At our workshop in December some of you worked with us to develop a range of solution ideas to tackle the prioritised challenges, which were refined down into five concept areas. At our second workshop in January more of you collaborated with suppliers to work up each of these further. We would now like to share these ideas with you here so that you can vote and comment on which you feel would have most impact for you, and the sector, if delivered. Your comments will feed into the process of deciding which ideas will be taken forward.
Please add your comments to this post, along with the number of the idea that you feel would have most impact if taken forward!
1. EMA Requirements Map
To address the challenge that systems don’t always fully support the variety of marking and moderation workflows in place: this is a project to identify, validate and specify the sector’s key EMA requirements and workflows. The aim here is to provide clarity and transparency around assessment and feedback workflows (looking at the whole assessment and feedback lifecycle, but particularly around the period from submission to return of grades). This will help assessment systems suppliers better design systems that support good pedagogic practice as well as helping institutions review their own practice. The project would seek to identify common workflows and significant variables in collaboration with universities; consolidate and further analyse the workflows; develop a visual way of presenting workflows; map current systems to these workflows; and engage with suppliers and developers to fill the gaps.
2. Feedback hub
The development of a system independent, virtual tool/plug in for aggregating, organising and presenting feedback (and marks) at a programme level, wherever they may sit, for both staff and students. The tool should also enable interaction around the feedback between staff and students.
Students would benefit from an aggregated view of their feedback to support self-reflection on progress; lecturers would see a more holistic view of students’ progress and be able to better understand an individual’s progression and better identify where intervention or support was needed. This holistic view could also enable more effective and efficient tutorial and supervisory processes.
3. Reliable submissions
To tackle the documented problems associated with system failures at critical submission points it was suggested there is a need to decouple the physical act of submission from the workflows within other EMA systems. This solution idea proposes the development of a submission tool (customisable by institutions) which includes a front-end asynchronous submission and receipting service, with back-end post-submission processing, so that submissions can be acknowledged and held until other functions are in a position to proceed. Policies, procedures, guidance and examples need to encompass the workarounds to deal with points of failure.
4. EMA systems integration web resource
To address the problems of the lack of interoperability between marking systems and student records systems and subsequent need for ‘workarounds’ by staff, a resource was proposed which would help institutions find solutions to EMA systems integrations issues, which could relate to both workflows (see above ‘EMA requirements map’) as well as actual existing integrations (use cases including advantages, limitations etc. and code). Where there are gaps identified through exploring existing integrations, this resource would enable them to be surfaced and prioritised for potential development. A ‘community of practice’ would support the resource.
5. Assessment and feedback toolkit
A web-based ‘toolkit’ of searchable resources (case studies, stories, staff development resources, tools etc.) based around the assessment and feedback lifecycle in an interactive form. The resource would aim to provide examples of solutions to assessment and feedback problems, enabled by technology, based on pedagogy and underpinned by research, and be able to be re-purposed for local contexts. It would aim to address the question of ‘what does good assessment design look like?’ and to enhance the assessment literacies of staff and students.