This poster on Autograding describes an alternative method of e-assessment which was developed by one of my colleagues.
It is designed for assessing practical write-ups, mostly in the first year of a Life Sciences degree, where all students follow the same experimental protocol, but are required to record and analyse their own results.
The drivers for the introduction of this new assessment method were:
- to deal with increasing numbers – from 110 to 220 students per class – meaning many more papers to mark;
- to improve the quality of feedback, making it more extensive, more consistent and more quickly delivered.
Another benefit is that students become familiar with using Excel, which is a useful transferable skill, and they receive detailed and consistent instruction in preparing graphs and other aspects of recording and analysing data.
Students like this method of assessment because they receive lots of feedback with a quick turnaround.
Staff appreciate that the autograding process makes marking quicker, simpler and more objective.
This is a useful alternative method of assessment, but it can’t be the only assessment method used on a course. Writing up a traditional lab report is still a required skill which must be practised and assessed.