The coursework submission method was changed from hard copy to electronic submission via online learning portal (MyPlace). Provision of both assessment and feedback was delivered via online tools (TURNITIN). This allowed students to see assessment against the rubric, relevant comments and content, issues of originality and to keep a long term record of feedback to refer to later. It also allows the academic to also keep a copy to refer to as required and use as examples of future work. This intervention was taken first in 2014-15 and each year I have built on the successes.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Dr Doug Bertram
Beyond my teaching philosophy of providing a clear, fair and transparent assessment criteria for all coursework and assessment, a number of specific issues provided the rationale for this intervention:
The development, availability and integration of online feedback and assessment tools (such as TURNITIN) into MyPlace offered an opportunity to address the factors above.
Specific success are:
Other colleagues have observed success of this and broader use across the department has begun.
Specific lessons include:
Challenges still arise from student involvement and engagement. A level of familiarity with the software/technologies is required and some students are not as experienced as others. A solution is to run demonstration/training during lectures and to make help guides available on my place. A particular issue still arises from students not engaging with the information provided in advance and in reading feedback afterwards – this can be monitored via the online tools but you cannot compel the student to access the information with tools! There is a requirement to motivate students to do this.
There are a number of technical issues that arose during each year (particularly in terms of “how do I do this now on MyPlace” following software upgrades…). The first and immediate port of call should be the Learning Technologies Team (Alistair Campbell ext 3770).
This can be applied to any course where there are coursework submissions. Given the broad range of software types that now interface with these tools, virtually any submission type can be assessed.
Class sizes this was applied to were typically around 100 students. The benefits of more flexible marking were immediate.
I would wholly recommend using this approach to feedback and assessment. It is transferable, the only limiting factor is the confidence of the academic to embrace the tools!