Category Archives: Assessment

Teaching Bites

The next set of Teaching Bites are mainly on the theme of employability and will be delivered by the Career Development Centre.

Thursday 19th November, 1-2pm, S10: Planning and evaluating employability in the curriculum

This session will explore the values and benefits to pro-actively planning and evaluating employability in the curriculum. It will also outline a variety of approaches and share existing best practice.

Pam Crawford/Lesley Grayburn, CDC

Thursday 26th November, 1-2pm, S10:  Development of career management skills in the curriculum

Equipping Stirling’s students and graduates with career management skills is a key goal of the University’s Employability Strategy. These skills are key to successfully managing the transition from University and a graduate’s longer term career development. This session will look at what career management skills are, why they are important, and approaches to embedding them in the curriculum.

Pam Crawford/Lesley Grayburn, CDC

Wednesday 2nd December, 1-2pm, S10: Learning Outcomes and Assessment: How do we align them?

In order to support our students by helping to direct their learning, we need to be clear in our expectations of the level at which they engage in our modules and across our programmes. This session will look at a model of curriculum development that helps us to align our module learning outcomes with the ways in which we assess our students. Participants are encouraged to bring a module outline with which they are familiar, with them to the session.

Dr Mary McCulloch, Academic Development Team

Thursday 10th December, 1-2pm, S10: Delivering work based learning and placements

With many employers increasingly looking for experience as well as academic achievement in candidates, work placements and work related learning have an increasing importance in gaining graduate level employment. This session will look at the issues involved in the delivery of work related/based learning.  Perspectives and practice will be taken from the learning achieved through Making the Most of Masters that develops masters dissertation projects with external organisations and will also cover the development of undergraduate placements.

Eunice Atkins, CDC

Wednesday 13th January, 1-2pm, S10: Learning Outcomes and Assessment: How do we align them? (Repeat session)

In order to support our students by helping to direct their learning, we need to be clear in our expectations of the level at which they engage in our modules and across our programmes. This session will look at a model of curriculum development that helps us to align our module learning outcomes with the ways in which we assess our students. Participants are encouraged to bring a module outline with which they are familiar, with them to the session.

Dr Mary McCulloch, Academic Development Team

Thursday 28th January, 1-2pm, S10: Enhancing conversations using Talking Mats

Talking Mats is a visual card sort tool that is highly effective in enabling students to express their views or plan and organise their thinking.
This session will look at ways in which staff in the Career Development Centre have been working with the Talking Mats team who created the tool to research its uses in a Higher Education setting and will explore it’s potential uses for Personal Tutors, Advisers of Study and its scope for use to great effect in teaching sessions, seminars and tutorials.

Elaine Watson, CDC

Monday 1st February, 1-2pm, S10: Engaging employers in the curriculump

Research underpinning the development of employability in higher education places high importance on the value of employer engagement. This applies to both vocational and non-vocational subjects alike. This session will explore the different forms of employer engagement and how to progress their development in the curriculum.

Pam Crawford/Lesley Grayburn, CDC

Thursday 18th February, 1-2pm, S10: Students as reflective learners

This session will explore practical tools and strategies which staff can employ to help develop students’ reflective practice. We will be discussing:

  • What a reflective learner is.
  • The issues students face in trying to self-assess what their strengths and development needs are.
  • Practical strategies to help students learn to reflect.

To book, Succeed -> Learning and Development – My Learning -> Teaching Bites -> and booking into the relevant session(s)


A demonstration of  MyProgress has been arranged for Tuesday 17th March at 13.00 in the Enterprise Zone.

What is Myprogress?
Myprogress is a mobile assessment product for recording skills and managing structured examinations. It enables authoring and delivery of rich observational competency assessments on iOS and Android devices, online and offline. Its offline app means that students and assessors can capture evidence, even in challenging environments with no connectivity.

