This article covers the basics of tracking learner progress in a course in Lambda Learn: course completion, activity completion, grades, badges, and certificates.
- Course Completion Overview
- Measuring Proficiencies: Competencies
- Recognize Completion
Introduction to Course Completion
There are several ways to track learner progress in Lambda Learn.
- Course completion: Enables course creators to specify conditions that define when a learner has completed a course.
- Activity completion: Enables course creators to specify conditions that define when a learner has completed an activity, for example when a certain number of posts have been made, or a grade has been reached.
Grades: Every course has its own Gradebook. Some activities such as Assignment and Quiz send grades back to this gradebook.
Competencies: Competencies describe the level of understanding or proficiency of a learner in certain subject-related skills.
Badges: These can be awarded either manually or using activity completion settings in a course and are a popular way to motivate learners. Learners may be awarded badges at different stages of the course for different levels of progress.
- Certificates: These can be awarded based on predefined conditions set by the instructor using activity completion settings. This is on way of recognizing course completion.
Course completion can show the progress a learner is making towards finishing the course according to specific criteria. The criteria can include meeting an activity's grade level or a manual checking "complete" by either the learner and/or an instructor.
Enable Site Level Course Completion
At the site level, Completion tracking must be enabled in Site administration > Advanced features > Enable completion tracking for it to be available for use in courses.
Once enabled on the site level, course creators or course designers must enable completion tracking for each course.
Enable Course Completion Tracking
Once course completion has been enabled at the site level, course creators can then enable course completion for their course by setting 'Enable completion tracking' to "Yes" in the Edit course settings page for their course.
When Completion tracking is enabled, it may be set in the activity settings and/or course completion conditions. It is recommended to have this enabled so that meaningful data is displayed in the course overview on the Dashboard.
Course completion tracking also enables Activity completion.
A Course completion link will then appear in the gear menu or the navigation block. Clicking there will display three tabs:
Activity completion, or completion tracking, has a two-fold purpose:
- For instructors, facilitators and course designers, activity completion tracking helps you track a learner's progress and identify potential areas of concern.
- For learners, activity completion tracking provides them with a visual guided progression through the learning module with the use of checkboxes on the side of resources or activities. It is particularly useful for self-study modules.
There are two types of completion checkboxes to help your users:
- Dotted. The checkboxes with dotted lines are automatically ticked when a learner hits a certain criteria, such as completing a quiz.
- Solid. Checkboxes with solid lines can be clicked manually by learner to display that they have completed the activity.
When completion tracking is enabled, checkboxes appear on new resources and activities you add to the course.
In pre-existing courses where completion tracking were not previously enabled, you would need to manually change the setting of each resource and activity by Turn editing on > go to the activity/resource > Edit > Edit settings > scroll-down and look for Activity completion> under Completion tracking drop-down menu, select completion option you want, then save and return to course.
Activity Completion Tracking Settings
There are three options for activity completion tracking:
Do not indicate activity completion This will not show a checkbox next to the activity.
Students can manually mark the activity as completed. Learner select the completion checkbox to mark and change it. (Note: they can do this even without doing the activity!)
Show activity as complete when conditions are met. The selected completion criteria must be met . A check mark will appear in the completion checkbox once criteria for that particular activity has been met.
Completion Based Access: Restrict Access
Restrict access is feature in Lambda Learn that allows you to create conditional activities for progress in a course. Course creators and instructional designers can restrict access to an activity or resource by setting conditions such as dates (e.g. the resource or activity is only available to access on the date you specify), achieving a particular score on another activity (e.g. Quiz, Assignment, Checklist etc.) or a particular resource or activity needs to be completed. Once the condition(s) have been met, the resource or activity would be available to access.
Restricting access to an activity, resource, or even sections, allows you to create a pathway for learners, depending on specific requirements. You can also use a combination of these requirements, or use them in a nested form, also known as a Restriction set, to apply complex logic.
In each resource or activity setting page, there is a section labelled as “Restrict Access”, where you can set conditions. To access this section, Turn editing on > go to the activity or recourse > Edit > Edit settings > scroll-down and look for Restrict Access > click on Add restriction.. > Select which restriction you would like to add e.g. Date, Grade.
The example below, a user is restricted from accessing the "A resource packaged according to IMS CP" unless they fulfil the condition set out by "Advantages of Using the 'Page' Resource" activity. The combination of activity completion tracking in conjunction with restricting access enables you to create a "guided" conditional flow of activities to enhance and increase learner engagement.
GAMIFY Your Courses Using Quests
You’ve probably heard the word “gamification” bouncing around. It’s definitely a buzz word with growing popularity as more people are realizing its effectiveness. If you don’t know already, gamification is “the insertion of game dynamics and mechanics into non-game activities to drive a desired behaviour”. In other words, it makes the boring parts of anything more fun by adding points systems, badges, and other features of game playing.
According to Salesforce, 71% of companies saw a measured increase in sales performance from gamification. According to toolbox.com, Hewlett-Packard reported that gamification in sales helped raise their total revenue by 31-44% (depending on region). No matter how big or small your business is, these numbers can’t be ignored.
One way to "gamify" your training and development initiatives is to use quests, a task-based journey with obstacles that your learners must overcome. The quests approach to eLearning could cover a single course, or span a series of courses (e.g., certifications or programs). It really is up to you.
- To create a quest begin with the end in mind and determine what it is that you want your users to learn. What desired behaviours are they being trained for? Your selection of quest could be based on real life scenarios such as case studies or problems to solve. Alternatively, the quest could be a totally fun and fantastic story. The sky is the limit. Try one or try both.
