EMLT Spring Event Round-Up

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The session last week went well, with lots of lively discussion and sharing of ideas around the subject of assessment design for anonymous marking. 

Unfortunately, we were not able to record the presentation on the day as some of the conversations on this were of a sensitive nature due to some organisations being in the early stages of introducing anonymous marking. 

The first presentation was delivered by Matt Hope and Rich Goodman from Loughborough University who provided an overview of their current thinking about introducing anonymous marking at the University. The first part of this process was to look at the practices currently taking place at the institution and to carry out some research into the approaches other institutions are taking to introduce anonymous marking. They also talked over some of the technical issues with introducing anonymous marking including the different ways students submit work and how these can be set up to receive anonymous submissions. 

We then had a talk called ‘Marking anon or Aaron’ from Sally Hanford and Claire Chambers, University of Nottingham. They talked about the institutional approach being taken to anonymous marking and how they put this into practice in the faculties they support. They reflected on the importance of making the process for submitting anonymously as simple as possible and ensuring expectations around this are clearly communicated to staff and students. They reflected on some of the problematic areas of anonymous marking such as managing extensions and investigating academic offences, which again require some additional thinking about how these are managed. 

The final part of the day provided everyone with the opportunity to have a go at designing an authentic assessment which could be anonymously marked. Starting with a set of learning outcomes and an assessment outline, we had to think through a set of questions, discussing them within our group. The questions we used were: 

  • What are the students creating?
    • Infographic, portfolio, essay, report, image, video, advert, exam, simulation, practice etc.
  • How will this be submitted?
  • What type of feedback will be provided?
    • Formative, summative, video, audio, screen recording, in text comments, general comments, cohort feedback
  • When and how will the feedback be provided?
  • How authentic is the assessment?
  • Rate this 1-5 with 5 being the most authentic Can this be marked anonymously?
    • yes/no

The group them fed back their findings. This proved a valuable exercise helping us to think about the challenges faced by academic staff when reviewing their current assessment practices to consider whether it is possible to make acceptable adaptations for these to be anonymously marked. 

I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the session and we look forward to seeing you again at a future meeting. 

Also, a big thank you to all our speakers and to Loughborough for hosting! 

The next face-to-face event will be in Nov/Dec and we are still looking for a host for this. All we need is a room, but if you can find funds for catering that would be the icing on the cake. If you are interested in this then please contact either myself l.hollinshead@derby.ac.uk or Rich Goodman at r.goodman@lboro.ac.uk  

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