Monthly Archives: July 2014

1. Specifying

Specifying details of a significant course or programme of study (and consequently specifying the assessment strategy within it) is done infrequently. For new courses there may be a considerable time lag (of 1-2 years) between course validation and initial delivery. Often this means that the course is delivered by new staff who have little ownership … Read more

2. Setting

Whilst the overall assessment strategy and approach is specified very early in the life-cycle, there is a process of setting assignment details that needs to occur for each instance of delivery. At this point students are given details, that may take the form of an assignment brief, about precise topics, deadlines, learning outcomes assessed, marking … Read more

3. Supporting

This component of the life-cycle looks specifically at supporting students in the period between setting and submission of assignments (i.e. while they are in the process of completing an assignment) and is thus separate from the more general support that is needed for the business processes and technologies throughout the life-cycle (although it does have … Read more

4. Submitting

This is probably the area of the life-cycle where the benefits of EMA for students are most widely understood and accepted: – convenience of not having to travel to hand in assignments – avoidance of printing costs for students – time savings and avoidance of anxiety about assignments going missing in the postal system – … Read more

5. Marking and production of feedback

This is probably the most problematic component of the life-cycle as it is the area where variety of pedagogic practice results in a situation where the fit between institutional processes and the functionality of commercially available systems is least well matched. We heard a very clear message from the sector that existing systems do not … Read more

6. Recording grades

Given the complexity of marking processes, it is unsurprising that there are considerable variations in the process by which a definitive grade is stored against a piece of work. Institutional regulations will determine who records the grade, how this is verified and in which system it is stored. However, in many cases, the student record … Read more

7. Returning marks & feedback

A key issue for students is clarity about deadline for return of marks and feedback. A number of institutions have told us students don’t really mind whether the deadline is 20 days or 30 days so long as there is clarity (bearing in mind that, in the case of feedback, it will only be useful … Read more

8. Reflecting

This is one of the most important components of the life-cycle in that it is where the real student learning takes place and yet it is one of the areas least well supported by the existing commercial systems. Strategies need to be in place to ensure students read and engage with their feedback (rather than … Read more

More comparisons

It looks like many of you are undertaking similar work in comparing tools. Here is another contribution from Anna Verges, University of Manchester looking at Turnitin/GradeMark and Blackboard in terms of their e-submission/e-marking/e-feedback capabilities. Manchester Comparing_submission_marking_Turnitin_vs_bbv5 She has also provided some further analysis relating to Blackboard – can it carry out certain functions and, if … Read more