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Cross College collaboration to create a common marking tool

Working with the School of Physics and Astronomy, a recent project has helped to enhance an online marking tool for use across the College of Science and Engineering.

Originally developed by Keith Brunton at the School of Physics and Astronomy, the online marking tool allows for the dual marking of assessments. Using the tool, two markers could individually mark an assignment and then collaborate on their results to determine a final grade.

Following its success, the online marking tool gathered interest from other schools at the College of Science and Engineering. The Information Services Group’s Applications Directorate then became involved in the project to help with the wider development of the tool in conjunction with the School of Physics and Astronomy.

After an initial requirements capture phase involving all the schools in the College, there followed a development phase based on agile guidelines to produce an enhanced tool that would address the needs of the schools within the College.

The result was the Online Marking System (OMS), which allows multiple-markers to enter Project grades and comments online alongside criteria-driven grade descriptors. The tool also features a reconciliation stage which allows the comparison and moderation of grades and comments to allow final submission of a grade for each project.

After beginning rollout of the tool last September, the OMS is now in use across the College and has been positively received. Using the tool helps to reduce the number of documents passed between staff and allows less time to be spent collating results.

A particular strength of the project was the collaboration between the different schools at the College combined with the input from Information Services. The sharing of knowledge across the schools and the identification of common requirements and interests allowed for a smooth development process. Future projects with the College would hope to build on this productive collaborative environment to improve project efficiency and quality.

 

The design process with ongoing stages of consultation and feedback meant that we got a package that was ready to deploy straight away. We have since launched and it has been a great success, showing that lots of little things were thought through during design. One colleague remarked that the tool made marking ‘a joy’ – that’s a win in my book!

Michael SeeryPersonal Chair of Chemistry Education, School of Chemistry