Changes to the Print to Mark service

In 2015, working with the Print Shop, the Assessment Journey Programme launched a Print to Mark service to support academic staff making the transition to online management of assessment by providing printed assignments for marking purposes, prior to electronic feedback being provided online.

This service will continue to be made available after the Assessment Journey Programme ends, however, there will be some changes for 2017/18 following the implementation of new software by the Print Shop.

If you have used the service, please note the following changes:

– There will be a different online request form but the same information will be required, just in a different format

– You will be able to specify a more convenient delivery point rather than just your local Helpdesk however due to availability; the helpdesk may still be the most convenient delivery point

– Zip files will no longer be able to be attached so files downloaded from Blackboard will need to be extracted and then attached (but multiple selection of files is supported)

Please also read the new guidance that is available for full instructions on using this service.

If you have any technical queries or general questions, please contact the Print Shop.

Refreshed guidance for mark transfer now available for Module Leaders

Refreshed guidance for mark transfer now available for Module Leaders

Work has progressed looking at the processes of mark transfer to identify any improvements that could be made. This was required in order to reduce the impact of not pursuing a technical solution to transferring marks between Blackboard and SITS – the Assessment Journey Programme Change Team, and subsequently the University Projects Board, agreed that the development carried too much risk to progress at this point in time.

This work has culminated in refreshed guidance being created to enable Module Leaders to download, format and send task marks from Blackboard Grade Centre to Student Administration in a consistent and efficient way. This work was developed with input from academic and professional service staff, and draws upon academic best practice and board secretary requirements.

Adopting a more consistent, streamlined process across the University will bring a number of benefits for both academic and professional services colleagues.

What are the benefits?

  • Marks are supplied in a consistent way from the Grade Centre which will reduce the  need for dialogue with Student Administration around data queries
  • Student Administration will be able to process marks quickly and release timely reports
  • Marks supplied to boards through the use of one data source (Grade Centre)
  • Greater clarity around what information is required when sending marks through  to Student Administration, what to do in the event of missing marks and how rounding of marks is managed

Do I need to do anything?

This is a consolidation of existing guidance as well as the introduction of newly developed guidance, so some elements may be new, but not others. We ask all Module Leaders to take time to read and use the guidance at the next opportunity when submitting marks to Student Administration. We would welcome feedback from Module Leaders as this is rolled out and used for the first time. This can be sent by email to ! Assessment Journey Programme.

How do I get further information?

Representatives from Student Administration and the Assessment Journey Programme will be attending departmental management group meetings in the coming weeks to discuss the rationale and respond to any initial queries about the processes and refreshed guidance. In addition, queries or feedback about the guidance can also be sent by email to ! Assessment Journey Programme

We’re into the final year of the programme – what has been delivered to date?

As we enter the final year of the programme, it feels an appropriate time to reflect on progress, so here is a round-up of what has been delivered to date:

Informing, preparing and supporting staff:

  • Development, launch and continued promotion of an online resource, Assessment Essentials, to assist staff with the effective design and delivery of assessment for their students
  • Creation of a series of detailed academic case studies to highlight the use of different assessment practices and technologies and share best practice
  • Enhancement of existing Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) guidance and the creation of over 80 new multi-media resources relating to assessment and feedback
  • Identification of staff equipment requirements and changes to the University’s Equipment Policy agreed and published. Implementation processes defined and communicated to all academic staff
  • Design and delivery of a training programme in conjunction with Faculty TEL Teams, encompassing group sessions, drop-ins and bespoke 1-2-1s
  • Development and delivery of a health and safety action plan
  • University-wide staff engagement and communications to inform, prepare and support staff – range of digital communications, university / faculty events, standing meeting updates, working groups and workshops
  • Training and support for all helpdesk teams

Informing, preparing and supporting students:

  • Development and launch of an online resource, Assessment4students, to provide students with guidance and support around assessment
  • Design and delivery of a student communication strategy at the start of 2016/17 to inform students of the change, clarify expectations and provide support through guidance, resources and helpdesks

Governance & process:

  • Definition and implementation of the new Policy for Summative Assessment for 2016/17
  • Definition and communication of the operating models for the management of submission and associated processes in conjunction with faculties
  • Development and communication of a business continuity model in the event of system failure
  • Process improvement work considering seven academic and administrative processes

Technical development:

  • Identification of the detailed technical requirements of the business and engagement with suppliers on development, costs and timeframes
  • Deployment of:
    – a quick enrol functionality to support administrative staff with access to Blackboard module sites
    – an online receipting capability for students submitting  coursework electronically to Blackboard
    – a new tool to enable the bulk upload of feedback file attachments and marks generated electronically outside of Blackboard into Grade Centre for assignments submitted online
  • Development and introduction of a print to mark capability to allow for marking of physical copies of electronically submitted assignments, prior to staff providing electronic feedback online
  • Analysis and initial development work around moving data from Assessment Scheduler to SITS
  • Analysis and options development for  the integration of Blackboard and SITS
  • Pilots and evaluation of the Safe Assign originality checking tool
  • Development and deployment of a new task clustering (bunching) report

We would like to thank everyone involved for their support and valuable contribution.

Launch of ‘Print to Mark’ Service

The University is working towards a position in which students will, where possible, submit work electronically and then receive their feedback electronically. This will result in substantial benefits for students. However, it is acknowledged that this will be a change in practice for some academic members of staff. To support this transition, a ‘print to mark’ service will be offered to allow for marking of physical assignments, prior to staff providing electronic feedback online.

The Assessment Journey Programme has been working with the Print Shop to develop this ‘print to mark’ service. As part of this service, printed assignments will be delivered next day to your local Helpdesk.

This ‘print to mark’ service will be available from 3rd November for any academic staff who are supporting online submission via Blackboard this year and want a printed copy for marking purposes. To use the service, a zip file of the submissions must be downloaded from Blackboard and sent to the Print Shop for printing via http://go.shu.ac.uk/printtomark.

Please read the guidance on how to use this service for full instructions. We will also be holding a number of drop-in sessions to demonstrate the system. Full details on the sessions will follow.

In semester 2, the ‘print to mark’ service will be further developed by adding an easier to use interface. Further details on this will follow later this month.

Over 600 academics share their thoughts with us

In January we contacted academic staff asking them to fill out a survey about  marking practices and preferences.  We received a total of 600 responses, with good representation from each faculty, which will really help us with the work of the Assessment Journey Programme as it develops.

We’re currently analysing all the feedback and will be in touch with each faculty once we’ve been through all the feedback.

We’re creating more opportunities for colleagues to engage with the development of the programme and would welcome your input. We’ll be attending faculty and departmental meetings throughout May and June at which we’ll be updating you on the progress of our work and asking for your views on key areas of the programme.