Definition of notebook and notes to be created
Notebook created in Evernote when using Assessment Notebook Creator
The aim of this contribution is to present Assessment Notebook Creator for PC, an application which makes possible the automatic creation of "electronic notebooks" in Evernote, so that a teacher can take notes (e.g., in a lab) about the work done by the students.
Note that a version for Android devices is available here: https://devpost.com/software/assessment-notebook-creator
The continuous assessment of the students has a very relevant role in the framework of the European Higher Education Area. One of the key issues to assess is the activity of the student in the classrooms or labs, including elements such as his participation in these sessions, or his skills. Therefore, the teacher must observe, take notes and capture evidences of the activities done by the students in those face-to-face sessions in order to provide feedback as well as to evaluate those activities. That is not an easy task, so that tools that facilitate that labour are more than welcome.
Tablets and mobile phones are widespread devices nowadays and have a great potential in the educational area. In fact, they can help the teacher on the tasks previously mentioned as they can be used to register evidences of the work done by the students in face-to-face sessions in a digital way. For instance, they can be used as the electronic version of a notebook where to write down the outcomes and incidencies of the students (even in handwriting), as well as to record pictures, video or audio.
An already existing application, which is very useful to register those events, is Evernote. Evernote is a multi-platform note-taking application, which can be installed in PC, Mac, Android devices, Windows phone or iPhone/iPad, and which keeps the notes synchronized among the different devices. In this way, the teacher can, e.g., take notes on the activity of his students in a mobile phone or tablet, and then access to those notes later on his computer. Moreover, besides including text, the notes can also include handwritten text, pictures, audio and video. For those reasons, Evernote is very flexible and adapts very well to diverse scenarios. It is also worthy to note that the basic version of Evernote can be downloaded and used for free, although it has some limitations on the ammount of new information that can be added or re-edited each month (which can be overcome by paid subscriptions).
Evernote is organized in notebooks, and each notebook contains notes. Hence, a possible use of this application for continuous qualitative assessment consists in creating one notebook per subject and one note per group (or per student) to be assessed. Then, in the lab or in small-group sessions, the teacher would write down his observations in the notes devoted to the different groups. The main problem is that manually creating one note for each group can be a very tedious process.
In order to facilitate that task, we have created an application called Assessment Notebook Creator. This application communicates with the Evernote account of the teacher, and creates in an automatic and simple way one (or more) notebooks with the name provided by the teacher (which could be tipically the names of a subject), and as many notes as the teacher requires within that notebook. These notes can be automatically entitled either using a pattern specified by the teacher or according to a "group definition file", that is, a file which contains the names of groups (or students) that will be assessed. Moreover, the notes can be created completely empty or have some initial content according to a template predefined by the teacher (and which can be easily designed with Assessment Notebook Creator for PC). In this way, for instance, the notes can be populated in order to include several sections devoted to assess different topics along the subject. The application is available at the repository of Universidad de Valladolid (in Spanish), and the current version of the .exe file can be downloaded here.