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Automating feedback to students
School of the Environment
To develop a piece of software for staff that can provide automated feedback on assessed work to students.
The original project was to develop software using Microsoft Office applications, principally ACCESS and WORD with “Macros” and/or “Data Access Pages” to create links between the programmes. The software will have a base-line feedback to which a range of options that could be added to by individual users e.g. the option to inform the student of their place within group. Options may also include the capability to mark anonymously using the SID alone.
Description of Output
Resources from the C&IT in the Curriculum would be used to:
Evaluation of project and outcomes
In the project methodology of the C & IT bid it was stated that development would be carried out using ACCESS and WORD. This was the case in the early stages. However, after development of a prototype in ACCESS it was clear that the system would not be of great benefit to staff. At this point the ACCESS system’s flexibility was questioned. After researching the best way to develop the system to be used throughout the University, the MySQL database on the server and programming in PHP was chosen. Furthermore, the original system would only work in Microsoft™ operating systems and would therefore be inflexible. Consequently, much of the time in the development of MAAS has been spent in the understanding of new programming software (PHP). This decision has proved to be very successful, opening several options for expansion of the project beyond its original aim, but the main benefits with regard to the current project now include:
The most significant improvement has been the simplicity
of the new system that has diminished the need for a separate tutorial
system to guide the novice. Hence, the tutorial section has been incorporated
alongside the documentation (see attached Appendix). The attached documentation
can be used in combination with the current software system at:
The project developers would be delighted to run demonstration sessions to colleagues within the University or to staff at other universities (e.g. C&IT fair).
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