aSo I guess the snapshot will be a week from today.17:02
th1asrichter:  Have you looked at the assessment slides I made?17:03
srichteryeah, looks very good17:04
srichterI liked the visual representation17:04
srichter(and I think you understand adapters now ;-)17:04
th1aI'm getting there.17:05
th1aSo no big conceptual errors?17:05
srichternot that I saw while reading through them casually17:06
th1aThe rest of you guys should take a look at it too, although you probably won't directly be working on assessment.17:06
srichterit looked pretty much like an slightly extended representation of what the requirements package does17:06
srichterwill I be working on this?17:06
th1aYes, that's pretty much it.17:06
th1aThe stuff at the end -- performance assessment and portfolios won't be done this year.17:07
th1asrichter will be doing scoring sections & the gradebook parts.17:07
th1aI'm amazed at how useful the requirements design is.17:08
srichteroh, I am glad! :-)17:09
th1aI suppose there isn't much else that needs to be handled in the meeting... don't want to drag it out.17:10
th1aSo... anyone have anything else to say while we're all here?17:10
th1aOK, I guess I'm going to work on manually generating some sample attendance data for some screenshots.17:11
* th1a bangs the virtual gavel.17:11
algath1a: making a sample data plugin might still be easier17:12
algaread schooltool/attendance/README.txt17:12
th1aAh... good point.17:12
th1aI'll take a look at that.17:14
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th1aalga:  One small problem with the attendance form is that as you narrow the page the legend overlaps the form.18:07
algaalso if you enlarge the font a lot18:08
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th1aalga:  Can we designate homeroom periods yet?19:21
th1aApparently now.19:23
th1aNot, I mean.19:23
th1aI think generating sample attendance data is in my ZPD.19:26
algaGoogling ZPD..... done.19:48
algaLook at other sample data plugins.  loop over all students, loop over all days in term19:49
algaerm.  Loop over all section events in student's calendar19:49
th1aA little ed school jargon there.19:50
algaget ISectionAttendance(student)19:50
th1aYes, I'm looking at the sample data for courses.19:50
algaadd a random record of your choice...19:50
algathat should be it.19:50
th1aAt this point I can just create absences and tardies.19:51
th1aUnexplained ones.19:51
th1aFor individual sections, right?19:51
algaYou can also explain them, too.19:51
th1aCan I do that through the web?19:51
algano, not through the web19:51
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th1a alga: When I'm listing dependencies for the sampledata, do I need to include all sub-dependencies?20:50
algait works them out20:54
srichtermgedmin: do we want to slowly move to schooltool.core?21:10
srichtershould I create an empty package?21:10
srichter(I guess it would not be empty, since getSchoolToolApplication and ISchoolToolApplication should go there21:10
th1asrichter:  For what it's worth, that seems like the right approach to me.21:15
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mgedminsrichter, +121:17
srichterth1a: yeah, the final structure MArius suggested looked really good to me and it solves our ZCML file mess as well21:19
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th1aalga:  So, will ISectionAttendance let me loop through all the section events in a student's calendar?  Using filter() to get a given time range?22:20
mgedminth1a, ISectionAttendance will let you loop through all attendance recordings22:23
mgedminit will not list section meetings where you haven't recorded the attendance yet22:24
mgedminyou can use ITimetabled(section).makeTimetableCalendar() for that22:24
th1aSince I'm trying to generate sample data, I want a list of section meetings that don't have attendance recorded.22:24
algaITimetables(student).makeCalendar(start_date, end_date)22:27
algaIStudentAttendance(student).get(section, starttime)22:28
th1aITimetables will give me a list of section events, and then I take the section and starttime from those to get the attendance records?22:30
mgedminget or set22:32
mgedmingetting section events is more important for recording attendance22:32
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pcardunehey ffsnoopy22:54
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jelknergood afternoon22:57
hoffmanHi jelkner.22:58
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jelknerhi tom22:58
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jelkneri haven't had a chance yet to look at the new version of the presentation22:59
pcardunei'm looking at it now22:59
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jelknerhappy new year, dave23:02
dwelshsame to you23:02
hoffmanHi dwelsh.23:02
pcardunehi welsh23:03
dwelshglad you're back with us, Paul23:03
dwelshstill over seas?23:03
pcardunefor another 2 weeks23:04
dwelshand yet, here we all are!!!23:04
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jelknermitchell tells me paul has been doing a great job getting him up to speed23:06
jelkneri'm wondering how we should proceed today23:06
jelknerclearly, tom's presentation is important to discuss23:06
