Xmark - Quick Start Guide

Version 1.0 GRW 27-Sep-2008


xmark is a tcl-tk (not web) application that allows tutors to assess student submissions, awarding marks in specified categories and pasting comments into the student's work.

The student's submission will have passed through several processes, including listing, compilation and testing against (often many) standard tests. The resulting composite report file is called a run journal.

Where applicable, objective assessment will already have occurred, and the tutor's task is to confirm gross test failures, provide comments on the quality of the work, and award marks in specified subjective categories.

Starting Up

Log into your CSE account at a CSE lab computer or VLab on your own computer.

~class/bin/classrun -mark

The class account class will need to have registered you as a marker for the course before you can successfully start the application.

or the shortcut command

class classrun -mark
replacing class by course code or course name e.g.
for COMP1911, type 1911 classrun -mark
for ENGG1811, type engg1811 classrun -mark

Window Components

Common Functions

Reading Markers' Notes

Select an assignment (Assign button, top right). If notes have been provided, the Notes button will be active. Press it to view a window containing the notes in text format.

Choosing Group and Submission

Pick an assignment and then press Select Group. If there are more than 25 groups the groups are shown on submenus. On selecting a group any submissions to be marked are listed briefly, with student ID (or group ID for group submissions), abbreviated name and performance mark if automarking applies to this assignment. If a total mark has been calculated it will appear, too.

Double click on an entry to view it.

Making Sense of the Run Journal

The run journal has several sections. Not every assignment will have all of these.

Pasting Comments into the Run Journal

Comments are usually pasted into the student listing, but can be placed elsewhere in the journal as well.

Click on the place where you want the comment to appear. The comment edit window appears. The left hand pane is editable, with auto-wrap. The right-hand window lists standard comments, including any you think may be of use to other markers. The arrow keys allow transfers between the boxes. The Paste key saves the comment in the run journal, the one with the save icon also copies to the standard comment list.

To change any comment click anywhere inside its bounding box. Use Delete to remove it entirely.

You can't delete or edit standard comments, even those you have created. If you transfer left, edit and transfer right, a new copy is created. The class account owner can edit the file directly.

Searching the Journal

Enter a search string (fixed string or limited regexp) in the box at the bottom of the window, press Search. The other buttons do what you'd expect.

All parts of the journal are searched, including meta-tags.

Changing Test Results

Although you can't change the result listing itself, you can override the Pass/Fail classification in the performance analysis table. Click on the PASSed or FAILed tag. A window appears, allowing you to change the assessment and navigate between tests. Note that you can change the assessment to PASSed, FAILed or UNRESOLVed (which has the same effect as a pass). You can't award a specific mark to the test. Each test failure deducts a fixed amount from the performance mark.

As you change each test the performance mark and total assignment marks are recalculated.

Changing the Total Performance Mark

In cases where all or most tests are failed and the markers' notes allow it, the performance mark can be edited directly. Click on the mark and enter a new one. The original value is retained in a nearby note.

If you subsequently change a test result the performance mark is recalculated from scratch, overwriting any direct change.

Adding Your Subjective Assessment

Click the Assess button at the top of the window. Enter a mark for each category. The file can't be fully saved until all marks are entered.

To paste a comment into this part of the journal, click the Paste button next to the mark you wish to comment on.

Saving the Journal

The Save button moves the journal to the repository where the student can retrieve it, and adds the total mark to an sms update file.

You can also save a file without committing it by selecting another from the student list. The original is marked as pending on the list with a <-P indicator. When you re-select the journal later, it will pick up the pending one (but beware if the journal is regenerated because of, say, a late submission. In general, commit the marking when it looks OK.

Editing the Submission

The tears button allows you to edit the submission and then re-run autoesting.

or you can type this command on an xterm

~give/stable/bin/tears class assignment groupID studentID

Use this feature only if applicable to the assignment

Not Covered

Regexp language
Deferred assessment mode