In Easter term 2016, the Arts & Humanities Faculty held an online marking workshop. Colleagues from Philosophy and Archaeology gave presentations on how their departments had implemented fully online marking, followed by questions and discussion on the educational and practical benefits and drawbacks of marking online.
Several key themes and questions emerged which could be useful to any department considering the use of duo to receive, mark and return assignments.
Reasons to try online marking
- Maintain feedback standards across a department
- Incorporate rubrics or forms
- University requirements for typed feedback and timely return to students
- Paper-free assessment
- Marks recorded digitally
- Streamlined workflow from student to marker(s) and back again
Prevent academic misconduct
- Easy to check evidence of plagiarism if something look suspicious
- Catch collusion among students
- Identify instances of essay re-use
Questions to ask when considering marking on duo
- How does your department handle anonymity? For example, do you require anonymity for all summative work? Would identifying scripts with student Z-codes be appropriate? At what point would it be reasonable to de-anonymise the data for administrative purposes?
- What requirements do you have for moderation or (blind) second marking? For example, do students see the markers’ names? Do moderators need marking data? What evidence is required of these processes?
- What particular processes do you use for external examining? For example, would your external examiner be happy to view assignments online? Does the external examiner expect assessments to be anonymous?
- Would most staff be able to mark online from an accessibility standpoint?
- Are the online tools sufficient for script annotation in your field?
- Would your students need support and encouragement to engage with online feedback?
The big picture
- Does online marking suit every step of the assessment process for your department?
- What kind of training or support would students and staff require?
- Would a pilot of online marking be appropriate? Would the department consider implementing one element of online assessment at a time?
If your department are interested in investigating online marking further, please contact your faculty learning technologist.
Durham University Learning and Teaching Handbook, Section 6: Examination and Assessment
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