It hasn’t been 2 months yet since our last major update, but we’ve been keeping busy to bring you more new and exciting features. This time around, all newly implemented functionality was added by request of Geenio users - you asked for it, and we delivered! Here’s what we have for this month:
Imparting knowledge to your students via e-courses is just half the story - it equally important to have a clear feedback channel to understand whether the material is understood and retained. Questions and tests (strategically placed between other course elements) can help in that regard to some degree, but nothing beats actual homework done by the students themselves. Blooms taxonomy is proof to that, and it lists “remembering”, “understanding”, and “applying” as three levels of knowledge retention. And if you expect your students to progress beyond the basic level, using tests alone will not do. You need to give them homework.
That’s why we introduced the “Homework” course element to Geenio. To add an assignment to your course, simply drag the element to the course schema. Presto, you’re done! You can now customize the assignment by giving it a name, type in some additional information, and attach documents and other files. In addition, you can set a time limit allowed for completing the assignment and the passing grade - or decline to make the the assignment gradable at all, instead opting for the simple “pass/fail” model. Depending on whether the homework assignment is completed successfully, the student will proceed down a different path in the course.
When submitting a completed homework assignment, the student can either type or paste it in the web form, or upload it as a file (the teacher will be notified as soon as the file is uploaded, and will be able to check it). Besides, you can assign one or more “experts” to check the students’ homework - any one of them can “approve” the student’s homework assignment, so that they would be free to proceed with the course.
More often than not, getting feedback about a course or a teacher is no easy task. You cannot count on the students being proactive, and gentle reminders often don’t work. However, feedback if vital for understanding whether the courses meet the students’ needs, and giving them the ability to suggest changes to the course’s contents, or maybe your approach to education. Surveys are an excellent tool for gathering such information, and making them available in Geenio has long been overdue.
Surveys in Geenio offer a multitude of possible question types you can use, from simple open-ended questions, to multiple answer questions, to question matrixes, so beloved of all survey makers. There can be no “right answer” to a survey question, obviously, but you can make some of the questions mandatory, and also make answers to the survey questions anonymous.
Localization and choosing the interface language
We made another step on our path to perfection and implemented a bona fide multilingual interface in Geenio. So far, you can choose from English, Spanish, German, French, and Russian languages, but we have plans to add more at a later date. And to put some icing on the cake, every Geenio user can choose the interface language that suits him or her best.
More possibilities for branding
We would’ve been remiss not to think of the customization geeks among the Geenio audience. Do you just love tinkering with the interface settings and colors? Are you one of the (many) users who’ve been asking for the ability to spice the Geenio interface up? Well, you need to wait no longer, for now you can do all of the following:
Set a custom logo, as well as a custom login screen background.
Change the color of all buttons, checkboxes, sliders, and radio buttons.
Change the color of text on all buttons and sliders.
This way, everybody can pick and choose a style that is uniquely theirs, and individualize his or her Geenio instance.
All of the improvements described in this article are already available to all Geenio users, and you can experiment with the new features by adding them to your existing courses. Keep in mind that we listen to any and all requests from our users, so write in and let us know about that great idea you have to make Geenio even better!
Workin’ hard to help you excel,
The Geenio Team