There is clear evidence of a growing interest in, and engagement with, the electronic management of assessment (EMA). UK universities and colleges are increasingly using technology to support the whole assessment and feedback lifecycle, from the e-submission of assignments, to e-marking and e-feedback (see for example Ellis and Reynolds (2013) and Newland et al (2013)).
The strong drivers for seeking to move to electronic management of assessment, include: process improvement for reduced duplication and efficiency savings; enabling flexibility of provision and environmental considerations. Most important however is student demand for EMA and the evidence that EMA can help improve the student experience through the provision of more timely, quality and consistent feedback. There is also growing interest in the role that assessment analytics can play in providing a much richer, longitudinal view of learner progression to both staff and students: something currently extremely difficult to achieve with paper-based approaches. Providing a holistic picture of student progression, at a programme level, to both staff and students is a challenge that can be tackled through technology-enhanced approaches.
Evidence from recent research has identified a number of challenges facing the sector in this area. These include a lack of a shared understanding of the assessment and feedback lifecycle across different parts of the institution, gaps in technology provision to meet these needs, and a lack of research into approaches to successful implementation.
A project begun in March 2014, supported by various key stakeholder representative bodies, sought to better understand the assessment and feedback lifecycle across UK HE (and FE); to better understand how technology does and could support this lifecycle; to identify and share examples approaches to adoption (including what is working well and what isn’t); and to provide guidance on effective practice in this space.
This session will share the findings from an initial ‘landscape review’ of EMA activity across UK HE and FE which aimed to understand the state of play, key pain points and technical environments as well as identifying success stories that others could learn from. Accepting that there will never be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to assessment and feedback even within most individual institutions, the session will provide an opportunity for participants to engage with a flexible model to help identify where technology support can offer most benefit. We will explore a range of approaches to implementation and session participants will discuss the key issues identified, contribute their experiences and discuss and agree the priorities for next steps.
Ellis, C. and Reynolds, C. (2013) ‘EBEAM Final Report’ http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/assessmentandfeedback/ebeam.aspx
Newland, B., Martin, L., Bird, A., and Masika, R. (2013). ‘HELF – Electronic Management of Assessment Survey Report 2013’http://w01.helfcms.wf.ulcc.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/projects/EMAsurveyreport2013.pdf