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Give them what they want: Participatory approaches to developing anonymous assignment provision


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Presented at ALT-C 2015;

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Give them what they want: Participatory approaches to developing anonymous assignment provision

  1. 1. Give them what they want: developing a flexible anonymous assignment workflow to meet diverse needs University of York
  2. 2. Outline • EMA in the sector and York • Requirement gathering &“Agile” development • Evaluation and ways forward
  3. 3. Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) in the UK • Growing adoption and interest across the sector (UCISA 2014) • Strategic priority for JISC / UCISA / HELF identified benefits for – Students (convenience) – Admin (efficiencies) – Academics (pedagogic) • Turnitin Grademark leading e-submission solution, 63% • End to end solution remains elusive – JISC, Southampton, Northumbria, BB/SITS integration?
  4. 4. Generic EMA lifecycle 1 - Specifying 2 - Setting 3 - Supporting 4 - Submitting 5 - Harvesting the work 6 - Marking and feedback 7 - Returning marks and feedback 8 Reflecting / evaluation Lifecycle model adapted from Manchester University TRAFFIC Project
  5. 5. Context of EMA @ York • ~14,000 students • Anonymity mandatory “except where unfeasible” – Assessment principles: Equity, Openness, Clarity, Consistency • No current institutional EMA policy /mandate • Widespread opt in to e-assessment workflows – Iterative development delivering the big things first – Flexibility for local adaptations – Active user group and network driving local adoption – 20,558 files submitted, 11,267 feedback files returned online last academic year
  6. 6. Anonymous assignment submission: iterative development 2007: Online submission • Submitted files anonymised using exam numbers 2013: Feedback return • Feedback forms / marksheets generated and returned to students through SITS 2014: Feedback flexibility • Support for annotated work • Marks and feedback for exams 2015: User experience • Policy & guidance • Markers • Students 2016? Feedback hub • Supervisor access • Prototype in development Increasing departmental uptake
  7. 7. Lifecycle stage Common requirements Flex? Support Location Specifying Summative anonymity Depts specify assessment X Setting Deadlines, file types, late submissions, fb type Assessment details Y Supporting Student guidance MIT circs Central Y Submitting Anonymised with exam number Text files Multiple files in zips Assessment details Central Y Harvesting Student work Feedback (forms and annotations) Marksheets Tracking tools Dept approach Y Marking and feedback File sharing Feedback forms / templates / annotation Platform Printing F’b approach X Returning marks / fb 6 week anonymous fb turnaround Marks registered in SITS Central Y Reflecting / evaluation Student / supervisor access to anonymous feedback Dept / central FBH
  8. 8. York Anonymous Assignment: Evaluation Highlights • Institution: Need to fill gaps in policy and guidance • Admin (n=18): Easy to use and saves time • Students (n=261): Generally +ive, FB quality, confidence issues • Markers (n=48): Mixed reaction to all aspects of workflow – Most negative response to reading work on screen – Broadly positive response to feedback production – Areas for development: • Improved workflow and speed / More managed system • Annotations – awareness, workflow, reusable, workload implications • Resistance to greater use of technology 8
  9. 9. Polarised response from markers “I can see no merit in this system. I have other experience of on- line marking from my external examining and have found it very difficult, time consuming and problematic. There are some parts of the pedagogic process that are not amenable to on-line systems and marking essays is one of these. The students get a worse experience, worse feedback and and I have found it tiresome, unnecessarily complicated and much much slower. I conclude that it is inefficient use of time, makes turning the essays round longer, and pedagogically worse outcome.” “This was my first year using this system and it was revolutionary. I could mark anywhere... Also there was no printing out of forms at the Dept Office. The whole thing was slick and easy.” 9
  10. 10. Continued incremental improvements • Marker experience – Annotation; explore use of Google drive / docs / forms – Other forms of feedback; portfolios, media etc • Supervisor access – Feedback hub prototype • Central e-assignment strategy • Balance tension between universal / “niche” requirements for central IT developments