1. Try student peer evaluations

As a senior lecturer in Media Studies, Catriona Bonfiglioli tries to include an element of student peer review in each of her subjects. Catriona started experimenting with this approach by using paper rubrics, which were easy for students to use but created considerable labour for tutors in collating the marks from every student, for every student and then calculating the average. After searching for technology that would make the assessment easier to administer, Catriona switched to SPARKPlus as a way to collect peer evaluations of student work.

Read more: Peer assessment of student class presentations.

2. Streamline your marking

To cope with a larger number of assignments, Donna Rooney began to use Turnitin for marking, as well as monitoring for plagiarism. She felt that the time she took in setting up Turnitin for her classes paid off, especially as she gradually improved in using the program. While her colleagues were still struggling with marking, she was getting incrementally faster and her students were still getting the feedback they needed to get better at the task for their next assignment.

Read more: GradeMark for online marking of assignments.

3. Incorporate professional practice with REVIEW

Scott Chadwick found the major benefit of assessing with REVIEW is the time it saves when it comes to marking and collating. Uploading the criteria for an assessment into REVIEW means that the students and the staff can see everything, making administering the marking a lot easier.

Read more: Professional practice points in chemistry laboratories. 

4. Involve students in creating assessments

Just working through quiz questions in a tutorial can be boring for both students and tutors, according to Mary Garvey. Having the students devise the quiz questions makes the session far more engaging, giving students the opportunity to actively debate different answers. “The noise level in the class during the pop quiz can be incredible. Students would literally get out of their chairs and climb over the tables to convince someone else that their answer was wrong.” The active engagement ensures that students go away feeling that they know the material well.

Read more: Student generated multiple choice questions. 

5. Try an online simulation

Stuart Nettleton designed holistic assessments for students that allow everyone in a group to use their strengths. At the same time, the overall task still requires everyone to work as a team and when a problem arises the whole team needs to work together to find a solution. A simulation cements all of the smaller pieces of the subject together so that it makes sense to the students.

Read more: Automated marking in an online role play simulation.

What have you tried that has improved assessment in your subject? Let us know in the comments!

Feature image credit: Andrew Worssam.

  • Dr. Darrall G Thompson, (PhD Education M.Design) commented

    Apart from saving time mentioned by Scott REVIEW focuses students away from marks and onto the criteria linked to graduate attributes:
    Thompson, D.G. 2016, ‘Marks should not be the focus of assessment— but how can change be achieved?’, Journal of Learning Analytics, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 193-212.

    REVIEW also engages students with assessment criteria through self-assessment as a built in feature.
    This has had significant impact on the calibration of students’ judgement of their own work and performances:
    Boud, D.J., Lawson, R. & Thompson, D.G. 2013, ‘Does student engagement in self-assessment calibrate their judgement over time?’, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 38, no. 8, pp. 941-956.

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