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LON-CAPA CONFERENCE May 22-24, 2008 Simon Fraser University Burnaby Mountain Campus PowerPoint Presentation
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LON-CAPA CONFERENCE May 22-24, 2008 Simon Fraser University Burnaby Mountain Campus. LON-CAPA Beyond Homework. Ray Batchelor and Uwe Kreis.

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LON-CAPA CONFERENCE May 22-24, 2008Simon Fraser UniversityBurnaby Mountain Campus



Beyond Homework

Ray Batchelor


Uwe Kreis


In Chemistry at Simon Fraser University the main use of LON-CAPA is in the high enrollment courses with a numeric bias.Weekly personalized lecture or pre-lab assignments with multiple tries, and both feedback and open discussion are the norm. Multiple choice bubble sheet exams are also in general use in the first year courses.The main motivation is to reduce marker workload.Another area in which enrollments seem high enough to warrant automated grading are in the first organic chem courses.We have not yet seen a demand for online organic chem lecture assignments. However, we have been running simple organic chem prelabs for several years. In the last year we have been experimenting with semi-automated Lab Reports or Dry-labs in organic chem.Only a few essay-type responses need to be manually graded.

an organic chem lab report

An Organic Chem Lab Report


Conditioned Sequence

Student chooses own starting material.

Next 5 problems depend upon this choice.


Parts shown “1-at-a-time”. Default feedback suppressed in some, augmented in others.

customresponse, organicresponse,chemresponse, essayresponse, imageresponse, etc…


Simple Linear Sequence with blocking conditions at key points.

Blocked until “maxtries” is reached for last part of preceding problem. Effectively hides the rest of the sequence.

Complementary condition on alternate pathways to sequence “Finish” needed to maintain continuity with rest of Main sequence.

For problems preceding a blocking condition, problem parts are shown one-at-a-time, so that the block is only removed once all parts become closed to further submission.

Effectively produces unidirectional, single continuous pathway at any given moment.


Grading for second part depends upon response to first part. Result can be 2,1, or 0 points interdependently upon both the individual limits and on the range.

e.g. p-bromoacetanilide

Lit. mp 167-169 °C

1st Part: 1 point if (162 °C ≤ “upper” ≤ 169 °C)

2nd Part: 1 point if (0 °C ≤ “upper”-”lower” ≤ 5 °C) AND (155 °C ≤ “upper” ≤ 169 °C)


62% of students score 2/2

33% score 1/2

5% score 0/2

Default system feedback is suppressed. However, submitted JME drawing is redisplayed and an optional second try allowed.

Used in a two-part question where the second part is an essayresponse explanation of why anisole is an ortho/para director. The submitted drawing is redisplayed, maxtries=3, and the correct/incorrect status is shown to allow a fair chance to get the essay points.


Mis-calibration of pointer, on rare occasions, is an issue with specific computers.

0-point question with unlimited tries, allows no-cost chance to see how “click-on-the-image” works.

No more excuses.

Next 3 “click-on-the-image” parts chosen from bands associated with :

N-H stretch; aromatic C-H stretch; –N-H deformation; aromatic C=C stretch; C-N stretch; aromatic ring out-of-plane bending.

final mark distribution electrophilic aromatic substitution experiment lab report spring 2007
Final Mark Distribution Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution Experiment Lab Report (Spring 2007)

“From the students we hear very little; usually only if they messed up. So that is good news as far as I'm concerned. It means that the questions are well coded, are clear and make sense to them. For us, it's a really big time saver… it saves time on marking reports. Even the essay questions are easier and faster to mark in the Loncapa system. That frees up time for the TAs to do more cheating checks.”