Two new tools for monitoring your students’ work

You are all already familiar with the Team Tracking Dashboard, which provides an overview of a team’s work.

There are now two additional tracking tools in LabNbook:

  • The first one allows you to know the work dynamics of a class and it takes the form of a “heatmap” based on the writing time of the teams. To access this map, go to the “Reports” tab, choose a class and a mission. Underneath the list of your students’ reports is a map that looks like this:
  • The second tool details the chronology of a report writing and illustrates the temporal sequence of student interventions on each labdoc. It can help you analyze the collaborative strategies used to co-write the report. To access this map, go to the “Reports” tab, choose a team and click on “Display the writing chronology”. An example is shown below and you can also view a short demo video.

Of course, both of these tools are student support tools, not assessment tools: several students can work with the same account, they can copy and paste large amounts of text in seemingly no time, etc. Thus, we have not included students’ names in these tracking tables.

Your comments will be much appreciated!

Track your students’ work more efficiently

One of the advantages of LabNbook is the ability to track the progress of students’ work. However, this follow-up can be time consuming because it implies reading the students’ productions several times even if they have not evolved much. To help you, there is currently a star that indicates if there are any new developments in a labdoc since you last read it (click on the star to make it disappear and indicate that the labdoc has been read). There is now something better to save you time: you can display the changes made to the labdocs since your last reading!

1. In the student’s report, click on the button that highlights the changes

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The report is then “frozen” (i.e. if students change the report, the version that is displayed on your screen does not take these changes into account) and anything that has been added or deleted since you last read it is highlighted.
A demo is available here :

2. Once you have reviewed a labdoc, click on the star to remove it from the labdoc. This will allow you to see only the next changes made by the students during a later review.

3. To stop highlighting changes in the labdocs, press the +/- button or the snowflake if you also want to unfreeze the report so that it synchronizes with the student version.

Note that two limitations are linked to this new feature:

  • the highlighting of modifications concerns, for the moment, only text labdocs,
  • the activation of the highlighting of modifications prevents from annotating the report.

Technical developments of LabNbook

With the LabNbook Meetings taking place, it’s time to take stock of the latest developments in the platform and what is expected to come in 2022-23.

Let’s start with what is, as of now, available in the platform:

  • Synchronous tracking of students by teachers has been improved (all this was detailed in a previous post).
  • V1 of the Moodle-LabNbook connection plugin has been released and sent to administrators of Moodle connected to LabNbook. This new version has been simplified and made more robust. If you don’t see a change in the Moodle interfaces when you create a LabNbook activity, remind your administrators that it’s time to update the plugin!
  • The first login interface allows students to create a LabNbook account via a class code or to link their Moodle accounts to LabNbook. We’ve redesigned the interface to prevent students from creating multiple accounts, which makes it difficult for teachers to manage.
  • The teaming interface has received a complete facelift. This interface is a key part of LabNbook as it allows students to be assigned assignments. We are confident that it is now more explicit and ergonomic, and that teachers’ work will be simplified.
  • Students working on large screens sometimes felt cramped in LabNbook. They can now manage their workspaces by changing the width of their report and the height of Labdocs.
  • The drawing tool has been improved in several ways. The most notable ones concern the image libraries:
    • A new object library has been introduced in process engineering,
    • Teachers can now add objects to the local library of a pre-structured Labdoc in an assignment. These objects can even be added to the generic libraries of the drawing tool if requested.
  • In the report tracking table, teachers can now choose whether or not to display (“out of my classes” box) reports for their students that were created by teachers in classes other than their own. This is especially useful to access reports of students who have caught up with their work in another group.
  • It is now possible to follow the activity of an entire class. To do so, you have to go to the “Reports” tab, choose a class and an assignment in order to display, under the reports table, a “heatmap” of the work of the student teams. Please let us know if this new way of tracking your students is useful.

As for the future, there is first of all what is being realized (some prototypes were presented at the Meetings)

  • It will soon be possible to display the modifications made by the students to their report (Labdocs texts) between two follow-ups of the report by the teacher. Planned production start: September 2022.
  • The data processing tool is completely reworked to improve its ergonomics and to allow automatic adjustments of the data by minimizing the Chi2. Planned production start: September 2022.
  • The equation editor will be improved (ergonomics, bugs). Planned release: September 2022.
  • A tool for evaluating reports using a criterion-based grid is under development. We are trying to make a tool versatile enough to answer all your requests. Planned release: 1st semester 2022-23.

… and what is planned for the near future:

  • We want to connect LabNbook to Shibboleth, the directory of all universities and secondary schools in France. Planned release: October 2022.
  • Labdocs to do code (Julia, Python, R) will be added in LabNbook. We plan to have a prototype in December 2022 and a production launch in early 2023.

A user testimonial on the use of LabNbook and Genially for remote labs

A “scientific day on digital simulation environments and the contributions to higher education” has been organized by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research ( During this event, Anne-Line Perriollat and her colleagues presented their use of LabNbook + Genially to organize practicals in distance conditions. The proposition has been popular with students and teachers, and there are certainly some great ideas to keep in mind, even if viruses let our students come to the campus.

Explore further with the abstract and the poster of the presentation.

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