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The look of things

May 20, 2015 by Robin Englebright   

This post is very much thinking out loud…As previously discussed we’ve been looking for a simple way of generating assessment timelines using readily available tools, and little or no training overhead and minimal ongoing support.

We’ve found a useful Excel timeline template the output of which should help staff visualise assessment timing, and consider the overall assessment burden on their students… and once set assist students in their time management.

But what’s the best way of rendering that data? In documents it’s a clear case of copy and paste from the source spreadsheet, but online, how well does Excel data travel.

Linking to a spreadsheet is a bit poor, the spreadsheet has to be downloaded, though it may be worth investigating embedding a spreadsheet shared through O365, or Googledocs.

Office 365 is a whole different kettle of fish… staff don’t have it by default here, so for the moment I’m going to skip this option (testing offers tantalising hints, but it needs proper investigation).
Google doesn’t like the Excel spreadsheet format, but does offer some alternative timeline tools, unfortunately Edublogs doesn’t seem to like the iframe this sits in, and ignores it when added in the “text” view screen.

<iframe src=";headers=false"></iframe>

Alternatively we can try and build the actual outputs as html, Excel offers SaveAs a single file webpage, and .mht file… this is a web archive format, and doesn’t seem to play well with the blog, which is a shame as keeping all the components together is tricky when adding assets to a CMS like WordPress. Saving as a webpage provides an .htm file and a folder of assets, and in fact creates a .PNG of the timeline, which hints at the approach we will probably end up taking, simply taking a screenshot and adding that to our planning blog:

assessment timeline as a .PNG



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