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Best Practice

The work that has already been undertaken into the process of electronic assignment submission has given us a good idea of what works well with students. Below is our Best Practice guide to e-Submission.

Top 5 Tips - click each for more detail

  1. Use Moodle's Assignment activity
  2. Give students access to support resources
  3. Create a mock assignment
  4. Provide clear signposting
  5. Set out expectations for file formats

Use Moodle's Assignment activity

Moodle is not a perfect solution and will not cater for absolutely every situation, but it is the most competent of our current options.

  1. Moodle is a very secure system and data is stored on campus
  2. Moodle is backed up
  3. Moodle will store the files, so you can always get to them
  4. Moodle lets you see when assignments have been submitted and which ones are late
  5. Moodle lets you download all the files in one go
  6. Moodle lets you attach amended files back to students
  7. Moodle lets you give students grades for work

Note. Using a combination of TurnitinUK and Grademark is a viable alternative for those people who don't mind marking on screen and who have a reliable internet connection. If in doubt about which to use, contact a member of the Technology Enhanced Learning team.

Give students access to support resources

If you can give students access to online support resources and make sure they are clearly signposted, they are much more likely to have a positive e-Submission experience.

It is recommended that you give your students link to the following resources, within all modules using e-Submission.

Create a mock assignment

Creating a mock assignment is a great idea for the following reasons.

  1. It gives students the chance to practice the e-Submission process in a low-stakes environment.
  2. It gives tutors the chance to experience of the process and gain confidence that it will work for them.
  3. Any problems are highlighted well in advance of final submission.
  4. Issue can be addressed and resolved early.
  5. A successful and stress free tutor and student experience is more likely for the final summative piece.

You can create a mock assignment in the same way as you would create a regular assignment (see the guide), but obviously you would change the dates, title and description to make sure students know that it is a test area.

Provide clear signposting

You should provide clear links to the assignments and supporting documents such as the printable and multimedia guides.

To aid this, it is recommended that you create a topic area on the homepage of the module with the following information:

TITLE: Electronic Assignment Submission/Assessments

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION: This topic area contains important supporting information and links to resources, which will help you get the most out of e-Submission. Direct links to your assignments are also available through this area.

Set out expectations for file formats

The more detail you can give students prior to submission, the more effective the overall process appears to become. One of the main issues facing academic staff is receiving work in a variety of different formats, which they can't view or mark.

The computers on campus, have several 'readers' installed. This means that all Microsoft Word and Microsoft Works documents can be read on campus. There is also a version of Open Office installed on all staff machines. However, you may find at home that you'll have to install some extra software in order to view students' work. These can be found through an internet search using Google, or another search engine of your choice.

Specifying exactly what format you would like to receive work in will make your job much easier when it comes to marking the assignments. All students have access to Microsoft Word whilst on campus, and many have this installed on their own personal computers. Those students who do use Open Office can save their files in the .doc format.

The best practice suggestion is that you specify to students, that you wish to receive their final piece of work in Microsoft Word format, unless you are confident that you will be able to read work submitted in a range of formats.