- Quests can be contained in a single course, or a series of courses with subquests leading to a final quest. You can use your training goals to map out your quest(s) where your outcomes or competencies represent the different stages of that quest.
- Next determine the tasks (resources and activities) needed to complete the goals of the quest(s). Making sure to note of the order and type of completion (manual or conditional), and the points at which a stage or the quest itself is deemed achieved.
- Then go to your course and add/create resources and activities for those tasks accordingly.
- Most quests begin with a “Quest Giver” typically yourself or the first piece of content that learners access for the quest. When a learner completes a task the next step in the quest is revealed automatically.Use activity completion tracking in combination with restrict access (also known as activity locking) to release content and create a path. This works well for short term activities although you can release a whole topic and once everything has been completed within that topic the next topic can be released using the same techniques.
- A great way of adding more elements of gamification, is to recognize task or "quest" completion and use badges and/or certificates. See section on Recognize Completion below.
To learn more, we have an article on how gamification badges motivate learners to succeed.
Other Methods to Restrict Access
In addition to Activity Completion, there are also other ways you can restrict access:
Manage Grades: The Gradebook
Every course has its own Gradebook. When you add graded activities (such as quizzes, assignments, lesson activities, etc.) to your course, they are automatically tied to your Lambda Learn gradebook as a grade item.
All the grades for each student in a course can be found in the course gradebook, or 'Grader report', accessed from the Grades link either in the nav drawer or navigation block.
Lambda Learn offers various means of managing grades. Below are some of the options you can choose from depending on the needs of your organization.
Grade Items & the Gradebook
The three building blocks of the Gradebook are:
Course Grade Item Settings
Course grade settings determine how the gradebook appears for all participants in the course. The default course grade settings are set by an administrator in Site administration > Grades.
Various default options for the gradebook are set at system level by the administrator and can be marked as being overridable by you, or fixed. This means that the options will not always be set up the same way for every user when they see the grader report for the first time.
Course grade settings are found in Administration > Grade administration > Course grade settings or via the gradebook Settings tab.
The set up for each activity is different. Some activities are designed to allow grading. The grades displayed are initially displayed as the raw marks from the assessments themselves, so will depend on how you set those up, e.g. a quiz out of 20 will appear as however many raw marks that student got, not a percentage (although this can be changed later). The settings below illustrate the grade options you can have on the Quiz activity.
Some activity grade items may also include ratings as a potential grading method. For example, the Forum activity has setting for both grading and ratings.
Many grade settings come from an activity's setting page. To understand how to add scores and tabulate a final grade, see the Lambda Learn Gradebook Basics.
Measuring Proficiency: Competencies
Competencies are the skills, knowledge and behaviours that you require your learners to possess and that you may measure their performance against.
Competency-based learning or Skills-based learning, refers to systems of assessment and grading where learners demonstrate these competencies.
- Competencies may be enabled by an administrator in Site administration > Competencies.
- Administrators can then set up competency frameworks and add competencies to them.
- They can then create learning plan templates, add competencies to them and assign learning plans to individuals or groupings or users.
Course and activity completion shows the progress a learner is making towards finishing the course according to specific criteria. An excellent way of celebrating achievement is through the use of badges and certificates.
The use of badges and certificates is also an effective way to "gamify" your course to engage learners and motivate them to complete more courses to earn points and badges.
Badges may be awarded based on a variety of chosen criteria and may be displayed on a user's profile or pushed to their Badgr backpack and public badge collections in their backpack will display in their profile. There are two categories of badges: site badges and course badges.
Read our article on how Digital Badges create opportunities to engage learners.
Site badges are available to users site-wide and related to the site wide activities, like finishing a set of courses.
Badges are enabled by default in Site administration / Advanced features and can be managed from Site administration / Badges / Manage badges. The criteria for awarding site badges are as follows:
All existing badges are displayed in a table showing current badge image, name, status, criteria, how many users have already earned this badge and a set of available actions.
Other settings are the same as for course badges. Badges which have manual award among their criteria can be issued by one user to another. Users who issue a badge must have "moodle/badges:awardbadge" capability. Site administrators can choose their role when issuing a badge.
Versions of badgers make it easy to keep track of badges over a period of time or badges at different levels or languages.
Endorsements are third-party accreditations (official or unofficial) such as from an external body or the management of an institution, adding value to a badge by giving it their approval.
Course badges are available to users enrolled in the course and related to the activities that happen inside the course.
If course badges have been enabled by the administrator then the course creator will see a Badges section from the More link when clicking the cog icon (Boost theme) or from Badges in the course administration block (non-Boost themes).
New badges may be added by clicking the 'Add a new badge' button, while clicking the name of an existing badge allows you to view its details and make changes if it is not enabled.
When the initial details have been added and the badge uploaded, clicking to continue leads to the screen where the criteria must be set along with extra information.
A badge must only be enabled once all necessary settings have been added.
Certificates are dynamically generated PDF based on predefined conditions set by the course creator or instructor. Depending on the certificate you select as an evidence item of completion or "diploma", you can add borders, watermarks, seals, signatures, outcomes, grades, add custom text to a certificate via the settings menu.
This is a short list of settings for certificates in Lambda Learn:.
- General - Certificate name and introduction. The certificate will use the course name, this is the link name.
- Issue options -Here you can set email options, determine if you want to save and how user views the certificate. You can set minimum time the user must be in the course before issuing the certificate.
- Text options - determine date, security code, grade outcomes, credit hours, teachers names, custom text.
- Design (and image) options - select certificate type/print orientation, select images for border, lines, watermark, signature, seal or say no to any or all of these options.
- Locking options - if conditional dependencies has been turned on by the site administrator, teacher can set standards that must be met before certificate can be issued.
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