The University of Minnesota Libraries has created an enhanced version of the Assignment Calculator currently in beta (January 2009). It allows faculty and students to adapt their own assignments from a bank of existing assignments (e.g. research paper, speech, video, etc.) or create their own from scratch.
This new version of the Calculator is tied to University of Minnesota internet ID's; therefore you will need a password to access it. Please contact us if you need a username and password to allow you access to the beta.
We hope to make the source code for the beta available late spring 2009Thanks!
University of Minnesota Libraries
October 10, 2011
News on "Beta"
We have some news on the Assignment Calculator. We learned back in April, 2011 that the Calculator wasn't working with the then new version of Firefox. We added a disclaimer to the top of the page to have folks try it in another browser. We hoped the next version for Firefox might fix the problem but this has not happened. The Calculator has other issues and we have decided to remove the "beta" version as of September 2011.
Hopefully this is a temporary disruption and hopefully we will have more information to share soon.
Please also pass along any comments or questions--we are happy to follow up with individuals as needed.
January 3, 2011
New assignment: Primary Research
We are please to announce a new type of assignment for the Assignment Calculator--Primary Sources Research Project. We created this in close partnership with folks from all around the the Archives and Special Collections.
This was built around work with the "How to do History" class we work with for History majors. We hope to continue to make small modifications throughout the semester as this gets used.
1. Understand what primary sources are and what sources you can use to complete your assignment.
2. Read and understand your assignment. Select a topic of interest.
3. Do background research on your topic.
4. Start searching for primary sources. Create a list of materials to use for your research.
5. Request and access primary materials for your research. Request copies or scans of materials. Collect citation information.
6. Develop an outline for your project. Revise your thesis statement if needed.
7. Conduct additional research to fill in gaps or answer questions as necessary.
8. Revise & rewrite. Finalize citations
9. Proofread, polish and put project in final form
Go to http://tools.lib.umn.edu/ac/ to view the new assignment.
Assignment Survival Kit
Came across this example of the Assignment Calculator from Staffordshire University:
Assignment Survival Kit: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/ask/
November 2, 2010
Help for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP) Proposal
A new template for the Assignment Calculator has been created. It steps students through the process of submitting a proposal to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and allows them to customize the template according to their timeline. Janice Jaguszewski, Kate Peterson, and Jody Kempf worked with staff from the UROP office to draft the UROP assignment calculator. The UROP assignment calculator is available as one of the tools on the University Libraries Course Resources tab or at: http://tools.lib.umn.edu/ac/. We encourage faculty and staff to share with students as a resource that can simplify the process of applying for a UROP grant. We welcome feedback on the calculator and suggestions of resources to be added to it.
September 10, 2010
Now anyone can store and access their own assignments!
This version allows anyone to create an account, regardless if you are a Minnesota resident or not! This means you can store and edit your own assignments.
Thanks to Minitex, you will also be able access the code to the Research Project Calculator this Fall under an open source license. For institutions interested in integrating it into existing authentication systems, it also includes a simple API to create authentication plugins in PHP.
Stay tuned for updates on the source code release!
March 2, 2010
Code for GWT version of AC
Below is an open source version of the new Assignment Calculator written using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT). IF you would like to play with the code and/or help us out feel free to download it:
The original student programmer has included these instructions. Warning! This is not for the faint of heart.
1.) Download Eclipse Classic. This will be the IDE in which to make changes, and compile the project.
2.) Download the Google Web Toolkit SDK to a certain directory.
3.) Start Eclipse, and install GWT plugin for Eclipse
Instructions are here:
4.) In Eclipse, do an 'Import-->Existing project into workspace...-->' and then select the directory where you downloaded and unzipped the AssignmentCalculator-1.1.zip.
5.) Once the project is open, there are two files that need to be changed depending on how you want to run the application:
a.) src/edu/umn/lib/client/AssignmentCalculator.java lines 25 and 42: use the appropriate authentication class. The TestAuthentication basically signs into the system using fixed credentials that are located in the TestAuthentication.java file. If you want to use X500, then use the X500Authentication class. I refactoried it such that anyone else can just extend the Authentication class in order to implement their login/authentication system.
b.) src/edu/umn/lib/server/MysqlConnector.java line 20: change to point to the correct mysql database, with correct credentials.
6.) Compile the project:
click the GWT compile button GWT Compile Project button in the toolbar.
7.) Run the project from eclipse:
Right-click on the project name, then select 'Run As -> Web application'. A url will show up that you can use to test the app.
November 10, 2009
Updates to code coming
Just a heads-up that Minitex is rewriting its Research Project Calculator implementation to bring its teacher
resources into the AC beta, with an eye toward extensibility.
It will be written with on PHP / MySQL foundation to meet the platform requirements of the broadest range of potential installing institutions.
The target for completion is winter 2010.
November 4, 2009
New Lab Report (Biology) in Bionews blog
The newest assignment in the Assignment Calculator has been featured in Bionews blog: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/bioblog/bionews/2009/10/tools_to_help_with_lab_reports.html
July 31, 2009
Lab Report is live
We are pleased to announce the Lab Report assignment is live: https://tools.lib.umn.edu/ac/?assnId=180.
Step 1: Understand your assignment. Attend lab and complete experiment.
Step 2: Describe your materials and methods
Step 3: Analyze and describe your results
Step 4: Conduct library research. Develop your introduction
Step 5: Interpret and synthesize your results in the discussion and conclusion
Step 6: Write your abstract. Develop a title. Revise and rewrite
Step 7: Put lab in final form
Many instructors and staff around campus gave us feedback during the development including the Center for Teaching and Learning, chemistry, biology, veterinary medicine, mechanical engineering, and librarians from around the sciences. Thank you very much! Please let us know if you have any comments or questions.