My district is moving to Otus for our gradebook, and it has some great assessment and lesson features to take advantage of in the music classroom.
Today, I'm going to talk about possible uses for the music classroom. So far, I've found it to be fairly flexible - and allows for a range of different possibilities! Let's take a look - click read more below! ↓
One of the things I find interesting about Otus is that you can create a bank of questions that you can duplicate and edit. You cam then use these questions on multiple assessments. This is pretty useful for when you do Pre-Test and Post-test.
As you see above, I have a naming system for all my questions to make it easier to find. There are search tools at the top you can use to search once you have more than a few questions.
(In case you are curious, the first number in 1.1 is the level/year, the second number is the unit. PR = Pitch Routine, RR = Rhythm Routine, first number after the letters is the exercise number, and the letter is which exercise in the routine.)
You can also search by question type, content (words in the question), and whether the question is published or unpublished.
Something I always forget to do is add a title before I add content to the question. Not doing this makes a dialog box appear when you go to save new content to the question - so its best to do this first.
Most of the questions we will use will come from these six options.
Highlight and Drawing
In a highlight question, you can upload an image for students to find mistakes or circle different things. For example, you could have students look at a melody and identify an incorrect note, or ask them to find where in the example a double bar line is located. In the drawing question, you can upload a graphic for students to draw on. This is pretty similar to the highlight question option - just some different tools.
Here you can find a spot for file uploads. This only works for document, picture, and zip files. If you want to have a student upload audio - you will need to choose the written and recorded option. You could get around this by having the student zip the file up and then uploading as .zip is an option.
Either one works great - but I would try to stay consistent with the one you choose so the students don't need to relearn how to interact with it each time they see it. I'm going to go with the Block format today. Next to that is an option for the time limit. It defaults to ten minutes. Most of the time you won't need that long - so just update with the number of seconds.
The more options area has some useful features. You can play with what the students are allowed to do with their recording like pausing it, allow them to stop once they start, allow them to play it back, etc.
Now let's compose the question. First time going to type out what I want the students to record.
I've generated some tones in Audacity to use, but you can record audio directly from this window. So, if you have a piano handy or want to record a voice singing the pitch - you can do so from here. For this, I tend to use the Bar option rather than button, as it takes up a lot les space.
Finally, let's preview our assignment! Under the SAVE button, you will see this menu:
Clicking the preview option will display how the question appears to the student. So mine looks like this:
You now have a basic idea on one method to create an assignment in Otus. Check out other posts as they come for more in-depth ideas on ways to create new music assessments.