Methods of assessment

Before you begin, with the detailed considerations listed below, please consider carefully the following institutional guidance on assessment in view of Covid-19 circumstances (dated 24/03/2020). This guidance has key up-to-date information on online submissions, controlled conditions assessments, assessment duration, exam start times, and other key procedural advice:

If you are unsure about any of the content listed here, then in the first instance, please contact the Faculty Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

The advice below is specifically to cover a rapid move online assessment in response to the COVID 19 outbreak. If you are already doing online examination successfully using a different set of advice please disregard this page. It is important to note that all timed examinations (time limited assessments) during this period will have a submission window of 24 hours.

Narrated Presentations (Kaltura submissions)

In replacing face-to-face presentation some have opted for the submission of narrated or video presentations. These assessment artefacts, once created, are submitted through Blackboard. This section is relevant for those creating video content for their submissions.

Kaltura is the current video streaming platform used at the university. Although it has been updated periodically it has been in use for assessment at UWE since 2016. The Student Guide on the Blackboard Support pages are very good on how to use Kaltura Capture to create a narrated presentation and how to incorporate it into an assessment. These should be signposted to students.

It would be good practice to give students a guided introduction to the tool. For distance learning programmes prior to Covid 19 the TEL team would recommend doing this at the start of the module. This presentation on ‘How to record a narrated presentation and submit for assessment‘ can be delivered in Collaborate to induct students to the system and solve any problems they might encounter swiftly.

There might be instances where individual students cannot use the ‘Record a Presentation'(Kaltura Capture) section of Kaltura to make a narrated presentation. These might be where a student is using a work machine where they don’t have administrator rights or they may not have a PC at all. For these situations we would suggest the following steps:

Alternative Step 1

Using PowerPoint to create a video. The Microsoft support site for this is very good and covers various different versions of PowerPoint to Record a slide show with narration and slide timings . The video produced can then be uploaded to Kaltura and submitted through the same workflow as the rest of the cohort.

Alternative Step 2

If step 1 is not practicable then by arrangement with the module leader a student can capture the oral presentation on their phone or mobile device and upload it to Kaltura. The presentation would have to be submitted at the same time.

Where to go for support

Known issues 1 – There is a current intermittent issue with Step 7 and 8 on the guidance. Some students can experience issues using the Mash Up tool. Blackboard support are aware of this and recommend students either clear the machines cache or trying a different browser.

Known issues 2 – Upload speeds on home wifi can be slow. This was an issue prior to the current spike in internet use related to COVID 19. We tend to not notice upload speeds and focus on download speeds. Please advise students to leave plenty of time before the due date to upload their presentation. Be as close to their router as possible and to not record at extremely high quality.

If students need support whilst using the system, for example if they experience technical difficulties, then Blackboard Support is the part of organisation to contact. Due to the large number of support calls they would be better off phoning rather than emailing the support team. If you need support with running or hosting a webinar introducing the tool please talk to either ( ) or Tom Buckley ( ) within the TEL Team.

Time limited submissions

In replacement of some assessments previously done as controlled conditions examinations there are two relevant workflows you might want to adopt. One for if your assessment is already in, or in the process of being transferred into Blackboard Tests system. This work flow is good for assessments with question types that are easily machine marked. The second is the simplest way to give and receive assessments via Blackboard using the systems native tools and Office 365 versions(.doc, .xl) of the assessment. Please discuss with your field leader which is the best workflow for your purposes.

For information on the policy considerations and parameters around online examinations please read this post by Jenny Dye and Antony Hill on Online Assessment Design for 20/21.

Method 1 best practice for running summative tests at a distance in Blackboard

Blackboard has within it an assessment tool. This assessment tool is sometimes referred to as ‘Blackboard Test’ or ‘Tests, Surveys and Pools’. There are a few stages to using the Blackboard Test system for an online distance examination. As show in this diagram.

Blackboard Test Workflow

Create (Instructor) For an overview of the Blackboard Test system Blackboard have created a very useful Blackboard Test Tour video. Further guidance on creating a test, questions types etc is available from Blackboard on their support website.

One word of caution when copying from a Word document. When we copy content from one system to another, we can sometimes important formatting. This can make the content difficult to read, for example a grey background to text etc. You can clear this formatting as part of your transcription between documents by following the steps for clearing weird formatting in this short video.

How this should be set up within ISIS

This assessment should be set up in the assessment checker as ‘Grade Mapping’.

Post-assessment guidance

SafeAssign does not automatically run  with Blackboard Test in our version of Blackboard Learn. If you are using a text entry question type (Short Answer Question or Essay) format in your tests in Blackboard and need to submit them to SafeAssign, this will require this work around.

You will need to use DirectSubmit to submit Short Answer Questions (SAQs) to SafeAssign. Please note, DirectSubmit is not integrated with the Grade Centre. Content you submit through DirectSubmit is only added to the institutional database. This content is not added to the Global Reference Database.

Method 2 Blackboard Assignments and Office 365

This method is for the management of time sensitive documents through Blackboard. It also cover enabling a submission point manually within Blackboard for students to submit to.

How this should be set up within ISIS

This assessment should be set up in the assessment checker as ‘Grade Mapping’.

Post-assessment guidance

  • Understanding SafeAssign outputs (Pending)