San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Design in Engineering Education
25.11.1 - 25.11.14
The Development of an Online Grading System for Distributed Grading in a Large First Year Project-Based Design CourseEnsuring fairness and consistency in grading between sections is a challenge for large project-based design courses. To address this challenge, a distributed grading system was developed fora mandatory first year design subject in a leading technical university. This system requirescourse faculty members and teaching assistants to serve on grading juries to assess the work ofstudents in other sections of the course. Each member of the grading jury evaluates the students'work independently from the other graders using provided grading rubrics. After grading iscomplete, statistical outliers are removed and the remaining scores are averaged. Studentsreceive this averaged grade as their score.The course has between 500 and 600 students per semester organized into roughly 100 teams.Each grading jury has 5 to 6 members and each member serves on six different juries (one ofeach of the mid-term and final deliverables) to reduce the students’ exposure to any one grader.Thus, each semester approximately 3600 sets of scores must be collected, analyzed, averaged,and returned in order to produce the final student grades.This paper will describe an online grading system that was developed to form the grading juriesand collect, process, and return the grades produced by this grading method. In particular, it willdiscuss the design requirements and features of the online grading system from student, faculty,and course administrator perspectives, the implementation of the grading system, the ways inwhich course faculty and staff members interact with the system, and faculty and staff reactionsto the system based on end-of-semester survey results. It will be shown that the online gradingsystem has a number of advantages over analog grading methods, including scalability, real-timefeedback on the status of grading, the reduced potential for human error in compiling grades, theability for jury members to grade remotely and to revise their grades after submission, the abilityfor course administrators to easily review grading results and remove statistical outliers from thescore set, the ability to return both provisional and final grades to the course faculty, staff, andstudents in a timely manner, and the ability to archive and export grading data for future use. Thesystem has also increased the overall quality of the grades produced by the course and hasreceived good feedback from course faculty and staff members who appreciate the opportunity tochoose the projects that they will help to grade and the convenience of the online system.
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