Capturing and Parsing notes about student participation

Hey dudes,

I’m a professor, and one thing I’ve wanted to do is capture quick notes on students…if they participate in class or ask an interesting question or whatever else…so that I have a log about all of the students in a class for evaluation at the end of a semester.

Ideally would be parsed. So I could look at everything I captured regarding a student at the end of the semester by each student.

Any thoughts?

Capture in Drafts. Export each note to a text file in the cloud service of your choice (preferably one that your institution has indicated meets its privacy standards). Use Spotlight or another full text search to search for a student’s name or ID. This assumes you’re good with names and/or have a photo roster.

If you’re tenured you could blow a lot of time building databases etc. to store data you won’t need past the end of the quarter, but if not, I’d just choose the simplest route possible.

Personally, I’d set up a list action from the Drafts Action Directory to facilitate quick capture and store it securely in your institution’s preferred cloud setup.

Then I’d probably just alpha sort the final list at the end of the term to consolidate my collection of overall comments, per each student.

But I think you are looking for something a bit fancier in terms of automation or a template?

I think you want a journal per class / student. I would suggest an action setup to append to a file as the other have. For simplicity, it might make sense to have a separate action for each class.

If you setup the action (could be an File action step writing to iCloud Drive, or a Dropbox or Box step, all will work the same - just your preference of service) to be something like:

Path: /Class Notes/ClassName/[[title]].txt



Write Type: Append

To use it, you type the name of the student in the first line of the draft, and the rest of your draft is the notes and run the action. Drafts will append a timestamp and the notes to the end of the file name “Student Name.txt” in the Folder “/Class Notes/ClassName”. If the file or or folder don’t exist, they will be created.

After you test it, duplicate the action and change the “ClassName” in the path for each of your classes.

Hope this makes sense. There are variations - you could do it in one action by adding a prompt which asked you to pick from a list of class names, etc.

(A footnote re data protection law – neither iCloud nor Dropbox would be legal for these purposes in EU universities, as use of either of them would immediately constitute expatriation of a student’s personal data.

Your institution will have identified which, if any, cloud services can be used in this way, and, as @dfay points out, it would be prudent to check with them).

Awesome. Thanks for all the responses.