Dr James Russell, Principal Lecturer, Film Studies; currently teaches two modules at first year and third year undergraduate level.
James has approximately eighty students enrolled across the two modules and in the 2014/15 academic year James looked to innovate his assessment technique by engaging with one of the electronic assessment tools that DMU subscribes to.
Students studying in both years are required to submit a final essay of around 1500 words and traditionally James would print these and mark by hand. However, James felt that he had perfected his technique to the point where he could not mark any faster and he was also finding that students were not always forthcoming in picking their feedback up in hard copy.
Therefore James sought to identify a different approach to marking that might be more efficient and also make feedback more readily available to the students.
Given that the students submit their essay via the TurnItIn system, James concluded this would be a good place to start and explored the use of GradeMark for marking electronically whilst online.
James quickly identified that he would be able to create a subset of QuickMarks that are relevant to the subject and he marked the latest cohort’s submissions using a combination of QuickMarks and the free form text feedback function that is available in GradeMark.
During this initial year, James also insisted that his students hand in to provide a contingency position and conversations were had with the internal second marker and the external moderator who in turn have found the use of GradeMark to be quick and easy.
In conversation with James, it is clear that the trial use of GradeMark in 2014/15 has been a success. James is also the Subject Group Leader for Media, Film and Journalism and at a recent Programme Management Board meeting James was almost evangelistic in front of colleagues about electronic online marking – hence this blog post.
The benefits of marking online are linked to the students being able to pick their feedback up immediately once James releases this and James also feels that marking online is faster and more efficient than marking in a traditional paper based manner. GradeMark also works well with the second marker being able to see James’ comments on screen and the external moderator has been positive about the format of the downloaded submissions that are sent for moderation.
James will be continuing to mark in this way and next year he is planning to rely solely on the electronic approach. He is also encouraging colleagues to engage, where appropriate, with this scalable electronic marking technique.
Thank you to Dr James Russell for agreeing to have this practice documented and disseminated.
ELT Project Officer