ASSESSMENT NOTEBOOK CREATOR: AN ANDROID APPLICATION TO CREATE EVERNOTE NOTEBOOKS FOR CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT
The aim of this contribution is to present Assessment Notebook Creator, an application for Android devices which makes possible the automatic creation of "electronic notebooks", so that a teacher can take notes (e.g., in a lab) about the work done by the students.
The continuous assessment of the students has a very relevant role in the European Higher Education Area. One of the key issues to assess is the activity of the student in classrooms or labs, including elements such as his participation or his skills. Hence, the teacher must observe, take notes and capture evidences of the activities done by the students in those face-to-face sessions in order to provide feedback and to evaluate those activities.
Tablets and mobile phones are widespread devices and have great potential in education. In fact, they can help the teacher on the tasks previously mentioned, as they can be used to register evidences of the work done by the students in face-to-face sessions in a digital way. For instance, they can be used as the electronic version of a notebook where to write down observations about the students, as well as to record pictures, video or audio.
An already existing application, Evernote, is very useful for that aim. It is a multi-platform note-taking application, which can be installed in PC, Mac, Windows phone, iPhone/iPad or Android devices, and which keeps notes synchronized among different devices. In this way, the teacher can, e.g., take notes on the activity of his students in a mobile phone or tablet, and then access to those notes later on his computer. Moreover, besides including text, the notes can also include handwritten text, pictures, audio and video. For those reasons, Evernote is very flexible and adapts very well to diverse scenarios. It is worthy to note that the basic version of Evernote can be downloaded and used for free, although it has limitations on the amount of new information that can be added or re-edited each month (which can be overcome by paid subscriptions).
Evernote is organized in notebooks, and each notebook contains notes. Hence, a possible use of this application for continuous qualitative assessment consists in creating one notebook per subject and one note per group (or per student) to be assessed. Then, in the lab or in small-group sessions, the teacher would write down his observations in the notes devoted to the different groups. The main problem is that manually creating one note for each group can be a very tedious process.
In order to facilitate that task, we have created an Android application (for mobile phones or tables) called Assessment Notebook Creator. This application communicates with the Evernote account of the teacher, and creates in an automatic and simple way notebooks with the name provided by the teacher (typically the name of a subject), and as many notes as the teacher requires within that notebook. These notes can be automatically entitled either using a pattern specified by the teacher or according to a "group definition file", i.e., a file which contains the names of the groups (or students) that will be assessed. Moreover, the notes can be created completely empty or have some initial content according to a template predefined by the teacher (for instance, the notes can be designed in order to include several sections devoted to assess different topics along the subject). The application is currently available at http://uvadoc.uva.es/handle/10324/12101