001: Welcome and introduction

Welcome to the first edition of the eMarking Assistant podcast where we talk to teachers and lecturers about how they electronically grade papers and mark assignments.

My name is Peter Evans and in this episode I’ll tell you a little about why I created the eMarking Assistant add-in for Microsoft Word. You can see a two minute video of eMarking Assistant at http://eMarkingAssistant.com/emarking

But before I tell you my story, I would be very interested in knowing a little about what you want in an electronic marking system? What would help you provide useful feedback to students? What would help reduce your workload? What barriers do you face and what would help you to overcome these?

Feel free to go to http://eMarkingAssistant.com/podcast001 and leave a comment or send me an email at peter.evans@emarkingassistant.com. Your comments will help ensure that this podcast series meets your needs.

I’ve been teaching online since last century and in 2006 I had a particularly heavy workload with over 600 first year students in an introductory communication course with 5 small written assignments, a presentation and a 2000 word essay. I had a limited amount of time to do the required grading and marking.

Like most teachers in this position I started experimenting with different ways to provide quality, consistent feedback on assessment and keep my workload to a manageable level. I used a variety of systems including macros that inserted full comments when a code it typed, Word comments, tracked changes and autotext, Excel based rubrics and even some web based grading systems. Over several semesters created and refined the eMarking Assistant add-in for Word.

The current version of eMarking Assistant allows you to:

  • create and use of detailed reusable comments that can be picked from a floating toolbar
  • create and use automated rubrics which rescale, total and convert the mark to a percentage and grade and
  • use some other grading tools e.g. highlight a misused or overused word or phrase throughout the assignment or google a phrase from within Word.

I quickly realised that other teachers wanted such tools and students appreciated the more detailed, timely and consistent feedback that I could provide.

In this series of podcasts I will interview teachers and professors on the ways they provide feedback to students and grade electronic assessment. While we will focus on the use of the eMarking Assistant software, we will also look at other systems. We will also look at all phases of the assessment process from setting the assignment, grading it, returning the graded assessment and recording marks. We’ll also look at managing and moderating marking if you are lucky enough to have a team of teaching assistants or tutors.

Each podcast episode will be relatively short, perhaps 10 to 15 minutes, and be supported by show notes and links and a place for comments and feedback in the podcast section of the eMarkingAssistant.com site.

Feel free to visit the eMarkingAssistant.com site where you can:

  • view the demonstration videos,
  • download a 30 day trial of eMarking Assistant for Windows only
  • download the free version of the eRubric Assistant which runs on Mac or Windows
  • join the conversation around better ways of electronically grading papers and mark assignments.

If you find eMarking Assistant saves you time you can buy an individual or site license or arrange a 6 month trail for your school, university or organisation.

I wish you every success in your teaching.

One thought on “001: Welcome and introduction

  1. My big concern is not knowing if students are using or even reading the feedback that I take hours to add to their work. If I print their assignment and write on it, I at least know if they pick it up from the pile at the end of the class.

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