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Moodle helping with moderation

This semester in the Assessment and Evaluation unit, the moderation of assignments was the usual process. I was given some names of people who's assignments I should mark to compare against the unit conveners judgement. This involved taking the names, going to Moodle, finding the list of submitted assignments, downloading them after finding the students, and in this case printing them out so I could mark them up with my commentary.

Once graded a meeting was held, notes and judgements compared, i.e. moderation took place. After this grades were uploaded to Moodle.

I've also been part of larger teaching teams of 5 in units with 300 students. Moderation comprised of selecting our highest and lowest marks and comparing our chosen assignments and judgements in a meeting.

Apart from providing the assignments to download and then taking the final marks Moodle was not able to help with any other aspect of the moderation process. But why not?

Following the popular 80/20 rule (80% return for 20% of the effort), here are a few things Moodle could have done for us:
  • allowed the unit convener to assign student names to tutors for any given assignment.
  • provided an area in the unit site where tutors could see the list of assignments (with download links) that had been assigned to them for moderation. These assigned students may be from any tutorial group.
  • From the teachers/tutors moderation screen Moodle could accept the proposed grade and any feedback/marked up documents.
  • Moodle could provide a screen that shows the teaching team all proposed grades for the given assignment and who they were proposed by. For example for Assignment 1 there might be a grid that shows tutors names across the top and the grade assigned by each. The unit convener could then see if everyone was on the same page or all over the place. It would easily indicate the need for a meeting or not.
This kind of functionality in Moodle is ultimately aimed at saving teaching staff TIME. Time is extremely valuable and therefore this kind of investment is worthwhile.



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