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:
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 supported, understood, 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: email@example.com
Today sees the end of the project! 🍾
We have successfully upgraded Learning Space to the latest version, moved from an internally hosted system to a cloud hosted platform, re-designed the theme to ensure branding is appropriate, completed 363 user stories over the past 11 months, and made 2,238 changes within the system to ensure that it is running smoothly and in line with our requirements; amongst other things:
We’ve run 81 training sessions with you since the launch of the live system in May 2018 between the 4 of us, plus hundreds of email support inquiries and hours of phone calls.
Collaboration with various teams across the institution has seen the project delivered successfully on time to provide a reliable and up to date service to you and your students, over the last 11 months some of the teams we’ve worked with have included:
- FXPlus IT – supported the project and successfully integrated University systems with Learning Space
- Communications – advice on branding guidelines
- Student Programmes and Achievement – supporting refer/defer work and decisions about setting up online hand-ins
- Information Governance – Compliance and GDPR guidance
- Library – Talis integration and testing
- Quality Assurance and Enhancement/SITs – central module details and student enrolments
We are now moving the project into ‘Business as Usual’ which means that we will start to work on user stories that were not in scope for the main project, and on improvements to the system. Please get in touch if you have any ideas or requirements.
The last couple of weeks have seen the launch of the new Learning Space and everyone’s use of it. The switch over went really smoothly and apart from a few teething problems that were solved quickly feedback so far suggests that the new Learning Space is more intuitive to use and fresh.
The new user guidance is now available at http://etsupport.freshdesk.com/support/solutions and accessible through the help button on the top bar of Learning Space, next to your profile link. These guides have been updated to align with the new look and feel of the system, and there are instructional videos available if you prefer them.
All staff, including School Admins are now able to add and remove other staff to and from modules. Please ensure that current staff on modules, and/or School Admins are the first port of call for getting added onto modules that you need.
We are doing our final audit for this year this week. We will be in touch in the same way as before for any modules requiring additional work.
We’ve been busy bees over the last couple of weeks, writing guidance for the new Learning Space and ensuring it matches with existing processes and procedures as well as the new tools within the system. We’re still doing a bit of training, and engagement has been really good. If you haven’t had training please get in touch.
Audit point 1 (w/c 16th July)
We have been auditing the content within modules. So far, around 30% of modules are ‘In progress’, or ‘meet audit requirements’ based on this set of criteria. We have got in touch with module leaders (recorded on the student record system) to notify them of the audit criteria that are yet to be completed. If you have received a message about a module that you are not a leader on, please could you pass it onto the relevant member of staff, and let us know. The record will need to be updated on the student record system, and the student records team should be notified through firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Drop in sessions
Additional drop in sessions have been requested by a few staff before the start of the new study block. As we’re expecting the bulk of the materials and activities to be created in the new Learning Space before then we’re hoping the sessions will be mostly for finishing off. But, whatever stage you’re at please feel free to drop into the rooms below on the following days:
- Tue 28th, 9:00 – 17:00 – Penryn – TH Seminar W
- Wed 29th, 9:00 – 17:00 – Penryn – TH Seminar W
- Thurs 30th, 9:00 – 17:00 – Falmouth – Seminar F (Treetops)
- Tue 4th, 9:00 – 17:00 – Penryn – Exchange Blue
- Wed 5th, 9:00 – 17:00 – Falmouth – Seminar F (Treetops)
- Thurs 6th, 9:00 – 17:00 – Penryn – Exchange Blue
We’re still working on the design for the look and feel of the new system. We’re getting closer to the final testing phase now and plan to have it ready for around mid-August for the live system to go live on 3rd September. Here’s a sneak peak!
We’re pleased to say that staff now have access to the new version of Learning Space and if you have attended one of our training sessions you will have seen it and hopefully you have started working on your modules for next year.
Over the last couple of weeks we have been meeting with staff and getting them up and running on their modules, and we will continue to meet with staff over the next month or so. If you haven’t got a session planned in for your course please get in touch to arrange one, or drop in to one of our all day sessions (details below).
Just to let you know, we will carry out an audit of the areas on Learning Space in mid July, and mid August. This is just to get an idea of how many modules have not been started yet, are in progress, or look to be complete. We plan to get in touch with module leaders who have modules that are not started after the audits to check if they need some more training.
Our designer has been working on the look and feel of the new environment to make it more in line with the Falmouth branding, and also to enhance the experience for users. He is now starting work on getting the designs built so they are in place for the start of the 18/19 year.
- Thu 07 June* – Seminar F
- Tue 12 June – Seminar F
- Thu 21 June – Seminar F
- Tue 05 June – Exchange Green
- Wed 06 June – Exchange Green
- Mon 11 June* – Exchange Blue
- Mon 18 June – Exchange Blue
- Tue 19 June – Exchange Blue
*Library present for help with Talis resource lists