I refer to ‘Parent, teachers grapple with online classes’ and ‘Problems aplenty as teachers shift to online learning’ dated 7 April 2020.
As the saying goes, educators are for real they not only work during school holidays but even in crisis.
Besides ‘teaching and learning’ of course prior assessment should be done too.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a blessing in disguise.
Within the Movement Control Order period, most educational institutions have already started ‘teaching and learning’ online.
And now it’s time for prospective students to submit their course work assignments.
In the ‘Standard of Procedures’ teachers will gather to begin the coordination process of marking the coursework, but due to MRO, educators are to do it ‘remotely’ and ‘online’.
Once agreed and approved by the group, the marking process begins.
In the current situation, prospective students will submit assignments that have been completed through the Google Classroom site or a teacher-approved platform site.
Under normal circumstances, marking work involves the use of thousands of sheets of paper per study session, significant printing and email costs, and considerable staff time.
The implementation of the online marking system may be an innovation or innovation to replace previous paper-based systems in some courses.
Indeed, this is a good thing if teachers are invited to participate and be trained.
Keep in mind that not all are ICT (IT) competent or literate.
If only the instructions and guidelines were issued and the user had to suppress everything, then the chances of success would be apparent.
At least equipment and hardware with the ability to digitally assign tasks should be provided and lent to a group of markers.
Students submit assignments directly to courses using electronic drop-boxes in their learning management systems, and teachers use computers to mark (manually) and return student assignments electronically.
Can you imagine educators marking on-line? An assignment may constitute 10-15 pages per student.
In developed countries, software tools such as the Stylus, Track Track or Track Markup in Microsoft Word or Turnitin’s Grade Mark which also enables them to review plagiarism and provide final grades.
Teachers can access these tools on a computer or use any computer to make online markings.
For those who are familiar with Word usage, you need to know how to build macros; shortcuts that allow pre-defined text insertion for commonly used comments when marking assignments.
The development of macro sets needs to be developed for more specific comments for individual disciplines or educators.
Teachers should also be exposed and adapted to the online marking options most appropriate for their courses and students and to meet the learning objectives identified.
Online marking provides students with time savings, better feedback, and opportunities to reduce costs.
The positive impact on the environment is expressed through the slogan ‘save the planet, one task at a time’.
Students will also get feedback quickly and timely.
Teachers can make corrections more clearly and more professionally, reduce concern about paper loss, ease and comfort and effectively reduce paper use.
The goal for innovation may have been met.
In any attempt to change, the main challenge is the resistance of the teacher or the concern about effectiveness.
Most teachers are more comfortable with regular paper-marking assignments and some try but can’t adapt to the technology.
Workshops and training plus the support and commitment of the employer is very much appreciated.
In course programs, such as math, physics, and chemistry, the nature of the assignment itself makes online marking more difficult.
Handwriting assignments may be easier, especially for first-year students, than learning the complex programs required to enter formulas electronically.
Fundamentals of financial foundation for technology are important where maintenance, replacement, and training factors continue to be a major cost factor.
Familiarity and technological readiness of the technology needs to be improved.
*Azizi Ahmad is a senior educator.