Internet Computing Coursework

The CourseWork Web site provides for a standard URL naming convention that gives a unique address for each student to host his/her course related material. The Web site is not authenticated or encrypted, meaning that anyone can view any material posted on the Web site. The site provides universal read and secured write. The site supports delivery of HTML Web documents and documents in native format. The benefit of using this method is that the delivery method is universal to all through an Internet browser. Every browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) handles things a little differently but we recommend Microsoft Internet Explorer.) Depending on your preferences, you can put up an HTML page to introduce your documents or simply post the documents for listing and reading. 

The naming convention for the Web site is composed of three components: 

  • Server URL (http://coursework.uhcl.edu)
  • Course Identifier (subject + catalog number + section), and 
  • Userid of the student. As an example, given a student whose Userid is “jonesr” and is a member of INST5635-01 the unique address for the student’s coursework site would be http://coursework.uhcl.edu/inst5635-01/jonesr .


Typically, each Web site has a beginning or startup document that contains the necessary links to all other pages in the Web site. The Web server provides automatic startup of the Web site if a “Default.htm” document is present within the student’s directory. If the “Default.htm” document is not present, then the document name must be provided by the student to start the Web site. As an example, assume the student “jonesr” from INST5635-01 web site and has placed a “Default.htm” document in the coursework site. When the user enters in the address, http://coursework.uhcl.edu/inst5635-01/jonesr, the default document will automatically start. However, if the student calls the beginning document “myhome.htm,” the web site will not automatically start and the student will have to provide the following address to the users: http://coursework.uhcl.edu/inst5635-01/jonesr/myhome.htm

FTP SERVER URL

Course site Web site: http://coursework.uhcl.edu

The master folder for the course site is called COURSEWORK.  The COURSEWORK folder contains a sub-folder for each supported class.  Each class folder contains a sub-directory for each student ENROLLED in the class.

DISKSPACE

The student support web site provides each student with a total of 5 gigabytes disk space to post coursework-related material.

REQUESTING ACCESS

Any faculty member teaching a class in which web-related assignments are required to complete the class may request creation of a coursework support site. The faculty member must place a formal request to the UCT Support Center prior to the first day of class.

A folder will be created for each student ENROLLED in the class. Folders are created through an automated process each night.

SOFTWARE INFORMATION

At the time of this document’s creation, the following was used:

Macintosh OS X Yosemite Version 10.10.5
Mozilla Firefox web browser Version 40.0.3
Google Chrome web browser Version 45.0.2454.93 (64-bit)
FireFTP (FTP client client for Firefox) Version 2.0.24
FTP Free (FTP client for Chrome) Version 3.0
Viper FTP Lite (FTP client application for Macintosh) Version 2.7.5
  Although other applications, browser Add-ins and extensions could perform the same functions, these were the ones that were used and that functioned successfully at the time of the documentation was authored.

ADDING DOCUMENTS TO THE WEBSITE

The Web site provides two means of adding new documents to the Website i.e. File Sharing and FTP.

File Share

File Shares provide an easy method to take advantage of “drag and drop.” When properly mapped to the user’s PC, an File Share appears as a new disk drive on the user’s PC.

The folder for the student Coursework Web site appears under the B3308-ACAD Web server in the PCLAB domain. The master folder for the course site is called COURSEWORK. The COURSEWORK folder contains a sub-folder for each supported class. Each class folder contains a sub-directory for each student ENROLLED in the class. Mapping a Web site folder to the user’s PC is handled through file sharing as follows:

1. XP - Right click on My Network Places  and choose Map Network Drive: Vista and Windows 7 - Click on "Computer" in the Start menu  and choose Map Network Drive:

Windows XP

Windows Vista/Windows 7

2. The next available disk drive letter for the PC will automatically appear in the resulting dialog box. Enter in the server name (\\B3308-ACAD), “\coursework\”, the course identifier, “\”, and the NT userid. Check “Reconnect at Logon”.

Given the INST5635-01 student “jonesr” the file share mapping dialog would appear as follows:

(Note: Due to the length of the file path, some of the path has been truncated in the example.) Click “OK.” The Web folder will now appear as a mapped drive on the PC. )

FTP

FTP access to the Web site is provided through a variety of tools: WS_FTP95 and Microsoft Internet Explorer are two popular tools that are described below. WS_FTP95

Start the WS_FTP95 program. For the first time, create a COURSE WORK profile by clicking on NEW. Enter “UHCL COURSEWORK WEBSITE” for the profile name. Enter “coursework.uhcl.edu” for the host name. Enter “pclab\” and the NT userid for the userid. Enter “coursework”, “\”, “the course identifier”, “\”, and NT userid. Assuming that the student will store his or her html documents in the HTML documents directory on the PC, enter “m:\data\html” for the local pc. Note: The “data” directory is for example purposes and would have to be created by the student.
Click “Save” to save the profile.
See example below of what a profile for student “jonesr” enrolled in INST5635-01 would look like.


After the profile has been created, it may be used to connect to the Web site. When the profile is used, the FTP process will prompt the user for his or her NT userid. If the password is properly entered, the user will be granted access to his or her personal directory.


Files may be transferred to the Web site by selecting documents from the local system and using the right arrow to move the documents to the remote host. Conversely, files may be transferred from the Web site by selecting documents from the remote system and using the left arrow to move the documents to the local host. Note: Be sure to select “ASCII” for html files and “Binary” for pictures, movies, and sound files. See example below.

MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER

Start the Microsoft Internet Explorer (often referred to as MS IE).

  1. Enter “ftp://coursework.uhcl.edu”, “/course identifier/”, and “NT userid” in the address line of the browser window. For student “jonesr” enrolled in “inst5630-01” the line would be “ftp://coursework.uhcl.edu/inst5635-01/jonesr” (without the quotation marks). 
  2. Press the “Enter” key. 
  3. When the NT authentication dialog box appears, enter the NT userid prefaced by “pclab”; i.e. pclab\jonesrj (without the quotes) and the NT password. 
  4. Click “Login”.

To copy a document from the local PC to the remote server:

Click on the "Page" menu and choose "Open FTP site in Windows Explorer".

Windows 7

  1. Right click on the file (in the PC folder), and choose “Copy”.
  2. Right click on the remote folder (in the browser window) and choose “Paste”.

    To copy a document from the remote server to the local PC:
  3. Right click on the remote folder (in the browser window) and choose “Copy to Folder”.
  4. After the pop-up window appears, navigate to the desired folder on the local computer, select the folder, and click “OK”.
FAQ: OFF CAMPUS ACCESS

To connect to the University of Houston-Clear Lake server the two machines pass a sequence of commands to create a secure connection. The FTP protocol definition provides at least two distinct mechanisms by which this sequence is initiated: Explicit (active) and Implicit (passive) security.

Your FTP software must either auto-negotiate the Active/Passive mode or the user must manually set the mode to ACTIVE for OFF CAMPUS access. It appears that with Windows XP SP2 or with Microsoft Internet Explorer upgrades now defaults the FTP client with the mode set to passive.

  1. Open Internet Explorer from the Start Menu or command line. 
  2. On the Internet Explorer menu, click Tools to open the Tools menu. 
  3. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options... . A new Internet Options window will appear on the screen. 
  4. In the Internet Options window, click the Advanced tab. 
  5. Find the setting called Use Passive FTP (located approximately halfway down in the list of settings). 
  6. To disable the feature, clear the checkmark in the box next to the Use Passive FTP setting. 
    Click OK or Apply to save the Passive FTP setting.

Evidence of widespread malpractice with GCSE computer science has prompted Ofqual to propose the practical project component should no longer contribute to pupils’ overall grade from as early as next year.   

The exams regulator has said today that it is “no longer possible for exam boards to ensure that grades awarded in the summer will fairly reflect the ability of all students unless changes are made”.

Tasks and detailed solutions to the project, which is a practical assessment of programming skills, have been discussed on online forums and collaborative programming sites this term contrary to exam board rules, Ofqual has said.

And some of these posts – which Ofqual became aware of shortly after September – had been viewed thousands of times.

The project, known as the non-exam assessment, requires pupils to solve a problem, set by their exam board, and evaluate their solutions. The pupil's report – which includes the program they have written in response to the task – must be their own work and must be completed in 20 hours under tightly-controlled conditions.

It is worth 20 per cent of the computer science GCSE grades being awarded next year.

'Heightened' concerns

The exams regulator added that their concerns had been “heightened” because of the degree of malpractice that was found among students who took the legacy GCSE in computing this summer.

Ofqual has launched a consultation proposing changes to non-exam assessment arrangements for computer science, which currently assesses programming skills, for 2018 and 2019. These include: 

  • Making non-exam assessment no longer count towards a GCSE grade so it is based solely on exam performance.
  • Continuing to require all students to complete one of the non-exam assessment tasks set by the exam boards to meet the curriculum requirements of the course.
  • No longer requiring teachers to formally mark the task, or provide marks to the exam board (although they would be able to use the task to provide formative feedback to students).
  • Requiring exam boards to collect statements from schools confirming that students have been given reasonable opportunities to complete the non-exam assessment task and that 20 hours has been set aside for this.

Today's consultation adds: “We recognise this creates some uncertainty for teachers, as they will not know for certain what is expected of them until we announce our decision.

“We also wish to make changes that do not increase the burden on teachers or students. 

“At the same time, we recognise that there are limits to the changes we can make immediately, and we want to explore a broader range of options for the longer term.”

'Immediate action'

Julie Swan, executive director for general qualifications, said: “It is with great reluctance that we are proposing to change a qualification for which students are already studying.

“However, we must take immediate action to address these issues and the potential impact on public confidence in relation to this qualification."

She added: “Subject to the consultation responses, we believe our preferred solution will deliver fairer and more reliable results than would otherwise be the case. It will also allow us to be confident that standards will be set appropriately.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “It is clear that the integrity of the computer science assessment task has been compromised by the widespread availability of solutions online.

“It is an enormously frustrating situation for all concerned but we recognise that Ofqual has no option other than to consult on alternative arrangements.”

He added: “We agree that this assessment cannot and should not now contribute to final GCSE grades, not least because it would be extremely unfair to students who undertake the task in a proper manner without recourse to online forums.

“It is also clear that other options will be needed in the longer term in an era when the ubiquity of online information makes this form of assessment extremely vulnerable.

“We are pleased to see that Ofqual is planning to consult widely on this issue.”

The consultation will run until noon on 22 December and a decision will be announced in January.

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