Inspera's New Grading Tool: Smarter Marking

Anja Sisarica
December 8, 2018

We believe, one-size-fits-all marking tools fall short. When we redesigned our marking tool, we designed it as a configurable workspace that can be tailored to individual marking preferences. It is flexible and even designed for what we don't know.

It’s December - a month of New Year’s resolutions. Here at Inspera we have a very special resolution for 2019: make marking and grading smarter. Countdown to general release starts today, and this is a quick overview of what you can expect in the meantime.

Overview of Inspera marking tool

The ABCs of Inspera Assessment’s new marking tool

  • Improved basic marking and workflow
  • Annotations and feedback
  • Moderation and flexibility
  • General release

Solving 21st-century marking is a big challenge! Therefore, from the beginning of 2018, we’ve done our homework. We conducted interviews, organised focus groups, and held co-design workshops at schools and universities across the world. Our purpose was to better understand the diverse sets of pain points and needs in marking, grading, and improved learner feedback. This has fuelled our inspiration for the platform’s redesign.

Marking tool on different devices

As the ideas started to take shape, we made prototypes, tested them with users, and subsequently went back to the drawing board. Now, after several iterations, we feel confident that we are on the right track to deliver an innovative experience of assessment that will delight our markers and learners!

Our developers have started to code up the magic with their engineering wands, and it is very exciting to see those ideas starting to materialise in our product. We have a long way to go to reach our general release goal by the end of 2019, so we will use that time to continue learning from our inspiring users.

Screenshot of annotation in the marking tool

 Beta version 0.1 highlights

  • Improved navigation
  • Easier marking
  • Complete candidate overview
  • Complete questions overview

Even though we are still early in the development, there are plenty of improvements to be excited about. We have started at the core of the experience - simpler and more flexible marking, with all the information you need during your marking process displayed in one place.

Marking one candidate at at time, or one question at a time - the choice is yours! Using keyboard shortcuts, or even auto-advancing mode to speed up the process - just pick your style! If you’d like to cut out all distractions - welcome to focus mode! In addition, we are introducing the new concept of "Workspaces" to increase the flexibility of the many workflows that we support. 

Annotation is communication

One of the main goals of the assessment is learning, and therefore the conversation between teachers and students is of the utmost importance. Furthermore, facilitating discussion between markers online can save many hours of meetings and emails needed to resolve marking dilemmas or disagreements. To that end, our new annotation tool introduces an option of shared feedback and grades' explanations.

This functionality provides markers with a flexible tool that allows them to add comments to any part of a learner’s submission. As shown in the image above, that part of the learner's answer is then highlighted, and the annotation remains associated with the actual location in the document, on a collapsable margin on the right side. Such annotations can be easily shared with learners, markers, or, in fact, any specified group of users at your school or university, hence facilitating a dynamic exchange of knowledge.

  • Private text highlights - Digital equivalent of swiping a yellow marker over a passage of text
  • Annotations - Digital equivalent of a note on a document margin, which can be posted in different channels
  • Page notes - Comments and/or tags linked with the document (e.g. Question, Answer, Question Set), possible to share across different channels
  • Replies - Linked to one of the other annotation types, or to a prior reply, and can include tags

New annotation and feedback options will not be part of Beta 0.1 release in December 2018 - it is the next item on our to-do list in 2019.

Ready to get involved?

  • If you are a system owner (i.e. planner with extended access) at your organisation, sign up here to join marking workflow beta testing, starting on 18th December 2018
  • If you are a teacher or an administrator interested in the new marking tool, please contact your organisation’s support for Inspera Assessment to get more information on the product updates as they happen throughout 2019, and request to gain access when available
  • Keep an eye on our release notes
  • Join our webinars to learn more 

Learn more?

Do you want to learn more about how to conduct online exams and assessments, and how Inspera Assessment can make your assessments accessible, secure, valid and reliable? No worries, we wrote a "Guide to Online Exams and Assessments".

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