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Analytics and Assessment/Testing

NowComment has a number of built-in analytic tools that let Instructors and Administrators easily assess user (often student) performance.

A. Assessing Student Participation

  1. Individual Documents — To see sorted comments, click the “Sorted” radio button while reading the document (see Comment Display Option documentation for screenshots and more explanation. This lets anyone with document access see:
    • how many comments each student made (and checking against a minimum number of assigned comments if you choose to set one)
    • all the comments each person made, so you can quickly get a sense for the quality of each person's comments.

  2. Analytics Report — This report can be run on multiple documents at a time (we used to call it the ”Multi-Doc Report“) and it also details how many commenting sessions (“visits”, defined as 2 hours or more between comments) each person has made per document.

    Here's how it works:
    1. You can run it from (i) the Options menu on your My Library page, or (ii) from the “More” menu while reading a Document, or (iii) by going to https://nowcomment.com/reports/comments.
    2. The first page of the report is a picklist with checkboxes of Documents that either you uploaded or that you're the Admin of a Group those Documents are shared with (Documents that you have access to but don't fit either criterion won't appear on the picklist at all). Documents with no comments will be “grayed out” on the picklist without a checkbox and can't be included.
    3. Scroll down through the picklist, clicking the checkbox of each Document you want to include on the report.
    4. When you're at the end of the picklist, choose whether the report's primary sort should be by Document Name or Commenters' Name; whichever option you choose, the other option will be the secondary sort.
    5. Chose whether you want a Summary Report (easiest to read, less data) or a Detail Report (includes all the information on the Summary Report plus all the actual Comments on all the selected Documents).
    6. Run the report to see the results onscreen.
    7. At the bottom of the results page are buttons to print out the report or, for more extensive statistical analysis, to download the data as a comma-separated value (.csv) file easily imported into Excel and other applications.

B. Administering Tests

If you upload a Document you can at any time hide (and later unhide at a certain date and time) comments via the Document Properties page so that students can&apos't see others' comments (the Document Owner, whoever uploaded the Document, can always see everything, and each person can always see his/her own comments). This hiding/unhiding capability lets you use comments on a NowComment Document as an online testing instrument, as your Document can include any combination of:

  • text passages or questions/prompts on which students write short answers or full essays
  • multiple choice problems
  • identify and explain parts of a picture/diagram/graph
  • comment on a video clip

The advantages of using NowComment for testing include:

  • all the student responses are on a single document, not scattered on multiple pieces of paper or computer files, so it's easy for you to compare answers (even essay questions)
  • easy logistics; everything is online and accessible from any computer (by you or by absent or Distance Ed students)
  • you control to the minute how long students have to take the test (by setting a “Commenting Ends” time)
  • you control when, if ever, students can see just their own test answers (by making the “Document Access Ends” time later than the “Commenting Ends” time).
  • Similarly, you can let students see each others' answers by unhiding comments (changing or deleting the “Hide Comments Until” date); just make sure the “Commenting Ends” date+time is earlier than the “Hide Until” date+time!

Please email us < info at nowcomment.com> with any questions about using NowComment for assessment and testing; we'll be happy to provide additional explanation.

Last updated: July 24, 2017

© Copyright 2018-2024, Paul Allison.
"NowComment" is a registered trademark of Paul Allison. All rights reserved.

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Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text, highlight a section of an image, or add a comment while a video is playing to start a new conversation.
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

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