Case study: Blackboard

Using the Group Assessment and Rubric Tools within Blackboard to provide equitable and efficient feedback on group presentations

Amy Parkes – Lecturer Practitioner in Physiotherapy

It is important that as a health care professional, we facilitate development of academic and personal skills through varied assessment processes. Group presentations are integral to many modules across the BSc and MSc (pre-reg) Physiotherapy programmes to enhance development of communication skills and other attributes necessary for the workplace. Traditionally they have been submitted and marked through Turnitin allowing for use of rubric, audio and written feedback. However, there were challenges in that only one student per group could submit and the process of giving feedback therefore was unreliable and tedious; having to record and repeat the audio feedback for each individual in the group. I had encountered issues with this on a previous module whereby some students could not access feedback at the advertised time, leading to frustration on both sides.

Following advice and guidance from the Blackboard Support team, I used an alternative method of assessment submission and feedback via Blackboard grade centre. I was able to allocate students to the appropriate group and once one member of the group had submitted, as a team we were able to mark the presentations and give equitable feedback to all members in the group simultaneously; not only reducing the work load for us as a teaching team but also ensuring that all students received the feedback in a timely manner.

In addition to this, there was flexibility in this system to allow me to import the rubric (this is the preferred method for grading and is referenced in the MIP, so it was essential for that standard to be upheld) as well as still giving audio and written feedback. The benefit of this is that the teaching team felt familiar with the feedback methods and the students did not perceive any tangible difference to their experiences of Turnitin.

The rubric was easy to transfer across with a pre-set format, requiring simple copy and paste from the original. The audio feedback is again easy to access and upload from the VLS in the same way you would upload a Relay recording. In summary this was a far superior method of giving equitable and efficient feedback on group presentations with as much flexibility in terms of the format of feedback as you would require.

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