Monthly Archives: September 2011

First team meeting

We held our inaugural full team meeting today. It’s very exciting to be part of a strong team with such a broad range of skills and working contexts, all of us focussed on achieving something of value and importance to our University and the sector.

We reiterated our key aims, objectives and rationale and then reached broad agreement on roles and responsibilities.

We agreed on the use of SharePoint for version control with GoogleDocs for co-authoring of early drafts. We’ll use Office Communicator for synchronous chat and the Twitter tags #jiscassess and #jiscebeam, along with this blog for wider dissemination.

The next step is attendance at the JISC launch of programme event on 5th of October, which we anticipate will be enormously helpful as we continue to develop a more detailed project plan and evaluation strategy.

Overview

The EBEAM project, jointly funded by JISC and the University of Huddersfield from 1st September 2011, will evaluate the impact of e-assessment and feedback on student satisfaction, retention, progression and attainment as well as on institutional efficiency.  It  will share recommendations for achieving high quality assessment processes, staff development, student support, sustainability, scalability and curriculum development.

Across the Higher and Further Education sectors, institutions are instigating new policies and procedures for Electronic Assessment Management (EAM). There are two main drivers behind this: increasingly vociferous student demand for better assessment experiences, especially in the context of imminent fee increases, and the push for improved quality and efficiency in academic administration. Most institutions are not in a position to build bespoke solutions and are turning to proprietary tools for which they already have a licence. iParadigms Europe is consequently experiencing a spike in interest in their GradeMark tool (part of the Turnitin suite), the licensing of which is widespread across the sectors. Whilst institutions already have the right tools, there is a pressing need to find the most efficient and effective ways to deploy them.

The University of Huddersfield is an early adopter of Turnitin for EAM across large and complex areas of its provision. Over the last four years, it has developed and implemented strategies to optimise the benefits of EAM for institutional efficiency, student satisfaction and achievement. The length of time this initiative has been running, the breadth of provision it covers and the range of quantitative and qualitative data we have available means we are uniquely and excellently placed to evaluate impact and to make transferable recommendations. Over the next 18 months we’ll be working hard to capitalise on these foundations and will be keeping you posted on progress.