As the new 2023-24 academic year begins, we’d like to introduce the Digital Exams Team here in LTDS, who lead on the University’s Digital Exams via Inspera. A team of Learning Enhancement and Technology Advisers work together to facilitate digital exams through Inspera Assessment. Inspera Assessment is the University’s Digital Exam system used for present-in-person secure online assessments.
Meet the Team
First up we’ve got Maddie Kinnair who is one of our two Inspera Co-Leads. Maddie joined the team in September 2022 and has worked within the area of Learning and Teaching for 6 years. Maddie first joined HE in 2014 and has previously worked in the School of Computing, HaSS Faculty and within Central Services.
Maddie is also the lead for our peer assessment and feedback tool Buddycheck.
Next up, we’ve got Kimberly May-O’Brien, our second Inspera Co-Lead. Kimberly joined the team in July 2023, having worked at the University since 2019. Kimberly previously worked in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, as well as the central Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team.
Finally, we have Susan Barfield who started working at the University 13 years ago, initially in NUIT as part of the ReCap team, she then joined LTDS in 2019 as lead on online marking and feedback using Canvas and Turnitin, whilst also supporting digital exams.
You can find out more about Inspera and the training webinars and videos available to colleagues via the LTDS website.
There has been a system update to Buddycheck which alongside some improvements to the student view has opened up some new functionality when creating evaluations. The major changes that users will notice are described below. User guidance available on the Digital Learning webpages has been updated to reflect these changes.
Creating an evaluation and reusing questions
When creating a new evaluation you will now be asked to add a title before moving to the full evaluation set up page. There is now the option to use a previous evaluation as a template. To use existing questions in a new evaluation you now need to select an old evaluation as a template.
There is now an option to add in an introduction to the evaluation for students. This will appear to students before they begin an evaluation alongside some new additional guidance on the question types included in the Buddycheck evaluation.
Question order can now be updated by using drag and drop. You can preview, edit or remove questions from an evaluation using the appropriate icon.
Adjustment factor cap
It is now possible to set a minimum and maximum value adjustment factor cap for an individual evaluation.
The adjustment Factor is the average rating of the student divided by the overall average rating for all members of the team. This is used to adjust the individual student mark
It is possible to use either the capped adjustment factor or the original factor with no cap applied when deciding final marks.
Alongside the existing ability to create scored questions, it is now possible to create team questions that ask students to answer a 5-scale question about the team as a whole (strongly agree to strongly disagree). Team questions do not contribute to the adjustment factor.
Option to ask students to ‘motivate’ peer question score
When creating a peer question it is now possible to ask students to optionally motivate scores, i.e. provide a comment as to why they have selected a score for their peer. This is now possible as part of the question rather than through the use of open questions at the end of the evaluation.
There is a need to replace WebPA as the University’s VLE
integrated tool for peer evaluation of group work contribution. WebPA is open
source and this leaves the University vulnerable to system failure with a lack
of technical support. There have been a number of bugs and stability issues
impacting on the usability and reliability of WebPA that have caused disruption
for staff and students.
The viability of a number of options has been considered in
order identify a product that has high usability i.e. has a simple workflow for
setting up and managing an evaluation, and that offers as a minimum the same
functionality that is available in WebPA. Buddycheck has been identified as an
option that meets these essential requirements and offers VLE integration.
Buddycheck has a simple workflow for setting up evaluations and allows
customisation of questions, rubrics, terminology and default settings.
Buddycheck is being piloted during Semester One 2019/20. A
number of Semester One modules have signed up to take part but there may be
capacity to support more. If you are interested in taking part in this pilot
please contact LTDS@ncl.ac.uk with details
of the group assessment.
WebPA will remain available in Blackboard until the end
of 2019/20 and users will be supported by LTDS, however the intention is
that it will not be available once the University moves to Canvas at the
beginning of 2020/21.