jelknerbut i need more time to look at the new version23:06
jelknerso i'd be more comfortable doing that by email23:06
jelknerunless there are any particular questions tom wants to address now?23:07
hoffmanThe changes are more for clarity than substance.23:07
pcardune(it looks really good to me so far)23:07
hoffmanThere is one fundamental question, however.23:07
hoffmanWhen we did performance assessment at Feinstein, we weren't directly assessing the student.23:08
hoffmanThe work was scored, and then that traced back to the student indirectly.23:08
hoffmanMy understanding is that conceptually, your competency tracking is directly tied to the student.23:08
hoffmanThat is, you're assessing the student, not the work.23:09
dwelshwell, the essence of skills-tracking is hands-on23:09
hoffmanIt is a conceptual distinction.23:09
dwelshso usually the student is there doing the skill23:09
dwelshbut I really like the integration of more media types into evaluations23:09
jelknernot so in computer science23:09
jelkneror not necisarily23:09
dwelshso that you are grading a student portfolio23:10
dwelshin other words, their work, not the student directly23:10
dwelshboth types of evaluations are important.23:10
jelknerhow is this important in terms of implimentation, tom?23:10
hoffmanIt is fairly important, actually.23:11
hoffmanIn my opinion.23:11
jelknerplease explain23:11
hoffmanPractically, one question is whether or not all evaluations should refer to the student being assessed AND have an optional attribute for evidence of the work.23:12
hoffmanThe alternative is that when you're referring to the evidence, you refer to that INSTEAD OF the student themselves.23:13
jelkneri could imagine a scenerio where a class or group is being evaluated (or a team)23:14
jelknerthen it might make sense to do what you are describing23:14
jelknerbut in our case, we will always have students as the end recipients of evaluations23:14
jelkneri would like to know what srichter thinks on this, but the xp approach is to customer driven23:15
jelknerso we need real user stories to drive development forward23:15
jelknerin our case we always have students23:15
jelknerif we could find a customer with some other user situation23:15
jelknerwe could make the software support both23:15
hoffmanWell, I don't know that either is harder at this point.23:16
srichterok, I am here23:16
srichterlet me read the log23:16
hoffmanBut you do want to be able to simply assign a student a score on a competency without referring to any evidence or assignment at all?23:17
jelknerif the evindence is visual23:17
jelknerlike in a cpr class23:17
jelknerthe only "evidence" is what the teacher saw the student do23:17
dwelshhow does "competency" relate to "assignment"?23:17
hoffmanAh, good question.23:17
dwelshis a "competency" a "requirement"?23:18
hoffmanLet's take CPR class then.23:18
hoffmanIt is a requirement with more metadata.23:19
srichterI think the question Tom raises is valid23:19
dwelshso assignments could be related to a number of requirements?23:19
hoffmanAssignments can be adapted to act as a requirement or a set of requirements.23:19
srichterhowever, I think conceptually it is easier to think of the student being evaluated and "simulate" the other way if necessary23:19
srichterat the end of the day we have to ask ourselves: Why are we doing this?23:20
srichterWhat are the grades for?23:20
srichterFor the government to show the effectiveness of schools?23:20
srichterTo assess the qualifications of students?23:20
hoffmansrichter:  We don't need to go down that path.23:20
hoffmanActually, this is all coming together in my mind now.23:21
srichterreally, I would have thought it is central to the question you are asking23:21
jelknerfrom a student centered teacher's point of view, we are trying to help students learn by making their skills more explicit and concrete23:21
srichterso then it is student-centered, in which case the current approach is better23:22
jelknersrichter is certainly correct to point out that there is educational philosophy embedded in the software23:22
hoffmanYes, yes.23:22
srichterhoffman: regarding the other sub-discussion, right an assignment is mapped to a requirement, which can contain other requirements23:23
hoffmanOK... need to explain what I'm thinking.23:23
srichterin fact an assignment should always be adaptable to a requirement, because that's what it is23:23
hoffmanSo in your CPR class, "clear the airway" is a competency.23:23
hoffmanNow, unless you video it, you're not going to have evidence, per se.23:24
jelknernot in a computer data sense23:24
jelknerthe teacher's observation is evidence23:24
jelknerthe only data then is the score the teacher produces23:25
hoffmanSo there are two main approaches.23:25
dwelshthere is an important distinction between assignments and requirements23:27
dwelshrequirements are the discrete building blocks of assignments23:27
hoffmanWhat I'm weighing here is how much that observation is a distinct event.23:27
dwelshthey tend to be graded differently23:27
dwelshassignments are graded by rubrics and are more complex and subjective23:28
hoffmanThat is, each time you attempt to demonstrate you can clear an airway, should we treat that as an assignment in itself?23:28
