Blackboard Catalyst Award and Celebration

Blackboard Catalyst Award and Celebration

On Thursday 13th June, the EMA team was delighted to welcome colleagues from across a wide range of schools and functions to a celebration in the Senior Common Room.   The event was organised to acknowledge the very significant successes of the Programme across all of our work streams from the delivery of submodular marks on RISIS, new reporting screens, institution wide transition towards online assessment, sector leading integration between Blackboard and RISIS, the development of a new Student Progress Dashboard and significant work to support change processes.   These successes have been recognised externally through our position as a finalist in the e-Assessment Awards and, most recently, as winners of the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Optimising the Student Experience. This was awarded in recognition of the significant and evidenced impact on the learner experience. During the event Professor Gavin Brooks, EMA Programme Sponsor, thanked the Programme for its hard work and for the significant impact it has had on improving the student and staff...
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Second Screen Requests Deadline: 12th July

Second Screen Requests Deadline: 12th July

We would like to remind staff that the EMA Programme is pleased to be able to provide a second screen to anyone who feels it would assist them in the electronic marking process at no cost to your school. However, the deadline for requests is now approaching, and funding is only available for screens that are requested before 12th July 2019, via the EMA Programme and for onsite use. It will not be possible to reimburse for any screens ordered directly from your school budget.   Please contact ema@reading.ac.uk for more information. Further information can also be found in our FAQs on How can I get a second screen to make online marking easier? ...
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What do Reading students think about online assessment?

What do Reading students think about online assessment?

Since the start of the EMA Programme we had been aware of student feeling surrounding online submission, feedback and grading but we wanted to carry out a piece of work to find out much more. We really wanted to know about student expectations before they came to Reading, their experiences of online assessment while they were here and how they feel that these experiences have impacted on their learning, engagement and overall levels of satisfaction. So we designed a short student evaluation and, with the help of our Academic Partners and other colleagues, distributed it in a number of teaching sessions across a range of schools.   What started off as a relatively small scale study quickly grew……and grew….. so that in total we received 407 completed evaluation forms from students in all years across most schools. Reading the student responses and comments has been fascinating and we’ve included some of the findings below:   69% of responders had submitted work online or received...
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EMA Programme: Finalist in e-Assessment Awards 2019

EMA Programme: Finalist in e-Assessment Awards 2019

Following a nomination back in January, we have just been informed that the EMA Programme has been chosen by a panel of judges as a finalist for an international e-Assessment Award. We have been shortlisted in the category ‘Best Transformational Project’ designed to recognise work “where technology has positively and genuinely transformed assessment practices.”   Members of the Programme are now looking forward to a presentation and follow on interview by the panel of judges later this month. The E-Assessment Association will announce the winner of the award in April but our shortlisting is, in itself, a significant achievement for everyone working to support the EMA Programme!   Further information can be found on the e-Assement Awards website below.   ...
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Adjust your computer settings to help you mark online

Adjust your computer settings to help you mark online

There are a number of features, preferences and extensions built into to your computer and available in the browser (e.g. Chrome) that might improve your experience of working online. These include magnifying the screen, changing screen background colours, contrast and brightness and speech to text. If you have started marking online and increased the time you spend using a computer, then you should undertake a DSE assessment as an essential first step to identify any actions to take or if further support and advise is required. You can also speak directly with your:   DSE Advisor Line Manager (who can arrange for an Occupational Health referral, if required) HR Partner (who can advise on other available options for support)   It is also worth trying out some of the in-built accessibility features in the computer and browser to see if any of these can help your experience of using a computer when marking online. For example: The font or cursor is too small – use the zoom to...
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Custom Quickmarks: 21 New Comments to Help Students Act on Feedback

Custom Quickmarks: 21 New Comments to Help Students Act on Feedback

Emma Mayhew (EMA Academic Director), Geoff Taggart (EMA Academic Partner) and Michelle Reid (Study Advisor) have just published a short article in the CQSD T&L Exchange outlining a piece of work they have undertaken to support the use and customisation of QuickMarks within the University. 21 Quickmarks have been created from commonly-used comments, with relevant hyperlinks added to lead students to sources of further support provided by the Study Advice team and wider Library resources. Click below to find out more. ...
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Integration Update: Post Go-Live Support

Integration Update: Post Go-Live Support

The second go-live for EMA Integration took place on 1st February 2019, which means that the marks for summative assessment entered into Turnitin or Blackboard can now be automatically transferred back to RISIS. This is being monitored as marks are entered and so far all is working as expected. There are still some enhancements required to enable updated information to be transferred from RISIS to Blackboard, and some manual workarounds remain in place until these are ready. A timeline has been agreed to implement the solution as soon as possible and Blackboard estimate an April delivery. Support continues to be available. If you are experiencing any issues, please log this with the IT Helpdesk. ...
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Marking Online: Hints & Tips

Marking Online: Hints & Tips

Are you marking coursework and returning feedback to your students online?  Go to the TEL Team's latest blog post to find a range of tips and advice, to help you make sure that you make the most effective and efficient use of the online marking tools. This post includes some advice based on recent queries that we have received.   ...
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Disseminating our experiences at the Blackboard Users’ Conference

Disseminating our experiences at the Blackboard Users’ Conference

The work of the EMA Programme was profiled earlier this month at the annual Blackboard Users’ Conference at the University of Durham. Head of TEL, Vicki Holmes and EMA Academic Director, Emma Mayhew presented the findings of a recent staff survey exploring the impact of online submission, feedback and grading on the marker assessment experience. Vicki and Emma, together with Yota Dimitriadi and Maddi Davies undertook the survey in the Summer of 2018 to explore the experience of colleagues in SAGES, SAPD and IoE, all Early Adopter or ‘Special Project Schools’. The presentation explored 7 key themes surrounding the staff experience of online assessment-the reduction of paper handling, working in new online spaces, access, wellbeing, managing marking practices, the speed of marking and training. They put forward a broad range of conclusions for other institutions to consider when undertaking their own change processes. Their observation that this is not one institutional change process but thousands of individual changes processes saw the most...
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