Category: Anglia Learning & Teaching
9 June 2021
Interest at ARU for an institutional electronic end-to-end assessment solution spans several years (e.g., to at least 2004). Notably, the specific requirements for this current work have their origins in an eAssessment integration project which took place in 2015-2016. Whilst it made excellent progress, that project was closed when we went over to Canvas.
So, under the LMS Project, the Assessment Workstream has been attempting to ensure our earlier requirements were included in our implementation of Canvas. It has been challenging however, mainly due to the complexity and number of dependencies (both internal and external, pre-existing and emergent).
Commitment to deliver a set of core requirements was agreed with senior management in December 2020 – the project facilitating this is referred to as the LMS Assessment Project (Phase 4.1 of the LMS Project) and End-to-End Assessment (as that is what it is delivering). This project aims to implement the much awaited and needed improvements to our online assessment processes in time for the next academic year (2021/22). These core requirements are comprised of the following four assessment development groups:
Completing this work will enable the university to make huge strides towards an improved and streamlined assessment process that has been the priority for a number of years. It will provide significant benefits for student, as well as both administrative and teaching staff. This will also allow ARU to be able to deliver enhancements that focus on improving the assessment pedagogy in the near future.
Some of the main benefits are summarised below.
Students will be able to access Canvas for all of their content, assessments, receipt of marks and feedback (e.g., no separate username and password for Turnitin). Accessing Turnitin via Canvas should be a more reliable experience for students, removing those stressful moments when Turnitin goes down.
The project will remove the delays and any errors that naturally are a part of manual administration. Automated assessment management functions (e.g., calculation of feedback release dates) will ensure consistent and reliable processes are implemented.
In addition, with the Senate approved standard assessment task description being applied to all assessments, students will have a consistent view of the assessments with all the key information being made available automatically.
Save time from having to manually create and manage all Turnitin classes etc. for assessment submissions (including extensions and re-assessments). This will leave more time to focus on supporting students.
Improved support managing assessment content in Canvas – more information will be fed directly from ASTRA. All Element and Component activity will be included (if recorded in ASTRA) removing need for manual Mark calculations etc.
The existing Excel Marksheet will be replaced by an Online Marksheet that will be automatically populated with Marks from Canvas, Module Leaders will only need to review and complete what is required before submitting it to ASTRA, saving a lot of time and effort in the process. Wherever possible assessment platforms will be integrated into Canvas, and the project will lay the groundwork for more of this in the future.
The first area of development - Creation and management of assessments from ASTRA to Canvas is in the final stages of delivery. The changes introduced through this work will not be visible until Tri1 2021/22, however e:Vision changes will have been implemented and academic colleagues will soon be asked to provide the required information for ASTRA.
The rest of the Project will follow on from here, with the first three areas of work being ready before Tri1 2021/22 and the last being completed during, and for Tri1 2021/22.
If you are interested in being part of this Project, particularly User Acceptance Testing (UAT) features as they are developed, please get in touch with the LMS Assessment Project ([email protected]) to register your interest.