In this series of articles, the Educational Technology team will be providing an insight into existing practice using technology for learning and teaching at Falmouth University and also at projects being undertaken within the wider HE sector. Our previous articles have looked at the process of Feedback and Open Education.

As we enter the summer term it seems only right to have a look at the process of assessment. This time of the year is heavily associated with assessment as students hand in final pieces of work before the end of the academic year. As a University specialising in creative arts, the submissions from our students are as diverse as the courses studied, it’s our role as technologists to support a wide range of submission formats when it comes to online hand-ins. 

 As with 98% of Universities, Falmouth uses Turnitin as a tool for online submissions. Turnitin allows students and staff to check work for citations and text matches across a variety of sources including online journals, websites and books. Although the tool can be used to identify potential plagiarism it also allows students to understand how to correctly cite referenced work by visually identifying any text which has been matched to another source. Allowing students to view ‘originality reports’ in this way has received some criticism in the past, although others feel it’s a useful aid to develop academic writing.  

In addition to Turnitin, a file upload function is in place at Falmouth University that handles a variety of formats submitted for assessment via the VLE. This can include data, image and video files and facilitates commenting and feedback from academic members of staff. 

In the past we have also used external media platforms such as Vimeo to handle assessed materials. In the case of Vimeo, students uploaded video content and tagged work with unique module codes so staff could easily search and mark material.

As the methods for documenting, collecting and recording work diversifies, it’s our job as a team to ensure the digital assessment process is as streamlined as possible. We’re always interested to hear from other Ed Tech teams who have implemented successful assessment methods or tools, if you’d like to share a workflow that’s worked well for your students please get in touch!       

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