Assessment and feedback (2 Demonstrations 0073, 0226)


13:40 - 14:40 on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 in Room B63


73 eAssignment: an institutional submission and management system for assessment of open-ended assignments
Trevor Bryant, Peter Gibbs, Martin Chivers, Peter Silvester, Alex Furr, Gary Jones


226 Your answer was not quite correct, try again': making online assessment and feedback work for learners
Sally Jordan, Phil Butcher, Sarah Knight, Ros Smith


73 eAssignment: an institutional submission and management system for assessment of open-ended assignments
Trevor Bryant, Peter Gibbs, Martin Chivers, Peter Silvester, Alex Furr, Gary Jones
We are developing an institutional system to provide an on-line environment for administration, marking and feedback of electronically submitted open-ended student assignments, these are typically essays but any digital document that can be uploaded could be assessed using this system. The benefits are quality improvement in the assessment process by providing access to assignment criteria, marking descriptors, assignments results and faster feedback, anytime anywhere. There are environmental benefits by elimination of the need for students to submit at school offices, reduced paper usage and reduced use of internal and external mail systems. The eAssignment system goes beyond those provided by most VLE’s in that it provides for any number of documents of defined format type to be uploaded, pre-submission questions, integrity and ‘documents are correct’ declarations, single or double marking, moderation and external examiner access, criteria based marking using descriptors with a choice of grades or percentages. As the system is developed using common standards it is not limited to a specific VLE environment. The format of this presentation will be a brief outline of the institutional reasons for introducing the system. A demonstration of how students can submit assignments to the system, how assessors can mark the work and some of the tools available to administrators to manage the process. We will conclude with a discussion of some the challenges we have in embedding the system into the institutional processes. Participants will learn how an eAssignment system might be applicable to their institution, what impact this has on current and future institutional processes as introduction of such as system can be used to drive harmonisation of assessment procedures across an institution. The software will be made available under an open source licence to other UK academic institutions.


226 Your answer was not quite correct, try again': making online assessment and feedback work for learners
Sally Jordan, Phil Butcher, Sarah Knight, Ros Smith
The search for new markets and sources of funding means that more academic institutions will be exploring partial or entire delivery of courses online or exploring the potential of technology to enable more efficient methods of assessment. Larger group sizes and the drive towards globalisation are additional drivers behind the search for effective new approaches. But how skilled are course designers in generating online assessments that will both measure and prompt deeper learning? Online assessments that rely on multiple-choice or multiple-response questions test the extent of learners' knowledge, but may fail to assist them in taking the next step towards deeper understanding.  Moreover, for many, there is an inherent conflict between the constraints of online assessment tools and the pedagogic role of assessment as a meaningful interaction between the learner and the course objectives. This demonstration will illustrate some of the design features that can make interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs) a powerful aid to learning. At the UK Open University, iCMAs are being used widely to help adult distance-learners to select their next choice of course and to complement more traditional forms of assessment. Work done in the Centre for Open Learning of Mathematics, Science, Computing and Technology (COLMSCT) has increased the richness of question types that are available. For example, the level 1 module ‘Exploring science', studied by around 4000 students per year, now includes iCMA questions requiring students to enter their answer as a free-text phrase or sentence of up to 20 words. Students are given three attempts at each question, with increasing feedback. A range of iCMA question types will be demonstrated, in the context of their diagnostic, formative and summative use in ‘Exploring Science'. In addition, the open source software used to provide answer matching rules for short-answer free text questions will be demonstrated, giving participants the opportunity to consider how they might use similar technologies and learning design in their own practice. The work demonstrated forms one case study in the newly launched JISC publication ‘Effective Assessment in a Digital Age'. Copies of the publication will be available.