ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION AND FEEDBACK SYSTEM

Undergraduate

ABSTRACT

Formative assessment should be an integral part of teaching and learning in Niger Polytechnics. In this work we implement a formative assessment model process, which identifies activities within the process that need to be automated such as administrating assignments submission of assignment and providing assignment feedback. Feedback is given to students on time, allowing them to act on it, and without being tied to university working hours.  Tutors are freed from administrative chores to provide ‘quality’ feedback. The model goes beyond these basic functions. It provides context sensitive guidelines and help.  It provides specific support for a number of assignment types such as group work and portfolio creation, allowing the student to reflect on their work, making them a more reflective learner, and providing the tutor with data that can be used to help shape the teaching.

INTRODUCTION

Assessments are frequently used as a means of assessing students’ knowledge and performance.  However, assessments also exist in order to improve the quality of learning. According to Brown et al (Brown et al 1994), they should diagnose a student’s strengths and weaknesses so that the latter can be addressed through further learning and tutoring support. They should also provide students with feedback on their progress and achievements as well as motivate them, and provide teachers with feedback on the success of their teaching. 

It can be argued that assessments can achieve these purposes only if a quality feedback system is in place. Furthermore, the QAA code of practice on feedback to students stresses this further. (http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/codeOfPractice/section6/default.asp#8) “12- Institutions should ensure that appropriate feedback is provided to students on assessed work in a way that promotes learning and facilitates improvement”

In summary, we believe that quality feedback needs to be timely, empowering, manageable and individual; i.e. it needs to fit each student’s achievement. In this project, we look at how we address the needs of an institution where the widening participation policy has led to an increase of students in either a full-time or part-time employment.  These students may be either in work-base courses, part-time courses or even full-time courses.  The main aim for our institution is to improve student retention through their engagement with the course. In order to maintain their engagement with the course, a majority of student assignments are portfolio based. However, due to the students’ work commitments, their campus attendance is not always easy and therefore ensuring they receive feedback on time to act upon is quite challenging. The other problem that the institution is facing is that most courses are run in parallel on different campuses.  This has made the management of assignment submission, marking and feedback process very challenging to implement. The work in this project investigates reengineering the assignment process that will address the problems stated above.  The main premise for reengineering is to provide automation support for the process which will make the process easier to follow for both the students and the lecturers. The automation will also assure the quality of the process and that departmental and institutional policies are uniformly enforced.

The assignment submission and feedback process has been very much a paper based process.  The students submit the assignment to the faculty office. After all the submissions have been recorded, they are then collected by the lecturer to be marked and provide feedback.  However the feedback is not given to the students until the marks are moderated by a second marker. A number of modules are run across three sites; this has resulted on the staff coordinating the marking of assignments which relies heavily on the internal post. Furthermore, in the case of a portfolio assignment, the process is repeated for each element of the portfolio. The tutor has also the task of collecting back each element of the assignments and putting all these elements together.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT:

The main objective of this project work is to design a web based application that will:

·        Allow a lecturer set assignment and specify a deadline submission date for Students for proper feedback.

·        To give the student the opportunity to receive rapid feedback

·        To enable the student  respond to feedback without being tied to university working hours

·           To provide a means for electronic feedback (either embedded or separate)

·        Allow Students to view the list of assignment set by the lecturer.

·        Allow Students upload their assignment in pdf, doc or docx format before submission.

·        Allow Lecturer to view, download and mark any assignment submitted by any Student.

·        Allow Students communicate with one another on the internet by sending messages or files to themselves.