Outcome Manager Block
XML Formatting for Outcomes/Assessments
The XML file used to import the outcomes needs to be properly formatted to successfully upload the outcomes. The following XML images showing the beginning of the National (STEM) Math Standards will help explain this.
There are entries in the XML file that are critical to the upload working correctly. The most important one is the version number assigned to the outcomes, this number has to be unique. Do not upload outcomes with the same version number to the site.
In the following image the version number is inside of the <grade> tags. The version number we assigned the National (STEM) Math Standards for grades 9-12 is "200.1 Grade 9". The ".1" in the number is representing this version of these standards, this is the first version uploaded to the site. If these standards change next year, we would change the version number on the new standards to "200.2".
The following image shows the next section of this XML file. In this file the outcomes will be structured in 4 levels. Level 1 is represented the by <grade> tag. The other 3 levels use the <topic> tags.
Level 1 is represented by the <grade> tag in the image below. There is only one level 1 entry, the objective.
Level 2 is represented by the first <topic> tag that follows the <grade> tag. The id for this topic is Math-Standard-1. This <topic> does not close until the fourth to last line of the image. Anytime a new <topic> is opened without closing the previous <topic>, a new level is started.
Go to the first <topic> in the image again. If you follow the file for a few lines you will come across another opening <topic>. This <topic> represents level 3. The id for this topic is Math-Standard-1-A.
The next <topic> is opening level 4. Level 4 has the expectations that will be linked to questions and used in reports. There is no level 5, so every level 4 <topic> has a closing </topic> tag. The id for this topic is Math-Standard-1-A-1. The objectives listing image, shown below, shows the Math-Standard-1-A-1 expectation.
All the <topic> tags for Math-Standard-1 will have to be closed before starting Math-Standard-2, the second level 2 entry in the XML image. So at the end of Standard 1 in the XML file (third to last line in image below) we have </topic>, </topic>, </topic>. The first </topic> is closing Math-Standard-1-C-2; the second is closing Math-Standard-1-C; and the last one is closing Math-Standard-1.
There are a quite a few entries that are made for each <topic> in the XML file example. Here's a list of the items in the example above with brief descriptions:
- id - Each entry/branch of the outcome tree is assigned an id. The image of the XML file above provides examples. The id of the first <topic> is Math-Standard-1.
- parent id - For level 3, the previous level 2 entry is the parent id. In the second <topic> of the example, the parent id is Math-Standard-1. The id is Math-Standard-1-A.
- state_num - This is the last character of the topic id. For the first <topic>, Math-Standard-1, the state_num is 1. For Math-Standard-1-A, the state_num is A.
- label - This is only used for the first level of topics in the example.
- seq - Each <topic> is assigned a sequence number. The first topic has seq=1, the second topic has seq=2, etc.
- level - This is referring to the level of the outcomes/objectives; just levels 2, 3, and 4 have this entry. This is a somewhat misleading in the XML example, because the first level <grade> does not have a level number. Only the topics are being assigned a level number. The first topic tag in the XML is labeled level 1, but it is actually level 2 in the outcome tree structure.
- CDATA - This contains the objectives content.
Select this link to view the objective listing and xml images side by side. The objectives listing image is showing an example of the outcomes in a quiz once the xml file has been uploaded to the site and the outcomes have been added to a course.
The assessment XML files are formatted slightly different than the outcomes XML files. First, the version number needs to be changed in the assessment XML. Remember that the version numbers need to be unique - Do not import different outcome or assessment files with the same version numbers.
Second, assessments are assigned at the objective level not the expectation level. To flag the entire objective as assessed we must include all the elements of the objective. In the example outcome XML file above there is only one objective. So the entire outcome file will be included in the assessment file, the only change is the version string.
Assessment files only flag outcomes as assessed. That's why a content file is uploaded/chosen with the assessment file, to establish the location of the outcomes being flagged as assessed in the system.
The Objective Mastery Report is designed to work with the assessed objectives only. It's the only report that uses assessed objectives.