[LON-CAPA-users] CourseWeaver? Feedback needed!

Gerd Kortemeyer korte at lite.msu.edu
Mon Jan 14 15:36:49 EST 2013


On Jan 14, 2013, at 11:48 AM, P. David Flammer <pflammer at mines.edu> wrote:

> I would say that my biggest pet peeve in loncapa is the slowness of data
> reads/writes. It looks like you're going to rebuild the database (to a
> non-SQL database), so that appears like it will get fixed.

Yes, that's exactly the problem. The current architecture makes it very fast and parallelized to read/write individual assessment data (which is the most frequent kind of transaction in the system), but hard to pull together data from across students and assessments.

> Even though the spreadsheet is on the discard list, I think it's quite
> functional, other than the fact that it can take up to a minute to generate
> a student's spreadsheet for a large course. I'm assuming this has to do with
> how the data is stored, and once the database is updated, it wouldn't be as
> bad. I think it would be a mistake to take away spreadsheet-type
> functionality in place of an unprogrammable gradebook, unless you mean to
> add some of the spreadsheet functionality into the universal gradebook (like
> being able to weight groups of folders differently in a final grade).

Yes, that's what was meant by "Ability to bundle scores into categories," which could then have different weights. But I realize that some instructor have way more complicated things like "the best n out of N." I had looked into that at


and even implemented a lot of that in LON-CAPA, but it turned out to be way too slow because of the above data access issue and the fact that maps in LON-CAPA (at least in principle) can be conditional and branching.

Having said that, I have not seen a single Course Management System where faculty was happy with the grade book. Folks at Illinois once said they love one of their grade books, but it turns out that it is individually programmed in raw programming code for every course …

- Gerd.

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