Online marking on the rise at RHUL

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Happy New Year!

I thought I’d start the year by taking stock of our achievements in 2013.  Having used Turnitin’s reporting tools I can confirm that we have supported a major shift towards online marking and feedback using the GradeMark service.  In the Department of Politics and International Relations this is part of a paperless assessment initiative, while elsewhere it is driven by the need to improve the student experience and streamline administrative practices.

Some headlines to consider:

  • Integrating Moodle with Turnitin and Grademark in 2011 freed up e-learning support resources which had previously been (over-) committed in support of disparate services – this was then re-invested in promoting, developing and supporting online marking strategies.
  • The integration provided Moodle with the anonymous marking tools which had been lacking since College adopted anonymous submission in 2007. Group marking was also supported by the integration.
  • The resistance to online marking – much of it relating to the transition from paper-based practice rather than an objection to the concept – is being addressed.
  • We have, via training sessions, online materials, attendance at Departmental meetings, successful piloting, and in lengthy and ongoing consultancy with Programme Directors, demonstrated and discussed how to adopt and embed online/paperless assessment.
  • We are able to support offline marking with the Turnitin iPad app - thus partially addressing those who wish to mark while on the move.

Some figures to consider:
  • So far in the single term of the current academic year, 16% of the 20k submissions to Turnitin have been marked online.
  • For the last few years, only 1-2% of submissions had been marked online
  • There is a three-fold increase in numbers of submissions marked online when compared to the entire 2012-13 session
  • Our GradeMark costs prior to this academic year were zero, but having exceeded our 10% student usage threshold in 2012 we had start paying for it; this further, significant increase in use justifies the reasonable additional costs.

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