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Board 128: An Automated Management Process for Digital Correction

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division (MECH) Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering Division (MECH)

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Paper Authors


Sami Ammar

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Sami Ammar, Eng., Ph.D., is a Teaching Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of Polytechnique Montreal. Since 2013, he has been participating in the teaching of engineering courses and contributing to the development of pedagogical innovations.

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Massimo Cimmino

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Michel Ho Polytechnique Montreal

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When students complete an assessment activity, the teacher's corrective work begins. It is done under the pressure of time. However, correcting in a relatively short time may affect the quantity and quality of feedback. It is therefore not surprising that the teacher is thinking of time-saving solutions to provide and further enrich their feedback while offering rapid correction. Traditionally, in mechanical engineering courses featuring multiple groups and a large population of students, the grading is organized so that each teacher corrects an open-ended engineering problem on an exam for all groups in the same course. Correcting this way is fairer and faster than each teacher correcting all problems for a subgroup of students. This method also blurs the Pygmalion effect. The downside is that the teacher must wait for a colleague's papers to return before they can correct their question. To recover this lost time, we developed an automated digital correction management tool (a Python script). The tool automatically splits scanned student copies by question into pdf format and then assembles, for each question, all student copies into a single file. A customized exam booklet, with known allotted number of pages for each question, was produced to ease the process. The assembled files are uploaded to a cloud storage platform, where each teacher can access their assigned file for handwritten correction on a tablet using a digital pencil. Thus, the teacher corrects at his own pace, avoiding conflicts with other correctors. The anonymity of copies is guaranteed since the identification page of the exam booklet is absent from the assembled files, and the equality of chances is reinforced. When the correction is complete, a digital mark recognition algorithm is used to extract the marks assigned to each question by the correctors. The copies are reassembled and the mark is reported automatically for each question on the main page of the exam booklet. The integration of the tool into the correction process has been seamless, since only the professor in charge has to interact with the tool and the correctors grade the copies in the same manner as usual – albeit on a tablet. Digital correction allows both the student and the teacher to benefit from the advantages of digital technology. It saves the teacher the need to carry a large number of copies and reduces the risk of loss of copies. Electronic delivery of copies to students also frees up the classroom time usually reserved for handing in copies. This time is now used more efficiently by the teacher to give feedback to the class.

Ammar, S., & Cimmino, M., & Ho, M. (2023, June), Board 128: An Automated Management Process for Digital Correction Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42438

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