September 2010

Interesting to track down the original comment from the Board of Studies! You can never quite trust the Herald’s reports on education.

The Sydney Morning Herald
13 Sep 2010

Just some notes from a demonstration of MAZE Markbook: we were impressed, even thought they are only just at the roll out stage. There are some infelicities in the screens, but it is pretty logical and definitely centralised!!

My impressions:–

  • Can copy assessment framework from one markbook to another
  • Use standard markbook conventions to ensure consistency [recommend Teacher/Semester/Year/Course
  • Can copy from previous markbook in same faculty (which means we should populate the faculty field in the Subject Table
  • Markbook is linked to subject and timetable.
    • Can set up markbook and then link students (so that the markbook can be set up before the beginning of the year)
  • Tasks: simple to set up. Can do manual or calculated. Fields are [position][methods of assessment][type][date]][maximum]
    • Estimation rules!!! Can give result based on nominated and weighted previous result.’
    • Calculate total or weighted total (‘average’)
    • Grade via a grade scale. Can set up predictive grading.
  • Results entered by spreadsheet view or student
    • Click heading to enter task view. Automatically calculates rank, percentage and estimates if necessary. Space for assessment comments (cheated, ill, etc) and ability to exclude result if necessary (without losing the mark!)
    • Can generate a student order or rank order report for each assessment task. This can be accessed through eMAZE as well.
    • Student view includes photos
    • Estimate allows for over-ride
  • COURSE-WIDE Markbooks:
    • 99 for class number gives all classes
    • Currently can’t sort by name, only by class/name
    • Looks pretty much the same
    • Some advantages for the teacher
  • Markbook can be accessible to parents (interesting)
  • Next version of MAZE will be even more powerful

Questions, Ideas and comments

  1. Deployment issues: Faculties leaders or teachers?
  2. We might well keep the MAZE markbook for Course Records only. Can one create a markbook for a whole course? op
  3. Calculating rules: the average rule actually allows you to set up a weighted total.
  4. Critical calculations:
    1. New total (rescale)
    2. Change mean and standard deviation
    3. rank order
  5. Can one import from Excel?


I was pretty impressed. I’m not sure of it’s long term value to each teacher (although some will love it), but it looks like the answer to a Leader of Learning’s Prayer. We need to play with the demo for a couple of weeks and discuss the pros and cons, but I think this will be a good investment.