This week in GTC we were guided through some of the tools that SmartSite had to offer by SmartSite guru Steve Faith. We went through how to create quizzes and tests on SmartSite and also how to program SmartSite to grade the tests and quizzes for us. With the SmartSite tool you can write multiple choice, short answer, short essay, and other question types and assign point values to each question. You can also use the tests and quizzes tool to create question pools from which SmartSite can draw random questions for quick quizzes. Instructors can design anonymous polls to see if their students are attending class and absorbing the material. SmartSite also has the ability to upload and download all turned in assignments via the “upload all” and “download all” selection in the upper right hand corner on a ‘grade assignment’ page. Steve ran through how to create quizzes, polls, upload and download assignments and answered our many questions about SmartSite capabilities.
While SmartSite does currently have a blogging platform, it is being improved to act more like a traditional blog for future use. Up and coming SmartSite attractions also include compatibility with google documents and enhanced networking capabilities. I personally am hoping to see more advanced question and answering tools, so that students can post questions and have one universal answer that instructors and students can contribute to (maybe I should talk to Steve about that J)
The bottom line is that our current system, while constantly being improved, has many tools that we can use to more effectively teach our classes. Many of us are not aware of all of these capabilities. The good news is that with just a phone call or a visit to SurgeIII you can get your questions answered.