The School of Education and Childhood Studies (SECS) have used electronic submission since 2015 with all students asked to submit their artefacts through Turnitin, Moodle Assignments or Moodle Workshops. SECS reviewed our electronic submission process at the end of 2016/17 and looked for ways we could improve the process for students as well as markers.

Student feedback suggested that changes could be made to improve the consistency of feedback across units as well as the transparency of grades and the ways in which grades could be improved in the future.

Using Rubrics

Joy Chalke (Senior Lecturer) and Chris Neanon (Associate Head Academic) worked with Mary Watkins (Senior Online Course Developer) to create an electronic version of the School’s new grade criteria/mark sheet for each level of study from level four undergraduates through to level seven postgraduates. The electronic version was created using a Turnitin rubric which reflected the four key areas students’ submissions are marked by:

  1. research,
  2. content,
  3. argument and analysis,
  4. organisation, style and presentation.

The new Turnitin rubrics help to ensure that all markers evaluate student work via the same set criteria, in this case based on these four key areas, and therefore respond to the students’ request for consistent marking.

Having attached the rubric to all Turnitin dropboxes, markers were able to indicate to students areas of strength as well as areas for improvement in the artifact submitted and link these to the sections on the rubric. Upon receiving this feedback students have been able use the rubric to see how improvements to their research, content, argument, and organisation will increase their grade in future submissions.

Using QuickMarks

Joy and Mary also worked together to create sets of ‘QuickMarks’, a tool in Turnitin that allows markers to drag and drop comments on to students’ submissions and therefore reduces the need for online markers to type the same comments repeatedly.

Joy drafted a set of QuickMarks for each level of study which Mary converted into corresponding sets of QuickMarks. Markers were then able to drag and drop relevant comments from the set on to students’ submissions, amending or adding to the comment(s) as appropriate.

A pilot was conducted in two units with large numbers of markers on the UG programmes and trialed in a unit on a PG program. SECS will be monitoring this process throughout 2017/18 and using feedback from students as well as staff to improve the way marking is conducted and feedback is given to our students.