Enhancing Presentation Assessments: A Successful Transition to Online Submission

In September 2022, Petra Chipperfield, the Programme Director of Nursing Studies, approached LEaD’s Digital Education Team with a request to support a change in the way they conducted their presentation assessments for the 2022/23 academic year. In collaboration with my colleague Geraldine Foley, we embarked on a journey to revolutionise their assessment process. This blog post will outline the challenges faced, the solutions implemented, and suggestions for future improvements.

Assessment Redesign and Objectives
During our initial meeting, Petra, Geraldine, and I examined the existing assessment approach employed by the nursing studies program. At that time, students were required to deliver their presentations in a traditional classroom setting, with evaluation based on their delivery and content. However, the teaching team desired a shift towards online assessments to facilitate enhanced feedback and foster the development of digital skills among students.

The Proposed Solution
After careful consideration and consultation with the teaching team, we devised a solution that utilised a combination of Moodle Assignment (with Turnitin enabled) and the Video Assignment tool. This approach allowed students to submit their video presentations through the Video Assignment area, while their plain PowerPoint slides were uploaded to a separate Moodle Assignment with Turnitin enabled. The rationale behind this decision was to leverage the Turnitin Feedback Studio’s marking interface for comprehensive feedback provision. Unfortunately, Turnitin does not support video files directly, necessitating the use of a dedicated Video Assignment area.
Screenshot of the HS2017 Moodle page, showing the assessment setup

Challenges Faced
Despite the benefits of the new assessment process, there were a few challenges to overcome. One notable issue was the potential confusion for students. Submitting their work to one online submission area could be stressful, let alone having to submit two different file types to two separate areas for the same assessment. Moreover, the teaching team encountered a learning curve when it came to supporting and marking this novel assessment format.

Training and Support Plan
To address these challenges, we developed a tailored training and support plan for both students and staff. The plan included the following components:

Student Screencast: We created a detailed screencast tutorial that guided students through each step of the submission process for both file types.
Staff Training: We held an online workshop to assist the teaching team in navigating the different submission boxes for marking, including the use of Turnitin Feedback Studio.
Online Drop-In Sessions: We conducted live online sessions where students could seek clarification on the submission process. These sessions also had a teaching team member present to address subject-specific queries.

Assessment Submission and Marking
Between December 1, 2022, and January 11, 2023, students submitted their assignments using the newly established process. As expected with any new assessment type, there were a small number of email inquiries from students encountering submission issues. However, these were promptly resolved by providing students with the guidance videos or engaging in brief email exchanges.
The marking process itself proceeded relatively smoothly. While there were a couple of queries regarding accessing specific areas within the submission box, overall, the teaching team found the navigation of the video assignment and Turnitin Feedback Studio to be a positive experience.

Suggestions for Future Improvements
Based on the lessons learned from this successful transition to online submission, we have several suggestions for further enhancing the assessment process in the future:
1. Introduce Formative Activity: Incorporate a formative assessment activity that allows students to submit a test narrated PowerPoint slide. This could involve submitting a plan, an introduction to their ideas, or an introductory video, accompanied by peer feedback.
2. Recommend On-Campus Submission: Strongly advise students to come to the campus for submission to ensure a reliable internet connection, as a weak connection at home may hinder the submission process.
3. Streamline Assessment Sections: Simplify the assessment structure by reducing the number of sections and minimising text-heavy content. A slimmed-down format with a single submission point would enhance clarity for both students and markers.
4. Ensure Proper Submission: If any submissions fail to appear in Turnitin, promptly report the issue to LEaD to ensure correct submission and avoid potential discrepancies.

In conclusion, the transition to online submission for presentation assessments in the nursing studies program proved to be a successful endeavour. Through collaboration and effective training, students were empowered to develop their digital skills, while the teaching team adapted to the new assessment process with relative ease. By implementing the suggested improvements for future assessments, we can further enhance the overall experience for students and staff alike.

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