Milestone Tracker Settings

The Milestone Tracker creates urgency and provides students with incentive make progress in courses designed without due dates or sequence of assignments. Designing a course with no due dates or sequence of assignments gives students more autonomy and can improve motivation.

Note: You should NOT use milestone tracker in courses with assignment due dates, especially if a large percent of the assignments are due at the end o the class. Otherwise students will be frustrated when they cannot keep up with milestones even though they are keeping up with the assignment due date schedule. Also, you should only use the milestone tracker in courses that use 0-based grading and where students can earn points at a steady even pace.

Note: Typically, most students will stay near the red line and have a total bonus and penalty balance that is small. You should encourage your students to stay ahead of milestones by several days to earn the maximum bonus points.

Open the Component Settings

On the Delphinium page, in Teacher or Periscope View, click the Settings icon in the top right corner of the page.

The "Settings" dialog will open.

Click the Delphinium Settings tab in the tab bar at the top of the Settings dialog.

The “Delphinium Settings” tab will be displayed.

The Delphinium Settings tab has two sub tabs, "Course Settings" and "Component Settings." If necessary, click Component Settings.

The "Component Settings" sub tab will be displayed.

If your course has more than one tab, you will see those tabs mirrored in the "secondary tab bar". You may need to click the correct tab in the secondary tab bar to display the icon for the component you wish to edit.

Click the Milestone Tracker icon.

The “Milestone Tracker Settings” dialog will display.

The "Milestone Tracker Settings" dialog window contains two subtabs: "Configure" and "Milestones".

Configure Milestone Tracker Configure Settings

If necessary, click the Configure subtab. Here you configure the number of days before and after a milestone due date that students earn bonus and penalty, and how many bonus and penalty points are generated each day.

Note: Bonus and penalty points are calculated based on the moment a student passes a milestone due date. So if a student is only a few hours into a day, only a fraction of the points per day will be given for that milestone.

Note: The maximum bonus and penalty points possible for each milestone is calculated by the number of days, times the points per day. For example, if the bonus days is set to 5 and the bonus per day is set to 1, then the maximum bonus available to students is 5 points per milestone. In this example, if a student crosses a milestone three and a half days before the milestone due date, then the student will receive 3.5 bonus points. The same is true for penalty points.

Note: To create more urgency in the course, we recommend that you include enough bonus and penalty points to increase or decrease the final grade by one level if a student earns them all.

Create Milestones

Milestones include two data points: 1) A milestone due date and 2) an earned point value. Students need to earn the point value by the milestone due date. If they earn the point value BEFORE the due date, they earn bonus. If they earn the point value AFTER the due date, they earn penalty.

The "Milestone Tracker Configure Settings", described above, govern how many days before and after a milestone due date, and the number of points, for bonus and penalty points.

Defining a milestone involves the following steps:

  1. Set the "course start and end dates" in the course settings

    • The course start and end dates are used to compute the milestone due dates

  2. Set the "max points" in the course settings

    • The start date will be assigned the milestone value of "0"

    • The end date will be assigned the milestone value equal to the "max points" set in the course settings

  3. Each milestone is created in the "Milestones" tab in the "Milestone Tracker Settings"

    • Click the + Milestone button, the "Create Milestone" box will appear

    • Add a Name and Point Value for the milestone

    • Click Create, the "Create Milestone" box will close and the new milestone will appear in the "Milestones Table"

Note: If you are creating multiple milestones at the same time, you can click Create and add another to immediately create another milestone without returning to the "Milestones Table".

Note: Milestone due dates are viewable by mousing over a milestone in the "Milestone Tracker" interface, and in the Canvas To Do list and Canvas calendar.

Note: The "milestone due date" for milestones is automatically generated by the Delphinium Configuration AI based on the start and end date of the course and the max points for the course. For example, if there were 1000 points in the class and you created a milestone for 500 points, the milestone due date would be exactly half way between the course start and end date. If you would like to change the due date for the milestone, then edit it so it has a different point value that matches the due date you are targeting.

It is a good idea to look over the class schedule when making milestones to make sure that none of the milestone due dates coincide with a holiday or other difficult dates. Also, if you have large assignments due in a period when there are not other assignments to do, like a final project, you might space milestones so that students have multiple weeks to reach the larger milestone. Otherwise, they might earn penalty but have no assignments available to earn points on to pass a milestone.

Note: The lowest milestone is considered the "Start" date. Typically, you should create a milestone worth 0 points to be lowest so that the redline is computed from the start of the class and 0 points (e.g., 0- Welcome!). If you make the lowest value equal to something larger (e.g, 40pts), you might get unexpected results for how red line matches up with dates and points.

Note: The top of the chart will be the highest milestone, but the max points for the class is the top of the red line. If your highest milestone is lower then max points, then the red line will raise above the top milestone and not be visible anymore. The solution is to add a milestone that is near or above the max points so that the red line stays visible.

Note: If you change the course "Start" and "End" times, the Delphinium Configuration AI will automatically change the milestone due date shown to students because milestone due dates are calculated based the course "Start" and "End" times.

Note: Because "milestone due dates" are computed automatically based on course "Start" and "End" , they may be at an odd time, like 3:24 AM. You will need to train your students to pay attention to the times as well as the dates.

Note: Calculating bonus and penalty points depends on when an assignment "submitted", not when it is "graded". Some assignments may take a teacher several day to grade. This may temporarily generate penalty points or lower bonus points in the Milestone Tracker. However, when the grade is entered into Canvas, it will be counted from when the student originally submitted the assignment and the bonus and penalty be will be recalculated accordingly.

Edit Milestones

Note: The Delphinium Configuration AI will automatically create 10 milestones when you create a new course that uses the "Milestone Tracker". They will be named with the pattern of 'Milestone 1, Milestone 2, Milestone 3, etc.'; and their initial point value will be automatically generated based on the initial course "Max Points". This is typically 500.

We recommend editing the milestone names to reflect a 'level' system that makes sense in your class. For example, a business class might include milestones like "job hunting", "new hire", "manager", "regional manager", "CEO", etc. We also recommend that you edit the milestone points to follow a "milestone due date" schedule that works well for your class. A good rule of thumb is to have about one milestone due date each week. Depending on the "Max Points" for your class, you will likely need to adjust the milestone threshold points values too.

Use the following steps to edit a milestone:

  1. Click the edit icon in the row for the milestone you wish to edit, the "Update Milestone" box will open

  2. Update the milestone Name and Points

  3. Click Update

    • The "Update Milestones" box will close and return you to the "Milestones Table", showing the updated milestone data

Delete a Milestone

  1. Select the check box next to the milestone or milestones you wish to remove

  2. Click the Remove button

    • The milestones you selected will be removed from the "milestone table"

Refresh the Delphinium Page to View Milestone Changes

Click Refresh Page or refresh the browser pate to view your changes to milestones in the "Milestone Tracker"

Milestone Assignments

"Milestone assignments" are automatically created for each milestone by the Delphinium Configuration AI. These are not real assignments and they carry no points. They only contain a brief statement in the description and a due date.

"Milestone assignments" are added so that milestone due dates will be added to the Canvas calendar and Canvas to do list. This will help students track when they need to earn specific points values in the course.

Milestone assignments are automatically updated when you create, edit, or delete a milestone; and when you change the Delphinium course settings for start date, end date, and max points.

Manually Refresh Milestone Assignments

If for some reason you want to manually update the milestone assignments, you can click Refresh Milestone Assignments.