Digital Assessment & Feedback Project Update: Halfway through the piloting of WISEflow

Patricia Bartley, Digital Assessment and Feedback Project

July marks a midpoint project milestone. In January 2021 the University began its one year long pilot contract with the WISEflow assessment platform. Over the past 6 months we have learnt a great deal about the platform- not just the mechanics of its functionality, but also about how it has been received by both staff and students in several teaching departments. This piloting work has also helped us understand and refine what our users want and expect from a dedicated assessment and feedback tool.

The project team has been collecting feedback from the various users of the WISEflow tool, exploring the extent to which it meets the university’s vision for a dedicated assessment platform. In summary, WISEflow is good at:

  • supporting a wide range of assessment types;
  • providing a simple and easy to use experience for students;
  • supporting the capture and delivery of ad hoc and categorised feedback and marks using feedback forms and/or rubrics;
  • managing individual submission deadlines when extensions are required.

WISEflow needs further investigation in how it:

  • supports formative activities; it’s designed primarily for summative assessment;
  • can provide an improved experience for staff – particularly in support of marking and reduction of administrative tasks;
  • supports the use of spelling and grammar stickers in anonymous flows;
  • can be used to apply late submission penalties.

The current recommendation – pending final approval from the Project Board –  is to undertake further activities over the next four months. We want to ensure that WISEflow can offer real benefits to the way we work before making any commitments. We also have the emerging vision and scope of the VLE transformation project to consider, which will inform whether this is the right option for us.

What the project team has been doing during June and July

Self guided training materials

The team has finished preparing training materials for a number of different roles; the assessment set up and management for administration staff, and the authoring and marking of exams for teaching staff. These are available on the WISEflow Support website.

Gathering the views of Professional Support Staff

The project team is continuing to work with professional support staff from a number of departments. They have been testing WISEflow with the setting up of a ‘common scenario’ type assessment- this is an open assessment with the submission of a single file of written work to be handed in anonymously by a specific deadline. The next areas for them to explore are the marking and postmarking stages.

Data integration

The digital services teaching and learning development team have been looking at options for integrating WISEflow with university data sources.  This includes automating the process for student account creation as well as maintaining access for students to assignments, based on their module enrolments.

What’s coming up?

The next two assessment trials

We are preparing WISEflow suitability trials with both IPC and UYMS. The IPC trial involves a small group of students on the Entry to Pre-Masters programme who will use WISEflow for a variety of formative and summative assessments starting in early August. The UYMS pilot involves a much larger group of students (220 approx) and academics (45) and it will test the submission and marking of a piece of summative work at scale in early September.

Get involved and test the system

All members of staff have the opportunity to try out the WISEflow platform. We are keen to gather feedback as we continue to assess the suitability of WISEflow to meet the University users’ needs. You can create mock assessments, take part as a student, mark the assessments and see how the system handles the work flows.

Request access by contacting WISEflow-support@york.ac.uk or post a request in the digital-assessment-stakeholder-group slack channel.

(Blog post image credit: North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River, Bob Wick, BLM)

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