Technology-assisted submission, marking and feedback


The results from last year’s National Student Survey (NSS), along with feedback we’d received from you, made it clear that you wanted higher quality feedback for your assessments. Internal staff surveys also highlighted similar levels of dissatisfaction with current practice in this area.

Despite these results, student satisfaction was seen to increase for undergraduates and postgraduates alike within the School of Arts following test pilots for online submission, marking, and moderation.

In response to these findings, a working group consisting of Brunel students and UBS representatives, as well as academic and technical staff, was formed to explore the implementation of technology in assessment and feedback.

The development of assessment and feedback through technology was discussed in great detail from both staff and student perspectives over a number of meetings – these discussions were supplemented through consultations with external experts.

It was quickly acknowledged that students preferred online assessment and feedback for reasons of legibility, convenience and speed. From an inclusivity perspective, moving to online-only assessment and feedback would be especially beneficial for minority groups like distance learners and student parents, who have limited time and/or access to campus. A step in this direction would also have the potential to save students money that would otherwise be spent on printing and commuting to campus for hand-ins.

The findings of the working group, along with its recommendations, were summarised in a report that justified the need, discussed potential barriers, and explored the most suitable ways of implementing technology in submission, assessment and feedback across the University.

We would like to credit the efforts Julia Stephenson, in organising and coordinating the working group, Sarah Niblock, for collating the work and producing the report, and all the students and staff members who contributed their thoughts and opinions.