August 23, 2017
Are you an educator whose role involves correcting your learners’ spelling, punctuation and grammar? Perhaps you make use of the tools in word-processed documents, such as tracking changes in Microsoft Word? Or perhaps you annotate with comments within Moodle’s assignment activity, now made even more efficient with Google and Microsoft authentication and the Google document converter?
If so, then you’re sure to be interested in Corrections, a simple but effective plugin that enables you to correct learners’ work typed directly into Moodle. It’s an add-on for the popular, accessibility-focused Atto text editor and it enables educators to select and specify particular types of errors – with explanatory comments if needed.
Let’s take a closer look:
What is Corrections and how do I get it?
Corrections is a plugin for the Atto text editor. It is available from the Moodle.org plugins directory and is maintained by Nicolas Dunand, an experienced developer who has several plugins to his credit. One of these, Group Choice, was selected for inclusion on Moodle for School sites – so we are pretty confident in his work! The Corrections plugin works for the latest versions of Moodle and can be easily installed by admins whose sites allow additional plugins.
Once installed, the admin can personalise the plugin from a dedicated settings page. Here, for example, are the default options for corrections:
Our Moodle admin has adapted it to suit courses in her own Moodle site:
Now we just need to wait for our learners to make some mistakes!
How does it work?
The corrections plugin is active inside Moodle’s Atto editor. Here, for example, is an extract from an online text assignment which has been submitted by a learner:
When the assignment was set up, the class teacher selected ‘Comment inline’ and is therefore able to edit the learner’s text directly. Expanding the Atto editor displays the Corrections options and he can select an error and specify what type it is:
He can then give more information if necessary:
When our learner gets notified of the assignment feedback, he can see at a glance the types of errors he has made…
… and hovering over one displays the teacher’s comment:
Any minus points?
Not really – it’s easy to set up, customise and is great for making quick corrections. However, there is little documentation available, and it is currently not possible to restrict the plugin to just teachers. This means that if learners expand the Atto editor, they see the Corrections buttons too. But that doesn’t have to be a disadvantage, as we discover below!
Peer review! Why not set up a forum where course participants check each other’s texts? In this high school German class, Frances has posted a short introduction. George has copied and pasted her introduction and added his suggested corrections.This is collaborative proofreading – a great way to get learners helping each other!
More for Atto
The Atto text editor has a fairly simple interface as it was specially designed for Moodle to be responsive and accessible.
As we’ve just seen, however, plugins are available to increase its functionality and if you have a Moodle for School site, you already benefit from two Atto plugins: Word count and Chemistry editor. Interestingly, the Corrections plugin is not the only Atto editor plugin developed by Nicolas Dunand. Our next plugins review blog post will explore other Atto plugins that will make you want to use the Atto editor even more!