Institute of Teaching and Learning

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Topic 9: Assessment

Assessing practical reports

It is highly likely that you will be marking prac reports. Before you do so you should have discussed the marking scheme with other demonstrators and the unit chair. The solutions should normally be provided for you. As the feedback on prac reports is designed to help a student to see how they can improve, you should try to return reports as speedily as you can. As pracs tend to be at fortnightly intervals, it is reasonable for students to expect marked reports back at the next prac which will be two weeks after submission. Then you can hand them back with verbal comments at the start of the prac class.

Be careful about the comments you write on the prac report. Try to always write constructive comments so that the student can learn from their mistakes and omissions. It is certainly not appropriate to write sarcastic or demeaning comments, not matter how frustrating a student is.

University policy regarding reports

Never leave the marked reports in a public space for students to come and pick up. It is now against University policy to return student work this way. This policy was brought in as good students were finding that other students were collecting and keeping their prac reports. There were also privacy issues as any student could thumb through the marked reports to find out the marks of fellow students.

Make sure you also follow university policy when asking students to submit their prac reports. Each report should have a signed cover sheet. The students are signing a declaration that they have not plagiarised the work of others. See the figure below of a standard cover sheet. Cover sheets are available from the web or from Faculty offices. It is worthwhile to consider having a pile of coversheets in the prac lab. Then students have no excuse! It also makes life easier for those classes where the reports are handed in at the end of class.

Check with the unit chair what the policy is for submission. Schools vary. Some centralise submission at the Faculty office, others go to unit submission boxes or to the pigeon-hole of unit chair.

Recording marks

The unit chair should provide you with a spreadsheet of names for your class to record marks as well as attendance. Establish at the start of semester what the unit chair wants you to do with the marks, to whom you give them and how often.

Note that there is another module on Assessment. If you are enrolled as a Demonstrator/Marker you will have full access to this module and it is a requirement for the course. If you are enrolled as a Demonstrator only, you may be interested in reading the Assessment module but it is not a requirement of your course.

 Activity: Assessment requirements

Find out what you need to do for assessment. How much time are you expected to take on each report? Where do you record the marks? How do you return work to students


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25th November 2010