Videre was my ITP project at Gov School. Videre is a plug-in for existing online grade programs to make better use of the data contained in them. Videre features a graph of a student's data, comparison of the student's grades to the class as a whole, advanced trends, and notification of new grades and large changes in averages. Online grade books are just boring tables. Videre builds upon them to make them into something which lets students, teachers, parents, and administrators know how a student is doing at a glance.
It is only a proof of concept, an experiment to show what could happen to make grade books better, and how it could be done. It is not a finished project which can be installed today. There is still a significant amount of work needed to get it to work with your online gradebook. It has been designed to work with multiple databases (though that was not implemented 100% perfectly); all you have to do is re-write the queries to match your database and have it contact one of our URLs when a grade is added. Videre is GPL software, however, so you are welcome to go ahead and try. I am willing to help you get started. Videre is written in PHP 5 and the sample database is in MySQL.
Videre was designed and built by Jason Lafata, Talisha Payton, Andrew Sauber, Michael Plasmeier, and Jay Couture at the Pennsylvania Governor's Schools of Excellence in Information, Society & Technology in the summer of 2008 at Drexel in Philadelphia. Michael was the project manager and group leader. He was also the only one who knew PHP so he taught his group and helped his group program. Jason knew Java before the program and he made the trends system. Andrew worked with the graphing system. Jay had no programming experience , but he worked on alerts and newsfeeds, and he learned how to send out lots of emails. Talisha also had no programming experience and she created the visual design and implemented it in Photoshop and CSS.
- Intro PowerPoint (with the idea and plan; made after first week of 5)
- Final PowerPoint (with the result; at the end of the 5 weeks)
Videre Home - for a student
Videre Class Page
When you hover over a grade in the grade table you get stats
Add/Edit Alerts Page
When a grade is added, the system adds a news feed item and sends out alerts
- Typical grade databases are boring
- All you see are assignments given and grade received: They do not offer any grade interpretations
- Generic information: There is no way to see your grade over time or see your tendencies or a pattern to your work effort or anything.
- For parents, they usually don’t know how the student is doing in school unless they inquire regularly.
Videre is the SOLUTION
- Engaging layout
- Displays graphs and trends
- Interprets grades and provides advanced statistics
- Alerts parents as to how child is progressing
- Shows student how they need to perform to succeed
- Currently only a Proof of Concept
- Builds upon an existing online grade books
- Uses its database and authentication
- Written in PHP
- Graphs using PHP-SWF library
- Right now uses our own test database
Obstacles to Development
- Communicating effectively at times
- Motivation and focus
- Showing up for meetings
- Mandatory Fun Activities
If only we had more time…
- Per assignment “what if” feature
- Student “tips” feature
- PHP 5 object oriented
- Unit testing
- Test out Backtracing
- Implement with real grade book