Assessment remains problematic across HE, described as “the single biggest source of student dissatisfaction with the higher education experience” (Ferrell, 2012). The use of technology is seen as the means to address this and to bring about educational benefits, process improvements, efficiencies and cost savings. In 2015 the University developed a small scale project designed to support institution wide online submission, followed by the launch of a new £7.5 million transformative EMA programme in January 2017. The EMA Programme aims to improve the student and staff assessment experience whilst reducing the administrative burden of assessment for the University. The Programme is using existing institutional technologies – Blackboard, Turnitin and SITS – as well as developing new applications. It spans the full assessment life-cycle, from assessment setting and submission through to marking, feedback, and the provision of an innovative feedback dashboard to provide students with more granular analytical data surrounding learning and progress.
This presentation will start by giving an insight into the main achievements and key challenges as identified by the 2015 project – both those that were anticipated and those that were unexpected, surfacing issues in other parts of the organisation. We will then outline how the EMA programme aims to address these complex challenges and capitalise on the success of the 2015 project through a multi-stranded transformational change programme encompassing pedagogical, technical, policy, administrative and organisational needs. Our experiences to date will be explored in the context of the experiences of other providers drawing on the findings of our recent landscape review and semi structured interviews with a range of project leads across the sector.
The presentation will be of considerable interest to staff from institutions who are considering or are already embarking upon e-assessment change initiatives.
Barbara Newland, 2016. UK HE Research on Electronic Management of Assessment 2016. Heads of e-Learning Forum. Available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz7E74T5Am22bXpIRmxxV0RyRWM/view. Accessed 26th March 2017.
Gill Ferrell, 2012. A view of the Assessment and Feedback Landscape: baseline analysis of policy and practice from the JISC Assessment & Feedback programme. JISC. Available at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearning/Assessment/JISCAFBaselineReportMay2012.pdf. Accessed 26th March 2017.