Mailsimulator Assignment Type

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.5. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Mailsimulator Assignment Type.

The Mail Simulator Assignment simulates an email inbox, which can be very useful in for example project management courses. It has a built-in rating assistance based on weights making it easy to grade large assignments. It can perform random distribution of alternative emails (student tasks) which makes cheating harder.

Features

  • Task (email) randomization
  • File upload
  • Rating assistance built on weights
  • Dummy email contacts
  • Deactivation/reactivation of tasks (emails)
  • Ability for students to re complete an assignment
  • Enhanced grading view
  • Correction templates for each task (email)
  • Teacher can comment on each task (email)
  • Extended feedback for sudents

Screenshots

Teacher Views

Assignment setup
teacherAddContacts
teacherAddMail
teacherAddCorrectionTemp
teacherMailboxView
teacherTrashTab
teacherAlternativeMail
teacherGradingView
teacherEnhancedGrading

Student Views

studentInbox
studentSent
studentReply
studentDescriptionReadyforgrading
studentFeedback


Installation

  1. Unzip the files to
    /mod/assignment/type/mailsimulator
  2. Visit the notifications page and the module will install.

Setting up a Mailsimulator assignment

General setup

  1. Select Mail Simulator under Assignments from the Activities menu on the course page.
  2. Fill out the settings form
    1. General settings
      1. Fill in the assignment name
      2. Fill in the assignment description
    2. Mail Simulator settings
      1. Select a value for "Number of mail". This will decide how many times the setup process for email will iterate. For example if it is set to 2, the setup process will automatically redirect you to add an email, weight and correction template 2 times before the setup is finished. Emails can be deleted or new ones can be added after the setup process is done.
      2. Select a value for "Maxweight per mail". If this is set to 1 then an email in this assignment can never have another value than 1 (see Weight declaration).
      3. Select a value for "Teacher mail". This will set the default "Teacher mail" for this assignment, it can be changed later on when more contacts have been added by clicking the "Update this Assignment" button.
      4. If "Disable attachments" is set to Yes or if no fields are selected in "Allowed filetypes", the assignment will not allow files to be uploaded.
  3. Add at least one "dummy" contact
  4. Add new mail, weights and correction templates as many times as you specified in 2.2.1

Adding alternative mail

To add an alternative mail:

  1. Click the "Mailbox" tab if not already in the Mailbox view
  2. Click "Add alternative mail" button in the mail in which you would like to add an alternative
  3. Fill out the mail form and then the weight/correctiontemplate form

Delete, deactivate or restore a mail

To delete a mail just click the "Delete" button for that mail. When a mail is in use (when at least one student has checked out the mail) the Delete button will be grayed out and can not be deleted. If you don't want new students (ones who hasn't already attended the assignment) to get a specific mail you can click the "Trash" button and it will be moved to the trash tab. Mail found under the trash tab can be reactivated by clicking the "Restore" button.

Weight declaration

Weights are used to assist in the grading, the weight determines how much a mail is worth. If a student has given a Good answer the weight is multiplied by 2, if the answer is OK multiply the weight by 1 and if the answer is Fail multiply the weight with 0.

Example of an assignment with three mail:

5 (w) x 2 (Good) = 10
3 (w) x 1 (OK) = 3
4 (w) x 0 (Fail) = 0
Total weight is 13 out of 24 possible.

Tips and tricks

Multiple file attachments

Nested dummy conversations

See also

Credits

This project is sponsored by DSV at Stockholm Stockholm university.