Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA)

This study block sees the first phase of the Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) project having been kicked off. The Educational Technology Team are working closely with Quality Assurance and Enhancement (QAE) and SPA, this phase of the project focuses on improving clarity of grading and summative assessment feedback.  

It was clearly highlighted in the last NSS that students have significant challenges in terms of understanding marking criteria, and from that the fairness of marking.  Over 600 responses on the ROS (reps online system) suggested that this area is not working as well as it could do, and they see and feel there are big differences in assessment feedback practice. 

A study block 2 pilot is underway involving fourteen modules across five academic departments.  This involves the use of learning space submission and feedback tools, working to a new set of assessment feedback principles, and marking against an assessment rubric A review of this pilot, and engagement from a new EMA Academic working group will help shape an approach for an institutional wide rollout. Assessment Rubrics are already widely used at Falmouth and across academia, each one is unique to the assessment element.   Using the learning space submission and feedback tools academic staff can visually represent students’ achievement (and therefore mark) in relation to their assessments. Essentially, laid out in a table format, rows display the learning outcomes being assessed, and the columns show the level to which the student is, isn’t and could be working to. See the example below: 

Example rubric

Some comments from academics that have experience of using rubrics like the one above: 

Rubrics develop/drives a level of professionalism and enables me to provide more timely feedback 

Rubrics give the marker confidence that they can be more objective than subjective 

Rubrics let students know how their grade was calculated and where they could improve their work 

Rubrics set out expectations to aid the student to understand what they’re being graded against 

Determining a consistent approach to providing summative assessment feedback to students at Falmouth will enable them to be supported centrally more effectively, and for us to measure and enhance feedback practice. The mix of practice within courses and schools causes challenges when students seek support from central services, can create a disjointed experience for both the students and staff. As we move towards more trans-disciplinarity and grow our online delivery, these challenges are worsened.    

The platform for this will be Learning Space, it has submission and feedback tools available that are widely used across the HE and FE sector.   

Students will receive summative assessment feedback and provisional marks for their work (ratified marks will still be available through MyFalmouth) regardless of the type of submission (artefact, performance, essay, image etc) online through Learning Space. This creates a standard process and it is one that can be centrally supportedunderstood, measured and enhanced.

We will be continuing and expanding the pilot to ensure that courses that have been through the new Curriculum Management process are trialling these new methods in Study Block 3.

If you’d like to get involved, or have any questions about EMA in general, please get in touch at: etsupport@falmouth.ac.uk

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