dwelshrequirements are more discrete, straightforward, and then graded more by checklist23:28
dwelshclear an airway is a requirement23:28
jelknernot in practice, tom23:28
hoffmandwelsh:  It would be more precise to substitute "competencies" for "requirements" above.23:29
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hoffmanRequirements are more abstract.23:29
dwelshare requirements rubrics???23:30
dwelshi.e. a good essay should have a compelling argument.23:30
dwelshthat is not a competency.23:30
dwelshtoo complex, too subjective.23:30
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hoffmanRequirements can be evaluated.23:30
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dwelshso give an example of a requirement23:31
hoffmanAnd they can be organized in hierarchies, and they can be subclasses of other requirements.23:31
hoffmanThey're a software idea, not a real world concept.23:31
jelknersubmit a term paper by the end of the quarter23:31
jelknerthat is a requirement23:31
hoffmanThat's why we picked a term that isn't really used.23:32
hoffmanColloquially in education.23:32
hoffmanOr it doesn't have a specific meaning in education.23:32
jelknerwhere is this going?23:32
jelknerthis is getting very abstract, we need to ground it in the application23:32
jelknerwhat are the user stories we are trying to impliment?23:33
hoffmanWell, I often seem to be the only one who finds these abstract ramblings helpful, but I do ;-)23:33
jelknerit is important to think about these questions23:33
jelkneras long as we don't get lost in the discussion23:33
dwelshwould a requirement effect a grade/evaluation?23:33
jelknerthe thing i love most about xp is that it keeps things real23:33
hoffmanThe concrete question to me is whether or not all CanDo evaluations should have an optional evidence reference.23:33
dwelshyes, in my view, all should have an optional evidence reference23:34
jelknerit is optional, yes? so how does the answer to this effect the implimentation?23:34
pcardunein the end we want some capability for evidence, how that is implemented doesn't really matter23:35
dwelshbut evidence is good, starting with journal entries, but then branching out to url's, video, etc.23:35
jelknerin my case, all evaluations will be linked to computer data as evidence23:35
jelknermostly web pages23:35
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jelknerso that they can in turn link to several other things23:35
jelknerin the cpr case, there will be nothing but a score23:36
jelknerover time, i'd like to see custom evidence capabilities built into cando23:36
jelknerbut that will come later23:36
pcardunethe question is, for the end users of this software, what percentage of the time will there be evidence involved?23:37
pcardunefor what percentage of the competencies23:37
jelknermy guess is that most teachers will not use the evidence capabilities at first23:38
jelknerthey don't have the ability to do that now23:38
pcardunewell, what percentage of competencies even lend themselves to evidence?23:38
jelknerso it is not a regular part of teaching practice23:38
hoffmanHow do you guys handle it when there are multiple evaluations of a given competency with different scores?23:38
jelknergood question23:39
dwelshonly the latest one matters, in my view23:39
jelknermy inclination will be to replace the grade23:39
jelknersame as welsh23:39
hoffmanHow do you handle it in real life?23:39
dwelshthat's how I do it.23:39
jelknerwe want to know the students competency attainment23:39
dwelshstudents should be motivated to increase their totals23:39
dwelshjust like "Runescape"... keep adding to that defense level!23:39
jelknerif they couldn't clear the passage way last week, it doesn't matter as long as they can now23:40
dwelshwell, it mattered to the guy who died, but otherwise...23:40
jelkner(unless you were choking last week ;-)23:40
jelknerin our case in va with cando, that is definitely what we want23:41
dwelshAsk your techie 4th grader friend... it'23:41
dwelshit's the RAGE!23:41
hoffmanI guess one case is if you have one piece of evidence that was created by a group of students, but you are scoring different students differently for different parts of the assignment.23:41
jelknera scr (student competency record) is a 2 dimensional array of competencies and students with 1 score in each cell23:41
jelknersrichter: are you still here?23:42
dwelshthere is no teamwork on competencies... only on assignments23:42
dwelsheach and every student has to prove s/he can do all comps.23:42
hoffmanIf you're going to the trouble of creating this system, it certainly should be tracking the previous evaluations, even if only the most recent one counts.23:42
dwelshyou ain't gonna23:43
srichterjelkner: yep, but it became too weird for me :-)23:43
dwelshpardon the teacher talk23:44
hoffmanYou are gonna need it.23:44
jelknerwhen we have a user story from someone that needs it, we impliment it23:44
jelkneruntil then, we work on the stories we have23:44
jelkneri'm hoping srichter will either back me up or correct me on this ;-)23:45
srichterwell, I think yagni would be ok here23:45
dwelshhoffman:  is the new schooltool going to have a flexible grading system that encompasses both assignments and competencies???23:45
