Skip to content
Physics and Astronomy
Home School documents modulestats-tn.html
Back to top

Student Performance Report Generator

Technical Notes

Data Protection

Data uploaded to the SPGR should identify individual students by a unique student-id number, not their names. This is because unencrypted http is used for for data uploads and downloads. No data is stored on the server unless an unrecoverable error occurs, in which case a temporary copy of the uploaded datafile will kept for diagnostic purposes.

Browser Issues

The reports use CSS and SVG for formatting and display. I recommend using FireFox to view them because:

  • Internet Explorer doesn't handle this well and will fall back to the relatively low-quality PNG versions.
  • Safari seem to have a limit (ca 200) to the number of images on a single page. This may cause problems displaying discipline-level reports if they have more than about a hundred modules.
  • Chrome displays SVG plots but (as of June 2011) they don't print, at least not on a Mac.

The WebKit engine has recently fixed significant bugs in the way Safari and Chrome handle the scaling and printing of SVG-in-HTML.

Discipline Groups of Module Codes

At Exeter, most disciplines use a unique set of three characters to identify their modules, e.g. all Physics modules start 'PHY'. However, the Student Performance Report Generator (SPRG) can group modules by matching codes with regular expressions. Currently, the following groups are defined within the Exeter parser:

HISTORY'H[IP].'
ENGLISH'(EAS|TRU)'
MODERN_LANG'ML[^C]'
FOREIGN_LANG'FL.'
COMP_SCI'ECM.[4-6]'
ENGINEERING'ECM.[1-3]'
MATHS'ECM.[7-9]'

Additional groupings can be defined and added to the system on request.

Calculations

The All-Module Mean Mark is the arithmetic mean of the marks for a student. The average is not credit-weighted and reflects only modules included in the uploaded data. It is important to construct the queries used to extract data from the student record system (SITS) with care.

Diagnosing Problems

When the report generator is used, it produces a logfile. A copy of this is put into the top level of the returned results folder. Errors are not common, but users from outside Exeter may encounter them if format of their uploaded datafile is incorrect. This is only likely to happen if the datafile has been constructed/edited by hand, rather than being machine-written. In such cases, inspecting 'logfile.txt' will help identify which line(s) in the datafile caused the trouble. For example, If you find a message such as:

Argument "C" isn't numeric in numeric lt (<) at /md3/Web/support/ModuleStats/sits2stu_perf_reports.pl line 688, <FILE> line 856.

it means that something is in the wrong column at row 856 of the datafile. This message

cp: cannot stat `TRS_MODSTATA_2011_05_20.txt-Reports/ABC/ABCT1025': No such file or directory

indicates a problem with some or all of the data for module ABCT1025.

Training Screencasts

  • Dimensions 912×672
  • Codecs H.264, AAC, Text
  • Color Profile SD (6-1-6)
  • Audio Channels: 1, 44100 Hz
  • Total bit rate: 260 kbit/s

User Requests/Suggestions

The current version of the report generator is 1.1.0, here is the to-do list for future enhancements:

OriginSuggestionRemarks
Various The computer voice on the screencasts is a bit strange. I always intended to replace 'Alex'. However, it turns out to be surprisingly difficult and time-consuming to to make a voice-over track that is any better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Validate   Link-check © Copyright & disclaimer Privacy & cookies Share
Back to top