Solution to support the upload of media files is now available

A new solution has been integrated with Blackboard which will allow students and staff to upload media files (currently up to 2GB in size), such as video assignments and video or audio feedback, safe in the knowledge that the files are stored securely.

Other benefits include:

  • files are uploaded to a central publishing point and delivered back as streamlining media
  • content is automated transcoded to work across all devices from with Blackboard
  • submitted work is accessed via the Grade Centre, enabling staff to view or listen to student video or audio assignments and provide feedback without leaving Blackboard

This will mean a change to the process for staff and students when submitting media files, so guidance including screencasts is now available in the Submitting Work Online section of Assessment Essentials. Students can access video guidance in the Submitting Work Online section of Assessment4Students.

Your local Faculty TEL Team have been trained on this solution and are on hand to support colleagues.

Please let us know what you think – email your feedback to ! Assessment Journey Programme

External event report: Fifth International Assessment in Higher Education Conference

Stuart Hepplestone, Senior Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), shares feedback on a recent conference on Assessment in Higher Education: 

In June, Helen Parkin, Senior Lecturer in Research and Evaluation, and I attended the Fifth International Assessment in Higher Education Conference to present research findings around connections that students make between feedback and their future learning.  It was a useful opportunity to network with the wider HE sector around assessment and feedback initiatives and share the ongoing work of the Assessment Journey Programme. 200 delegates attended from 17 countries.  There are two key areas of discussion that I thought would be useful to share with SHU colleagues.

Increasing student engagement with and learning from feedback, or satisfying student demand?
Papers and posters reported on the interventions that both individuals and institutions are trialling and implementing to enhance the assessment and feedback experience for staff and students. There was an ‘err on the side of caution’ among delegates as to whether these initiatives are increasing student engagement with, and learning from, feedback.  Or, are they simply satisfying student demands for quicker and more detailed forms of feedback. There was also a change of focus in research from looking at specific feedback or interventions, to investigating individual student attitudes and behaviours as a factor influencing their engagement with feedback.

What do other institutions make of e-marking, and what do students think of screencast feedback?
I have written a report sharing information from the sessions I attended during the conference. There are a couple of sessions that might be of particular interest. A colleague from the University of Nottingham reported on an investigation at a previous institution around the staff perspective of e-marking. The focus was on the transformative approach of the marker, and provided a recommended transformational model to the adoption of e-marking. A colleague from Manchester Metropolitan University reported on a comparison of screencast and written feedback to establish undergraduate student preferences. Over 75 per cent of students indicated a strong preference for screencast feedback, feeling it provided more detailed and helpful feedback as opposed to written feedback. However, there was a question over their engagement as they didn’t want to spend the length of the recording (20 mins) watching and listening to the feedback.

We look at the technology needed to deliver this project

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The programme will deliver an integrated technical solution that supports online submission, marking and feedback of assessment tasks. It will also deliver an integrated assessment scheduling and diary system to support the communication of assessment task (including exams) deadlines and extensions and a single accessible portal for students and staff to access all relevant assessment information relating to their areas of study. The development of this solution is the part of the project called Online Management of Assessment (OMA).

Following a review and evaluation of possible solutions a high level approach has now been defined. This primarily uses SITS and Blackboard as core systems with additional capability provided via the data warehouse.

The technology will be developed in phases over the three year programme and will support areas such as

  • better integration of systems to reduce manual set-up for staff
  • electronic receipting when students who submit to Blackboard
  • improved visibility of upcoming assessments
  • providing students with electronic feedback, including training and support for staff on how to use e-marking tools
  • a single mark entry through Blackboard.

Next steps

  • a roadmap for developing the technology has been finalised
  • key development areas have been identified and with the support of colleagues from across the University requirement documents produced
  • we are working closely with Tribal and Blackboard to explore all aspects of the technical model and ensure our requirements are met