Thursday, February 24, 2011

The CPR site counts html tags as words...

The instructions for my Calibrated Peer Review assignment specified that the reports should be between 300 and 500 words long.  And a nice feature of the CPR assignment setup is that it polices this -  the instructor specifies the acceptable word range for submissions, and submissions that are too short or too long are not accepted.   But a problem has arisen because the CPR submission form only accepts plain text, and needs HTML tags even for paragraph breaks.

Of course very few of my students will be familiar with HTML tags (it's a bit shocking that I'm more web-savvy than most of them).  I thought I had solved the formatting problem by giving them a link to a web page where they could paste in their formatted text (from a Word document) and have it converted to HTML, which they could then paste into the CPR submission form.

But the CPR form counts the HTML tags as words and, for students who have meticulously formatted their reports in Word, this adds hundreds of pseudo-words that push it way over the word limit. 

So I've raised the CPR word limit to 1000, but warned students that their final submission (after CPR is complete) will still have to be no more than 500 words.

1 comment:

Wendy Lyn Watson said...

Just found your blog! I've used the old (free web-based) version of CPR and my school is just now purchasing a license for CPR4. I have to say I'm disappointed to learn that students still need to use html tags to format their essays (getting them to *do* that has been a real challenge for me).

I look forward to reading about your experiences. I'm right behind you!