Myprogress gives you all of the tools you need to manage skills assessment effectively

  • Enables students to respond to assessments at any time through a customisable free App, even offline
  • Enables tutors and mentors to manage assessments and engage with students through personal feedback at the moment of need without having to leave the campus and visit widely dispersed students on placement
  • External assessors can complete observations in real time using the student’s device or their own (we include a reviewer role for remedial escalation)
  • A progress file enables students to collect a record of achievement
  • Assessments can be mapped to professional competency frameworks, including learning outcomes
  • Advanced reporting tools for reviewing individual and group activity and scoring

For further information go to

So if your division has students on placements come along as this software could be very useful.

Turnitin Webcast – Building Effective Peer Review Assignments

Turnitin Webcast – Building Effective Peer Review Assignments

The latest Turnitin Webcast, entitled, “Building Effective Peer Review Assignments” is being held next Thursday (20th November) at 21.00 (GMT). Members of the Turnitin Professional Development Team (Education Manager Kristin Brabec and Education Director Jason Chu) will provide an overview of how to use Turnitin to create effective peer review assignments. To join in with this Webcast visit the following web site:

Again, a shiny ‘Certificate of Participation’ will be provided to attendees of the Webcast.

Exceptions – Assessment Settings for AAA students

A new guide has been produced explaining how to implement ‘Exceptions’ in the settings of online assessments in Succeed. The most common use of this would be to allow students who have an alternative assessment method set up and recorded in their Agreed Record of University Adjustments (ARUA), also often referred to as the Agreed Academic Arrangements (AAA), to have longer time to sit an online exam paper. These exception settings on assessments in Succeed get round the old problem of having to set up multiple versions of an assessment to cater for all students with different types of AAA.

The guide assumes assessments have already been set up and deployed to the relevant place in the Succeed module and that the identities of the students in question are known at the outset of the process.

Item Analysis and View All Attempts – Time Taken not shown problem

There is a problem with the ‘Item Analysis’ and ‘View All Attempts’ features in the Grade Centre in Succeed. If you run an Item Analysis or View All Attempts for an assessment, the average time taken by the users is not displayed.

Item Analyses are supposed to show you lots of useful stats about your assessment, such as how many people took it, average score, the ‘difficulty’ of each question etc. It’s also supposed to show you how long, on average, students took to do the assessment. This is the bit that’s not working, however. The average time is displayed as a very low number, often 00 hours and 00 minutes. Also, if you try to ‘View All Attempts’ for an assessment from the relevant column in the Grade Centre the duration is not shown through that method either. A report is produced with columns for Last Name, First Name, Username, Grade, Attempt Number, Date, Status and also a column for ‘Duration’. But whereas all the other columns are populated with data, the Duration column is empty. So you cannot find out how long students took via this method either.

The only way you can find out how long students took to complete an assessment is currently to view each student’s submission individually and look at their ‘Test Information’. This will tell you how long they took, but if you have a lot of students this will be time consuming.

This issue has been reported to Blackboard and they have acknowledged it as a ‘Known Issue. there is currently no patch we can install to fix this and it will be targeted for being mended in the April 2015 Release (which we may not upgrade to until some time after April 2015).

Succeed April 2014 Release

For staff there is a significant new feature: Student Preview. Those of you with long memories will recall this feature in WebCT. It has finally made it into Succeed! This gives a complete student view of a module to an instructor. Full details are available here. The icon to start Student Preview is next to the edit on/off (circled in the image below)

Student Preview

Other new features are Anonymous and Delegated Grading when using the Succeed assignment tool  — anonymous grading is already available when using Turnitin but not delegated grading.  Learn more about anonymous grading here and delegated grading here. In a perfect world, Turnitin would be integrated into the Succeed assignment tool and not a separate tool but the world isn’t perfect.

The majority of the changes are more technical, for instance the need to have an Apache web server has been dropped which improves  the performance of the system and should simplify its management. Also frames have been replaced by divs and iFrames (I did say technical!) which improves accessibility for users of screen readers and in the future will facilitate improvements to make the interface work better on smart phones and tablets. Some of the improvements were demonstrated at the BbWorld 2014 (Blackboard Conference) and have generated many positive comments on various email lists about the proposed new UI (user interface) being much slicker. The downside is that we won’t see these improvements at Stirling (assuming they make it into the product) until summer 2015.