srichterI have at least one very interesting use case23:45
hoffmandwelsh:  Yes.23:45
srichterfor a teacher (note that I am talking about myself here), it is often interesting to see the way a student reached a goal23:46
srichterseeing the history of grades/competency levels is one way of doing this23:46
dwelshare requirements graded?  it doesn't sound like they are23:46
srichterfor example, if a student always immediately gets the best score, s/he is underschallenged23:46
dwelshyes, but the philosophy of cando is awesome here.23:47
dwelshs/he becomes a teacher of others... earning an extra expert mark23:47
dwelshwhile the others get their competencies23:47
jelknerif you actually think you can use the data, srichter, then we have a user story23:48
dwelshcando encourages top students to help others and repeat competencies23:48
srichterbut this does not tell me much about the good/bad/average student itself23:48
jelknerfor myself, i'm overwhelmed with the data i have already23:48
jelkneri just want to get cando supporting evidence23:49
dwelshI agree.  History is more important with grades than competency evaluations.23:49
pcardunejelkner: that's why you wouldn't see the score history23:49
srichtermy goal is always to make the max grade unreachable at the beginning for all students, but bring as many students as I can to the max grade23:49
dwelshbut with competencies, you want all students to get all of them as FAST as possible23:49
dwelshto set the stage for higher-level achievement on assignments23:49
hoffmanFor what its worth, I've convinced myself that requirement and evidence be separate references in CanDo and SchoolTool evaluations.23:50
srichtereven if that means you are underchallenging the top? and overchallenging the bottom?23:50
dwelshthe soccer analogy...23:50
jelknercompetencies are basic things23:50
dwelshI try to teach everyone to kick with left foot as fast as possible23:50
dwelshso that they will have more options on the attack (the assignment)23:51
dwelshsome will get it fast, some slower23:51
dwelshI use the faster to motivate and help teach the slower23:51
hoffmanThere is a practical distinction there between a competency and a standard as we use them at Feinstein.23:51
jelknerbut all can kick with the left foot23:51
dwelshthe faster become even better practioners (able to do it more often with more accuracy)23:51
dwelshthe slower get better faster23:51
hoffmanBy design, our standards may take years to achieve, so that's why we want longitudinal tracking.23:51
jelknerwhich standards do you mean?23:52
hoffmanShowing progress in attempting the standard over a period of time.23:52
hoffmanLIke "write a persuasive essay."23:52
dwelshagain, that's an assignment, not a competency.23:52
dwelshwrite a topic sentence is a competency23:52
jelknerbut tom, we won't be tracking that23:52
dwelshwithout it, you will NEVER write a persuasive essay23:53
jelknerwe will track "program completers"23:53
hoffmanWell, being able to write a *good* persuasive essay is a standard.23:53
dwelshso we try to get the building blocks out of the way quickly.23:53
hoffmanYes, I understand the distinction.23:53
dwelshgotcha.  we have standards too.23:53
srichterhoffman: I slowly see where jelkner and dwelsh are coming from23:53
dwelshcompetencies just give us a leveraged way of helping students with standards23:53
dwelshback to soccer, you won't win the state tournament without a bunch of kids being able to attack with the left foot23:54
dwelshso trying to achieve the standard (the state win), means backing up23:54
dwelshto focus on the competencies23:54
dwelshyou still may not with the state cup, but you've got a way better chance23:54
hoffmanAre competencies explicitly tied to standards?23:55
dwelshyes.  the state of virginia is cross-mapping them23:55
dwelshthat has been done for my courses in a document called the curriculum framework23:55
hoffmanAh, yes.  By the state?23:56
dwelshyes.  a great gift of the state to us23:56
dwelshbecause it's a LOT of busy work23:56
pcardunedwelsh: it's just busy work because you guys are good teachers... who are already doing their job23:56
dwelshappreciate your confidence in us!23:57
jelknertime check: we've been here almost an hour23:57
jelknerthis discussion is helpful23:57
hoffmanYes, we're constantly punishing good teachers to bring the lousy ones up to mediocre.23:57
jelknerbut i don't want to keep folks too long23:58
hoffmanI'll have to make some more changes to the presentation.23:58
hoffmanDo you guys hope to have some of the evidence features in CanDo 2006?23:58
jelknerdid you get what you needed, tom?23:58
dwelshthis stuff actually is quite important23:58
jelkneri am chomping at the bit for that23:58
dwelshbecase the educational philosophy is built in23:58
dwelshthat's what makes cando powerful23:58
jelkneri agree23:58
hoffmanWe'll have to start thinking about the evidence objects soon then.23:59
jelknerthat will be in my first user stories for paul23:59
jelkneri'm eager to know when he can begin work on that23:59
dwelshevidence and linking into digital portfolio is the future of all this, in my opinion23:59
dwelshthat's the full package.23:59

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