Navigate: Tools within the LMS Quest

posted May 18, 2016, 7:18 AM by Emily Kroutil   [ updated May 19, 2016, 8:04 AM ]
I use Haiku.  There are a wide variety of tools available within Haiku.  I've been using the software for 4 years now and I'm sure there are features that I haven't even explored yet.  These are the tools that I've found in Haiku over the years and I'll bold the tools I've found the most valuable.  
  • Email - I usually use my school email to connect with students rather than the Haiku email function.
  • Announcements/Notifications

  • Discussions - this would be helpful in an online-only class, but currently I don't use this feature much because we have our discussions in class
  • Calendar (see above for a picture)
  • Profiles - I've noticed that some students have pictures in Haiku and some don't.  I think it is tied to their email address, but I can't be sure because I haven't explored this function much.
  • Dropbox - I use this functionality with my AP class, but not with my physics class.
  • Quizzing/Testing - I use this a lot with my physics students, but not as much with my AP class.  These short quizzes are similar to self-assessments because they're really meant to alert the kids' to their weak spots.
  • Gradebook - I use this as a place where I can see all their quiz grades and enter them quickly into PowerSchool.  Because I simply use it as a place to hold grades and not report their official grade, I haven't looked into whether it allows you to import grades.  I currently have it to display percentages and everything is weighted equally.  I just did a little more digging into the gradebook on Haiku and it allows you to do the following: 
    • term weights
    • grade categories
    • percentages or grades
    • methods to exempt or mark students absent from an assignment (you can also create your own special notations.  My favorite is "missing")
    • how much to round the grade (whole number, 1 decimal place, 2 decimal places)
    • sort the grade book various ways
  • User Progress - I'm not certain how accurate this functionality is, but it is interesting.  Khan academy has a better interface for this type of data 
All of these tools have their place, but if I were to have to pick one tool to delete from the line up, I'd pick the profile tool.  It would be easy enough to set up a discussion where everyone posts a little bit about themselves so everyone could get to know each other.  That would be more likely to get read than expecting students to click on each other's profile.