This paper looks at the challenges of moving from an island of electronic submission in a single department, to a practical university-wide electronic submission, marking, feedback, and return service.
As with a lot of innovation, electronic submission was born into our Computer Science department in 2003. Fostered by a handful of staff the service rapidly expanded to encompass most of the department, and gained the interest of other departments. The service was adopted by the central IT Services in 2005 and further expanded to include basic electronic feedback and cover the entire University.
Since then, the innovation and expansion has continued. First in 2011 in order to improve the scalability of the service, and then regularly throughout 2013-2016 to add further electronic feedback and return provision. These latter works were undertaken using a mixture of internal and external funding, and included the addition of rich feedback types, such as in-browser annotation (Crocodoc) and audio feedback, and the inclusion of embedded originality checking (Ephorus). We are now in the process of rolling out electronic marking, so that student marks are entered directly into our student record system, and rewriting core parts of the service so that it can cope with increased numbers of students.
The service is now in use by all academic departments. In 2015/16 the service received over 115,000 items of submission and over 105,000 items of feedback, we are already seeing an increase in the volume of feedback returned in the partial 2016/17 academic year. This growth has not been without pain, and there have been various practical, technical, and political beasts that have required taming.
This presentation will look at data, surveys, and stories collected over a 10 year journey to implement University-wide electronic management of assessment (EMA). It will talk about the challenges encountered whilst ‘going it alone’ and not relying on an existing service, as well as the unintended consequences of doing so, and hope to identify some of the barriers that explain the low uptake of e-submission and e-feedback. It will also look at the future of EMA and ask the audience to engage in discussing some of the unexplored territory that we will visit in the future.
a) Welcome, overview, and historical context of electronic submission (3 minutes)
b) Implementing electronic submission and student behaviour (5 minutes)
c) Implementing electronic feedback, marking, and return, exploring staff attitudes (5 minutes)
d) Exploring future innovation, challenges, and audience participation (5 minutes)
e) Conclusion and close (2 minutes)
Newland, B. and Martin, L. (2016). Electronic Management of Assessment in UK HE 2016. [online] Google Docs. Available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz7E74T5Am22bXpIRmxxV0RyRWM/view [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Chatzigavriil, A. et al. (2015). e-Assessment practice at Russell Group Universities 2014-2015 [online] Available at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/64328/1/e-assement_practice_at_russell_group_universities.pdf [Accessed 7 Jun. 2017].