I mentioned in my last post that at the SACWG seminar, online marking were also mentioned. At the seminar (at least from our table) it appears that many institutions are still at the early adopter stage when it comes to online marking.In fact, one of the delegates from our table said that her institution is just starting to introduce online submission and online marking is far from common practice. Delegates from other institutions said there are pockets of good practice but online marking is also far from being a common practice for them.
In one of the presentations, Professor Alison Halstead (the Pro Vice Chancellor on Learning and Teaching innovation at Aston University) said that in order to encourage and implement online marking in their psychology department, they have upgraded every academic staff’s computer in the department. Staff are provided with bigger screens and newer, faster computer to enable staff to mark online. I wonder when we speak to our staff about their online marking experience with GradeMark, how many of them would see their computer/screen as an issue when they mark.
While it is not possible for every institution to do that especially at current economic climate, I think one common message from Professor Alison Halstead and others at the seminar is that it is important to maintain a level of flexibility for staff and see online marking as one of the many tools that can improve the students’ experience but not the ONLY tool.
I forgot to mention in my last post that while technology was not a key theme at the seminar, Professor Paul Hyland (Head of Teaching and Learning, Bath Spa University), when providing a reflection at the end of the day, did wave the JISC effective assessment in a digital age publication in the air and encouraged everyone to have a look at the publication as he found it rather useful.
Did I mention before that our Change Academy project is one of the examples in the JISC publication? 🙂