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Digital assessment

At UCL, e-assessment is supported via the institution's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Moodle.

UCL Moodle supports a range of assessment processes for marking and providing feedback on assessments; coordinating peer feedback; delivering both formative and summative quizzes; and enabling students to easily compare their feedback across modules in partnership with their Personal Tutor. You can find an overview of ASER-friendly practices with UCL digital technologies for assessment and feedback on the UCL E-Learning Wiki, which is a collaborative space for UCL staff to share their e-learning practice.

Using digital technologies has a number of benefits including:

  • speeding the marking process and delivery of feedback to students (see this case study from the MSc Management programme);
  • automatic archiving of assessments, grades and feedback;
  • automatic allocation for peer assessments;
  • immediate feedback for quiz questions;
  • helping students to understand how to avoid plagiarism using the Turnitin originality reports.

Feedback delivered via Moodle is gathered in each student’s MyFeedback dashboard. The report helps students (supported by their personal tutors) to better understand the variety of feedback they receive, draw ties between different assessments and modules, and allow them to reflect on their feedback to see how they can improve in future assessments. It also allows module tutors and departmental administrators to see how their students are progressing within the modules they teach and support. Find out more about the MyFeedback report in the UCL Moodle Resource Centre. Read more about trialling the MyFeedback Report.

You can read the main differences between Moodle and Turnitin assignments on UCL's Moodle Resource Centre, in order to help you decide which tool(s) best meets the needs of the students and staff within your department.  A short summary of each tool is also provided below.

Moodle Assignments

Moodle Assignments let you set, receive, mark, and give feedback on students' submitted work. They accept multiple files up to 160MB each and any file type, or you can set an offline assignment, where you might provide feedback for an in-class activity, such as a presentation. Moodle Assignments allow anonymous submissions, and the online marking tools include highlighting, drawing, inline and summary comments and the delivery of feedback files - for example the original Word submission file with your tracked changes and inline comments added, or a video or audio file containing your visual and/or spoken feedback. You can download original and marked submissions, and this affords offline marking. Group work can be submitted by a single student with all marks and feedback being returned to all the members of the group. Marks and feedback, including for anonymous submissions, can be bulk uploaded back to Moodle for automatic distribution back to students. Each submission is private between that student (or groups of students), their marker(s), and staff in the Moodle course.

Turnitin Assignments

Turnitin Assignments These allow you to set, collect, mark and give feedback to students on their assessments. For text submissions Turnitin can also generate an Originality Report which highlights matches with other sources, which can help students to avoid plagiarism before they submit and staff to check for this after submission. All students and staff have access to a confidential Turnitin check on UCL Moodle and so may generate their own private Originality Reports. Turnitin allows original and marked submissions to be downloaded for printing or storage, however marking occurs online, unless you are using an iPad, which enables offline marking. Each submission is private between that student, their marker(s), and staff in the Moodle space.

Moodle Workshops

Moodle Workshops let staff set up forms, rubrics or marking guides to support students in making judgements. Student assessments can be feedback-only or feedback and numeric grades. Tutors can optionally assess the students submissions and assessments, and weight their own judgements in relations to students'. A student can be marked both on their own submission, as well as on their assessment of their peers' work. Peers' submissions and assessments can be kept anonymous if needed. Workshops also allow self-assessment.

Moodle Quizzes

Moodle Quizzes provide a useful way to evaluate students' knowledge on a particular subject or area of study. They can be used for both formative and summative (credit bearing) assessment, such as in class tests or exams. When using Moodle for exams you should adhere to the 'Using Moodle Quizzes for online exams' guidance. For formative tests, quizzes can be randomly generated from a bank of questions, so every student gets slightly different questions each time they attempt the quiz.  Quizzes support a number of question types including the following:

  • Calculated  - where every student gets a slightly different maths equation to resolve (with different numbers within set parameters) 
  • Drag and drop into text (similar to cloze)
  • Embedded Answers (Cloze Test / Gap Fill)
  • Drag and drop markers and onto images
  • Short Answer
  • Essay - for longer written answers (not recommended for exams)
  • Matching
  • Multiple choice
  • Numerical
  • Select missing words
Moodle Gradebook

The Moodle Gradebook automatically collates all the grades and some feedback from the assessments within a Moodle course. You can then add weightings for summative assessments and categorise any formative assessments so any scores that are generated (e.g. from quizzes) are not included in the total provisional grades for a module. Once this is done, you can export these grades to a csv file that can be transferred into the A26 report in Portico

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