The Assessment Process: The 5 P's
Based on learning from the summer exams and good practice in the area, the following 5P’s provide guidance on how to coordinate a successful assessment.
1: Prepare students and practice
Students must know in advance any deviation from the expected format or delivery method of assessment. It is crucial that lecturers practice the assessment submission approach with students. This might include using the short answer question options on Canvas or using MS Lens or other capture software. Additionally, module coordinators need to check DMIS to see if students are registered with DSS and if they are eligible for extra time or other supports for the end of semester exams.
Remind students that all work submitted, apart from any handwritten material, will be checked for plagiarism by Turnitin.
Staff should familiarize themselves with UCC's Plagiarism Policy and adhere to these protocols in the event of suspected plagiarism. Students should be reminded that any collusion during the examination constitutes serious academic misconduct and is a form of plagiarism.
3. Presence during exams
Lecturers need to be present during the examination to troubleshoot any issues that may arise such as poor broadband connectivity, issues with accessing the paper or completing the online task. What approach would work for you and your students? For example, students could send you an email or a message in Teams. How will this play out with larger student cohorts? What additional support may be necessary?
4: Plan B for submission
The main issues that arose last summer were due to broadband connectivity and students saving over previously submitted image files. In one case Vodafone service dropped for an entire morning. It’s important that you have a plan B in place in case something happens.
What alternative submission options are open to you given the particular issue:
- Could phone data be used to create a hotspot for uploading files from their laptop?
- If broadband connectivity is an issue has the student an alternative location to safely complete the exam where connectivity is enhanced?
- Any hardware issues should be flagged and addressed well in advance of the exam. Is there a backup machine available nearby if the laptop or desktop fails?
- If image scans are proving difficult or very slow could the student send via a messaging app on their phone?
- Canvas time stamps submissions so the students work will be counted on the system even if the upload speeds mean the submission is after the specified deadline. Students can also take screenshots of when they commence uploading their examination paper to Canvas and of the time Canvas indicates that their examination paper has been uploaded.
Lecturers are encouraged to prompt their students to have a Plan B for submissions as the onus will be on the student to solve connectivity and hardware issues on their end. However, showing scope for flexible submission approaches will go a long way towards alleviating student stress.
5: Post exam check
It is vital that lecturers check the exam submissions to Canvas immediately after the exam to check:
- That the file is not corrupt and a complete examination paper has been submitted
- That the declaration form has been submitted (where deemed necessary)
- That (in the case of multiple submissions) the same page has not been uploaded on multiple occasions
- Students should be contacted immediately should any of the above occur
Remind students to retain a copy of all work submitted online for assessment in the event of a problem in accessing the submission. Good file naming conventions will go a long way to solving these issues plus advising students to switch on the auto save button on their word processing package.