Experiences of EMA: Stephanie Sharp

Stephanie Sharp experience Reading

Role: Lecturer BA Ed (QTS) with English Specialism


Previous experience of electronic management of assessment:

Limited… Previously, marking an assignment was completed on a Word Doc. rubric, with lengthy positive feedback in a narrative form, with points for development.  This meant downloading and saving the essay into a file, then having two screens open (one to read the essay and one to mark the rubric), moving between one and the other. Mark sheets were completed on Excel, essays and feedback sheets were then cut and pasted into a file on the shared drive. I found this labour intensive and know that this was also a lengthy process for the admin team.


What I like about EMA:

  • Being able to see and mark the essay online, without moving back and forth between documents to write comments
  • Being able to write quick statements on the essay to demonstrate a point more effectively
  • I like being able to see what the marking ‘looks like’ overall on the electronic rubric
  • Students have a much better, more uniform approach to receiving feedback, uncertainties worry them
  • I know who to speak to if I have a problem and know they will support me
  • It has made the marking quicker, there are less key strokes, and the admin is much reduced

What I’ve found more challenging:

  • Quick Marks. I have tried using them, but it took a lot of time, so I decided to concentrate on getting the initial process under my belt (it’s my way of learning) and now I have understood the process, this is the next part of my development. As the term quietens down I will make this my next priority.
  • I had hoped that markers would have at least 14 out of 15 days to mark etc. but I have been asked for final marks around day 12, recently. It would be useful to have a reminder of this expectation.
  • Mark sheets (including the Turnitin score) are still completed on Excel, I wonder is there a more efficient way of linking to grade centre to do this task?

Top tips for EMA beginners:

  • Just go for it, the system is quite straightforward and it is worth exploring its options.
  • Don’t feel you have to go it alone, buddy up
  • Online guides are really helpful
  • Go to a workshop!

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