Teaching Bites – Quizzes and Surveys

This week we ran a Teaching Bites session on Quizzes and Surveys in Succeed. If you want to see what was discussed you may watch the presentation at the Teaching Bites Listen Again page:

Future Teaching Bites sessions will be added to this page. There’s also further information on all the Teaching Bites sessions, including supporting materials, in the ‘Learning and Development – My Learning’ course area in Succeed. In this course navigate to:

> Course Content > IT & Information Skills > Teaching Bites

…to find all the information you need.

Teaching Bites II

The next set of teaching bites are detailed below. They will all be in S10.

To sign-up go into Succeed and then to Learning & Development – My Learning, IT & Information Skills, Succeed Training. Also don’t forget to bring along your sandwiches!

These sessions will be available to remote campuses. To register for remote access please email Simon Booth.

2nd April: 12.00-13.00: Discussion Tool, Blogs and Wikis

This session will look at some of the collaboration tools within blackboard, these tools can be used to help build a sense of community in modules, can be used for group working, social interaction and the exchange of ideas.  The session will look at the discussion tool, blogs and wikis and give examples of where these might be used successfully within your succeed module.

9th April: 12.00-13.00: Turnitin

Turnitin offers much more than plagiarism detection. It has tools to facilitate peer marking (see Teaching Bites 23-April) and online marking (‘GradeMark’). This talk will demonstrate how to use GradeMark and discuss the positive and negative features of marking online.

 16th April: 12.00-13.00: Video (Listen Again, Lecture Capture, Screen casting)

This session will look at the tools available to allow you to incorporate video into your teaching at the University. These will include the Listen Again lecture recording service, producing video and audio podcasts, incorporating You Tube material into Succeed, using the ‘video everywhere’ tool  in Succeed, and recording and using material from TV and films.

23rd April: 12.00-13.00: Peer Marking

This session will  evaluate the use of an on-line peer/self-review tool (‘PeerMark’) available through the Turnitin.  Peermark distributes students’ work automatically,  allows the tutor to set feedback questions and word limits, and enables students to review each other’s work anonymously. Through  consideration of a recent case study, the preparation required for peer review, and the benefits and challenges will be reviewed. The session will demonstrate how to get started and some tips on its use.

 30th April: 12.00-13.00: Mind Genius – cancelled

This session will look at the software ‘Mind Genius. Mind Genius is mind mapping software that helps you capture, visualize and manage your ideas and information.  Mind Genius can be a useful tool for:

  •  Preparing  and planning essays and reports
  • Preparing presentations
  • Managing tasks
  • Brainstorm for innovation and generating new ideas
  • Plan strategies, projects, events, tasks & workload
  • Rapidly gather project requirements, risks, constraints & dependencies
  • Capturing the conversation and actions during meetings

 7th May: EDUFair (The University of Stirling’s annual learning and teaching conference)

14th May: 12.00-13.00: Resource lists – smarter working with your reading list!

The Aspire resource lists are dynamic so they tell the students where in the library a book is located.  Worried that the students are not reading key papers? Check the stats using the Aspire Dashboard feature.

21st May: 12.00-13.00: Copyright

Fundamentals of copyright for teaching and learning. In this teaching bites session we’ll help you to comply with UK copyright and point you towards the things the library can do to help.

How much do we use Turnitin?

Here are the University of Stirling statistics for use of Turnitin services (Turnitin, PeerMark and GradeMark) in the period February 2013 through to February 2014:

  • Total student submissions to Turnitin: 48,816
  • Submissions marked using PeerMark: 674
  • Submissions marked using GradeMark: 1,126

The University’s current Turnitin licence allows us to have up to 10% of our submissions graded using GradeMark with no extra cost to the university. At the current usage levels we could grade another three and a half thousand submissions via GradeMark without breaching our licence. So if you are interested in getting to grips with using GradeMark, watch Turnitin’s GradeMark demo video:

…and then get in touch with your eLD representative to get started: