Streamlined Grading at University of Victoria

students in large classroom behind screens

The University of Victoria (UVic) is one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities and is located in Victoria, Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia. Because of its need to serve both large and small courses, UVic uses Crowdmark in multiple departments to grade faster while giving richer feedback. One instructor in the University of […]

How to Manage Stress Caused by Remote Teaching

Updated article originally published December 10, 2020. Burnout can be a dangerous mental health condition. If you feel like you’re struggling with burnout, you are not alone. This article contains strategies that may be useful, as well as links to mental health resources. Please do not hesitate to seek help. For the first time, a […]

Feature: Sean Speziale, University of Waterloo

glasses sitting on a book

Pedagogy is constantly changing, and instructors must adapt to align with the learning styles of each new generation. However, adoption of new teaching methods can seem daunting when teaching many different course levels. To respond to the ever-evolving needs of learners, Sean Speziale, a math lecturer at University of Waterloo, has developed an adaptive approach […]

Grading Remotely for Non-core Classes

student being graded in an online course

Updated article originally published November 18, 2020. Many teachers ask how they can grade students’ assignments for classes that require a physical presence. In this article, we’ll cover some tips for how to grade non-core classes online, as well as some success stories from teachers who have used these methods. How to Grade Physical Education and […]

Feature: Michael Evans, University of Toronto

students writing an exam

Creating a course structure and its corresponding components can be a challenge for any professor. To meet this challenge, Michael Evans relies on his decades of teaching experience for both remote and in-person courses. Though Michael is currently using this method in his Computer and Mathematical Sciences classes at the University of Toronto Scarborough, his […]

Grading One Question vs. the Entire Assessment

teachers in front of one computer

Assessment is an important part of the teaching and learning process. Not only is detailed feedback an essential part of assessment but the speed at which students receive that feedback can affect the absorption of concepts. To decrease grading times and return assessments faster, some grading teams assign one question per grader and have that […]

Complete Guide to Grading Efficiently

person behind a stack of papers on a desk

Exam time can be stressful, especially if you have large classes or if you are dedicated to giving formative feedback to every student. While it may feel as though there are not enough hours in the day, we have learned some tips over the years. To help you grade faster while supporting student learning, we have compiled some […]

Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Education

robot working on math problems at a chalkboard

Artificial intelligence (AI) has infiltrated just about every domain in our everyday lives. It is a rapidly growing industry that is currently valued globally at over $300 billion dollars and is expected to more than triple by the end of this decade. There is constant talk about how AI has made waves in many sectors, such as […]

Strategies for EdTech Integration

hand with a circle showing different icons integrated

Updated article originally published March 28, 2017. For educators new to the world of EdTech, the concept alone may be daunting. The basic premise is “creating and using technology for education”, but beyond this, there is an entire industry and an assortment of complex pedagogical theories involved in fully understanding educational technology. Nonetheless, educators are consistently told of […]

Education Through Inquiry

teacher at chalkboard writing

Updated article originally published October 3, 2017. Inquiry-based learning is a reversal of typical teaching and learning models. Instead of the instructor teaching the class, knowledge construction occurs through a set of questions posed by students. Engagement is shaped through this process, which creates heightened interaction between all members of the class. In essence, inquiry-based […]

Predictive Analytics for Online Education

person looking at predictive analytics on computer

Updated article originally published June 15, 2016. A number of students balance their online education alongside work and family commitments. These factors, along with the lack of in-person interaction that defines online courses, often contribute to a loss of motivation in continuing with studies. Fortunately, an increasing number of institutions are using predictive analytics to […]

Big Data, Assessments, and Adaptive Teaching

people looking at computers with big data

Updated article originally published September 27, 2016. For over a decade, higher education has looked to big data for supporting teaching and learning practices. While institutions have access to enormous unprecedented amounts of information, they have struggled with how to meaningfully use the massive amount of data collected about every student. Educators find themselves wondering What does the […]

The Higher Education Puzzle

picture of people putting a puzzle together

Updated article originally published March 6, 2018. Understanding a complex field of study is often like assembling a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. At first, students may be able to identify the foundational corners and build a border of theoretical knowledge. However, comprehending the minutiae of the subject may feel like staring into a jumble of jigsaw […]

Feature: Alan Ableson, Queen’s University

teacher at chalkboard writing

Alan Ableson is quite familiar with managing and delivering large classes. In fact, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s University, Alan specializes in teaching courses with over 200 students. Typically, these are required first-year math courses, which may may not be central to students’ specific academic and […]

How Instructors can Prepare Students for Exams

student at desk studying for exams

Updated article originally published February 1, 2021. Exams can be stressful for both students and instructors. To maintain a sense of calm, it is important for instructors and students to feel ready for exam day. Whether you are teaching online or giving in-person instruction, this article will help you visually and verbally communicate exam protocol and structure […]

Rethinking the Purpose of Exams

students at desks taking exams

Higher education is full of innovative approaches, with a myriad of new developments in pedagogy, EdTech, and course design—all in the name of enhancing teaching and learning. Yet, at the end of term, most courses still turn to the classic proctored exam as the method of evaluation. Even in courses where there are definitive moves towards developing skills and more authentic assessments, the exam […]

Mid-Term and End-of-Term Grading

teacher at chalkboard writing

Updated article originally published November 13, 2018. Assessments for students means grading for instructors, which is why mid-term and end of term can be stressful in higher education. These periods have become seasons unto themselves—with people becoming routinely overwhelmed and overworked at these junctures annually. But, due to the gift of foresight, this time of […]

Is the Instructor an Endangered Species?

pencils and books and an apple sitting on a desk

Updated article originally published August 12, 2014. Effective teaching and learning are a regular topic of pedagogical discourse, so it is reasonable that the role of the teacher is occasionally thrown into question. These discussions are fueled by developments in edtech, questions about student learning, and other advancements in the sphere of higher education. But […]

The Detriments of Multitasking in Online Learning

student multitasking on phone and computer

Updated article originally published August 14, 2018. Many pedagogical approaches are premised on envisioning and counteracting certain educational roadblocks. One potential roadblock that is seemingly unavoidable is the presence of personal electronics in the classroom. A quick look into any higher education lecture hall would reveal almost as many laptops as students. Ostensibly, the laptop […]

Complete Guide to Online Teaching and Learning

Looking at the pros and cons of remote learning often leads to rumination on the pitfalls of not being in a classroom. A more useful activity would be to assess the various innovative online teaching methods that have proven effective and to review an assortment of pertinent considerations that have come out of educators’ learning […]

Understanding Faculty Well-Being

image of a large empty classroom

As supports for instructor burnout, stress, and burdensome workloads are becoming more widely discussed in higher education, institutions are beginning to recognize the importance of maintaining overall faculty well-being as a means of preventing these issues from emerging. The focus on wellness is not surprising considering that faculty well-being not only relates to the individual, but the health of the institution as […]

Complete Guide to Online Grading and Assessment

woman behind laptop grading papers and happy

We have learned a lot about online education in the past two years. As we continue to offer online and in-person education, we can build on our knowledge of effective teaching and grading methods. To help you succeed with online teaching and learning, we have compiled some of our most popular and informative content on […]

How to Accept Remote Assignments – without Email

person in front of computer frustrated

For many students, submitting assignments as email attachments is considered standard practice. However, for instructors, email assignment submissions pose their own set of challenges. Some are minor, like incorrect file types or poorly-written emails, while some are major, such as lost assessments or grades. On the students’ end, email can be unreliable, and there is […]

3 Remote Learning Successes Using Crowdmark

teacher at chalkboard writing

Updated article originally published January 25, 2021. Some of the most prestigious higher education institutions worldwide use Crowdmark to streamline their remote assessment and grading processes. There have been success stories along the way which validate not only the capabilities of our grading platform but also the possibilities that remote learning and online education have […]

The Appeal and Fear of High Stakes Testing

women at desk with books and coffee looking frustrated

We live in a world where standardized tests—MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS—achieve two outcomes. First, they provide admissions officers with a seemingly objective evaluation of the knowledge and competencies possessed by the individual, in relation to a specific program or institution. Second, and much more troublingly, the mere mention of them strikes a […]

Degrees and Skills in Higher Education

person in half a business suit and half a graduation gown

Updated article originally published April 7, 2015. In recent years, there have been a growing number of discussions surrounding the value of university degrees—especially in a world where employers now place such a high emphasis on skills. Often, the argument against degrees is first evidenced at the K-12 levels with problems of disengaged students who […]

Academic Support for Underserved Students

student looking at tablet

Updated article originally published February 18, 2016. Non-traditional students who have family and work commitments often have sporadic schedules and take advantage of off-hours for study. Consequently, higher education continues to expand options for hybrid courses, blended classes, and flexible classroom models to increase accessibility for students of all backgrounds. Some enterprising institutions have even gone beyond updated […]

Feature: Janelle Mann, University of Manitoba

woman at computer

Janelle Mann is an award-winning Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Manitoba. She has a PhD in Business Economics from Queen’s University. She typically works with time series data and her scholarly publications include quantitative analysis on a broad range of subjects, from commodity prices to healthcare technology. Janelle began using Crowdmark to remotely administer […]

Feature: Xinli Wang, University of Manitoba

students working and studying

For Xinli Wang, Math is a universal language. With almost a decade of teaching experience in Singapore and Canada, Xinli currently passes on her appreciation for this ‘ancient discipline’ to her students at the University of Manitoba. Here we have the pleasure of sharing Xinli’s thoughts on Crowdmark, learning outcomes, and the best strategies for […]

Cooperative learning: Are smaller groups better?

students in a classroom learning cooperatively

Cooperative learning is the process of breaking a classroom of students into small groups so they can discover a new concept together and help each other learn. Some teachers have always used this teaching concept, while some have started to use it while remote teaching, using tools like Zoom. We explore the benefits further and […]

How instructors can prepare students for online assessments

student getting ready to take an online exam

Remote learning has been full of challenges, but preparing for an exam or online quiz shouldn’t be one of them. Students will naturally be apprehensive when they approach their first online assessment. Still, as the educator, your goal should be to help them develop a full understanding of the technology so that you can guide […]

How to regain control of a distance learning class when technology fails

Image of computer showing video meeting with multiple people

Most educators faced a disruption or interruption at least once during a distance learning class as COVID-19 has kept students out of the classroom. Even if you’re dealing with college students, it can still be a challenge to regain control of the classroom and get yourself back into the headspace of teaching when you’ve had […]

What are guidance counsellors saying about student mental health during COVID-19?

classroom

With COVID-19 impacting both students and instructors alike, educators in mentoring or counselling roles across academic institutions are beginning to feel the brutal force of rising mental health issues. This year has been a challenge for many educators, staff, and students working in our schools. In the United States alone, almost 51 million students have been affected by school […]

How can practical studies be moved online?

picture of student studying online

How do you teach metalworking or observe students dissect a cadaver over Zoom? How do you grade students’ performance in Physical Education when they’re not physically in front of you? These are just some of the hundreds of questions teachers and instructors worldwide asked themselves when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted school shutdowns. Fortunately, some real-life […]

Feedback blues: 5 steps to seeing instructor feedback as ‘constructive’ and not ‘critical’

student reviewing feedback from their instructor

When students submit homework or a large assignment, they may experience high levels of anxiety. If you’ve ever submitted a project titled Essay_Final, you understand this feeling completely. Most students, especially in post-secondary education, pour their heart and soul into assignments before submission, forming a level of attachment to their work. As a result, receiving constructive […]

Why universities need digital grading software now more than ever

teacher at chalkboard writing

Digital grading software describes any program or app that teachers can use to track, assess and monitor student assignments and progress. They are effective at keeping both students and teachers alike up-to-date with assignments and students’ progress. If the COVID-19 pandemic revealed anything about the education system, our traditional pedagogy methods need improvement. This post will […]

Best college grading software of 2021

woman using a college grading platform

With most instructors now teaching remotely, gone are the days of paper shuffling and red pens. Consequently, there’s a high demand to find the best online grading software. While grading tools have always existed and the technology is not new, remote learning has pushed remote grading software to the forefront in 2020. However, as an […]

What students have to say about “pandemic” grading & how you can help them

student walking on campus

Professors, faculty members, and parents unanimously agree—COVID-19 has made assignments and workloads challenging. But what about the students? It’s easy to overlook the immense challenges they face as they must now study through remote-based learning, even if they are part of a tech-savvy generation. The pandemic forces students from around the world into virtual classrooms. […]

5 Ways to Prevent Cheating in Online Assessment

student who might be cheating on an exam

With the majority of Fall 2020’s academic term being conducted online, much discussion is taking place around academic integrity and the best ways to prevent students from cheating when assessing remotely. As an instructor, it is important to recognize that cheating will never be absolutely preventable. It is a well-documented fact that as we evolve assessment methods, […]

Teaching practices for your virtual classroom

woman in front of computer frustrated

Many in-person courses are now moving to virtual learning environments. Virtual learning has the same goal as face-to-face learning and that goal is to get students to engage with the material and interact with you, classmates and the subject matter. Something that will never change is the fact that instructors are what makes virtual courses […]

Using a rubric in Crowdmark

Educator typing on a laptop

Facilitators can create rubrics in advance of grading by creating shared comments with points in the Comment library. When a comment is shared, it will appear in the Comment libraries and comment suggestions of all Graders and Facilitators on the team. Team members can then drag and drop the comments onto student work to apply […]

How I use Crowdmark outside of STEM

teacher at chalkboard writing

This January I had the opportunity to develop and teach a course in applied social media at Centennial College’s Bachelor of Public Relations Management program. The notion of crafting, and teaching to, a fresh curriculum was daunting at first, but I had the support of both wonderful colleagues and Crowdmark. Throughout the course students were […]

How do you use Crowdmark?

group of students at a desk using Crowdmark software

Students and instructors are using the Crowdmark platform to improve their learning and grading in all kinds of interesting ways. Many students are eschewing paper, instead using Crowdmark to create digital portfolios of their work. Why waste paper writing up an assignment when you can work out your solutions on a whiteboard, take a photo […]

Check in early and often: Set students up for success

teacher at chalkboard writing

An overarching criticism of student evaluations of teaching (SET) is they are often a measure of student satisfaction rather than learning outcomes. There are myriad other criticisms. Evaluations are regularly completed at the end of the course, so professors have little opportunity to adjust their instruction, the feedback is often more negative for women and […]

The Art of Multiple Choice

person doing multiple choice test

Multiple choice has a mixed reputation. Some educators swear by multiple choice as an efficient way to design, administer and grade assessments targeting student comprehension of core concepts. Other educators critique it for the same reasons, emphasizing its overuse in assessments and the lack of formative feedback provided to students. Fortunately, there are ways to […]

Managing ePortfolios

teacher at chalkboard writing

People regularly organize myriad aspects of their lives—careers, projects, and finances—into portfolios for easy reference and reflection. It is a valuable habit and one that educators are introducing to students at an early stage through ePortfolios. An ePortfolio is a cloud-based repository and assessment tool where students—in any academic discipline—may upload and organize course assignments […]

New feature: Comment library

teacher at chalkboard writing

The comment library Comments are an invaluable tool to provide personalized feedback when grading assessments. We’ve made the process of leaving comments more efficient and added a library feature to keep your collection of comments organized. Facilitators can now edit comments in bulk and create comments for team use. Frequently used comments We’ve updated the […]

New feature: Distance education and accessibility support

Crowdmark, in partnership with OCE, the University of Waterloo and the University of Guelph, designed and launched a new feature to support distance education and accessibility services. Distance education students and co-op students who are living and working away from campus have to write exams too. Until now, this required extra planning and logistics to print […]

Classroom tickets: A way to motivate preparedness?

teacher at chalkboard writing

Want students to arrive in each class prepared and ready to engage with the material? Consider charging a ticket—a brief academic prompt—for admission. In order to enter or exit the classroom, a growing number of instructors are having have students submit a brief response relating to the course readings or information presented in lecture. These […]

Improving grading efficiency with Crowdmark

teacher at chalkboard writing

Andrew Eberhard, a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Business and Economics, is responsible for teaching and grading thousands of undergraduate students each year. While Andrew has a genuine passion for teaching—earning five awards of excellence since 2011—he quickly found grading to be a logistical nightmare. When preparing to grade an […]

Preemptive Assessment

woman thinking and doing preemptive assessment

Few instructors have ever taught a course in which all students enter sharing a uniform level of knowledge, theory, and skill. Even when factoring in filters such as year levels and course prerequisites, students will enter courses with a broad range of subject matter comprehension. Unfortunately, instructors are often unaware of these gaps until the […]

Wrap up your assessments

What is often the first thing students do when receiving a freshly evaluated assessment? They flip through the booklet—pages brimming with a wealth of feedback—only to land on the final page for their grade. This is all too often the extent to which students will interact with the returned assessment, much to the chagrin of […]

Motivate students with data and feedback

A recent study by the Michigan School of Information, in collaboration with Blackboard, sought to determine whether providing students with personal performance data and motivational feedback at specific times throughout the semester will improve study habits and GPAs. To test this hypothesis, 47 student volunteers were enrolled in a simulated classroom environment and divided into […]

Introducing Parallel Evaluations

woman at computer with lightbulb

Multiple evaluations left on student work Instructors who use Crowdmark have requested improved ways to collaboratively grade. Our new feature, Parallel Evaluations, allows Facilitators to compare and extend evaluations left by Graders. We will soon update the grading interface to make ownership and tracking of feedback more transparent. These changes enable instructors to get new […]

Taking a student-centered approach to data

teacher at chalkboard writing

Younger students in higher education have grown up in a world of personalized two-way communication through social media. In exchange for their personal data, platforms like LinkedIn provides students with tailored information on internships, Facebook suggests them curated friends and events, and Twitter provides curated news. According to a recent Ellucian survey, some students are […]

Watson: It’s elementary and higher ed

teacher at chalkboard writing

Photo courtesy of IBM Watson IBM is partnering with Blackboard and Pearson to bring its Watson technology to K-12 and higher education. While products from the partnership will not be widely available until 2018, the technology is expected to focus on improving student learning and graduation rates. Many expect IBM to accelerate the digital transformation of […]

EQAO moves forward with online OSSLT despite cyberattack

teacher at chalkboard writing

A cyberattack compromised the online pilot of a province-wide standardized test in Ontario on October 20, 2016. Originally thought to be the result of rampant technical and server issues, many students were unable to access the assessment which was eventually cancelled later that day by the administering Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Over 190,000 […]

World university rankings: Measurements of teaching or research?

teacher at chalkboard writing

Reputation is an invaluable asset which colleges and universities use to recruit the best and brightest students from across the world. University rankings explicitly or implicitly influence the decisions prospective students—and their parents—make in choosing where to study. One of the most important components of global rankings is teaching; an element which is under increased […]

Are your students reading? Use multiple choice

student taking multiple choice exams

Multiple Choice. The mere mention of this form of evaluation causes: A) students to shudder; B) professors to lament; C) graders to experience relief; or E) all of the above. Multiple choice is by no means a perfect tool for evaluation. It is a narrow tool for measuring facts rather than the application of ideas. […]

Want to improve your teaching? Become a student again

teacher at chalkboard writing

Photo courtesy of KMo Foto Looking for ways to teach more effectively? Try walking a mile in your students’ shoes. A growing trend amongst professors and teaching assistants is completing their own assignments before or alongside their students in order refresh their pedagogical framework and better engage their students. A common critique of post-secondary assignments is […]

Establishing best practices for grading writing in the UK

student studying at a desk in front of a computer

It’s no secret that the majority of educators regard grading as a tedium. While few argue against the merits grading has in fostering student knowledge, many educators find it difficult to balance their teaching and research duties while providing adequate feedback to hundreds of written assignments. In the UK for example, recent surveys find over […]

Assessment analytics overview

Paper with a graph showing a trend over time and a magnifying glass

The Crowdmark grading workflow generates a deluge of data owned by our university customers. Each question posed to a student by an instructor in a course, the student’s response, together with the associated scores, annotations and text comments left by the grading team are all captured and archived for detailed analysis. Our team is developing […]

Educational priorities of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

teacher at chalkboard writing

During his keynote speech at the ASU+GSV Summit, Bill Gates outlined the three educational platforms his foundation will be prioritizing to best serve the current and future generation of American students. The latest high school graduate rates in America are at 81%–the highest levels in over 6 years—and are expected to reach 90% by 2020. […]

Benefit of graduate student instructors

teacher at chalkboard writing

Photo courtesy of University of the Fraser Valley A recent study by researchers at Stanford and Harvard University has found that first-year courses taught by graduate students result in significant benefits for both undergraduates and the graduate instructors. To determine the value of graduate-student led courses, a longitudinal study of public universities in Ohio tracked the […]

Digitizing student transcripts

teacher at chalkboard writing

Conventional college transcripts are similar to resumes providing evidence of enrollment and grades. However, outside of the awarded degree, they are unable to provide tangible evidence of knowledge, skills, and experience. This may change soon through the Comprehensive Student Record Project. If successful, the conventional college transcript may become more similar to a LinkedIn profile. […]

Standardized testing in Ontario universities

teacher at chalkboard writing

This fall, several Ontario colleges and universities will be administering entrance exams that will assess the literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills of incoming students. Upon graduation, members of this fall 2016 cohort will take the assessment again to determine whether post-secondary institutions are preparing students with the skills and competencies required for the workforce. If […]

The rise and fall of the Common Core

teacher at chalkboard writing

The introduction of the Every Child Succeeds Act (ECSA) on December 10, 2015 effectively signified the end of the Common Core standards in the United States. Introduced as a common academic benchmark for English and mathematics in K-12 education, the Common Core standards garnered bipartisan political support and were adopted by 45 states. This initial […]

Introducing Exam Matcher

We’re thrilled to announce our new Exam Matcher app is now available in the App Store and Google Play. Search for a student. Scan their QR code. The Exam Matcher app enables professors and exam proctors to match students to their papers during an exam. The benefits are twofold; the matching step is performed before […]

Aiming for higher standards with AzMERIT

students in class taking exams

The unofficial results from Arizona’s first administration of the AzMERIT standardized test show that most students scored below proficient in English language arts and math. However, these low score results are not evidence that the AzMERIT is ineffective; rather, they demonstrate that the previous assessment, AIMS, set the bar too low. In 2010, Arizona adopted […]

Crowdmark supports two stage exams

woman behind laptop grading papers and happy

 Interface for matching two stage exams Crowdmark is a collaborative online grading and analytics platform. Until now collaboration has been focused on facilitators and graders who use the platform to grade student work. With the launch of support for two stage exams, we have extended assessment collaboration to include students. This most recent product improvement […]

Teach less, learn more in Singapore

Singapore’s education system may produce students who lead in reading, mathematics, and science, but they receive failing grades when it comes to innovation. In order to remedy this Singapore’s Ministry of Education implemented the “Teach Less, Learn More” policy in 2006 to alleviate some academic pressure and produce more well-rounded students. While Singapore’s education policy […]

New York’s proposed teacher evaluation has the wrong criteria

teacher at chalkboard writing

Photo courtesy of Ivan T New York’s proposed reform on teacher evaluation policies is heading in the opposite direction of other states’. The legislation, which was approved in March and has until June 30 to be approved, will have the student performance on standardized tests account for one half of teacher evaluations. The effects of this […]

The panopticon of predictive analysis

teacher at chalkboard writing

There is no question that we live in a world of big data. As users of social media, every comment we publish, connection we establish, locations we check into, and pages we visit are mined to present us with tailor-made advertisements. As consumers, every purchase made with a credit card is analyzed to determine spending […]

Boys more likely than girls to underperform academically

teacher with young students in a classroom

A recent study by the OECD found that across 30 countries 14% of boys and 9% of girls did not meet baseline-levels of proficiency in mathematics, science, and literacy. These findings are very troubling due to the emphasis of post-secondary credentials in many industries and the impact that education has on the economic and social […]

University of Maryland punts on athletics reform

teacher at chalkboard writing

Photo by Daniel Hartwig Football scandals have, for better or worse, become part of the new normal on large college campuses: sexual abuse at Penn State, brain damage at Michigan, and cheating at UNC. In response, the University of Maryland has tried to combat a bad image in two ways: first, by offering “lifetime scholarships” to its student athletes, rather than limiting the life […]

What’s the point of assessment, anyway?

students taking a test in a classroom

As we reach the end of the first month of school, many students are facing their first test of the year. This can be nerve-wracking: a new set of instructor expectations, unfamiliar material, and potentially high stakes. All of this raises a question: what’s the point of assessment, anyway? The rhetoric around standardized testing would have you believe that there […]

Following the leader?

teacher at chalkboard writing

By now you’ve probably heard of William Deresiewicz, the controversial former Yale professor whose new book, Excellent Sheep, has been making the usual promotional rounds. Before you ask: no, I haven’t read it (it was only released last week). I am going to do what I always tell my students not to do, which is criticize it anyway. As I understand it, the […]

Computers in the classroom are here to stay

teacher at chalkboard writing

Photo by Wikimedia / original article Advances in technology are generally seen as a good thing in our society. Remember the adding machine? Remember the calculator? For the most part, these tools have moved aside for newer models (such as the smartphone). But there are still a few last frontiers where technology is seen as, at […]

We don’t need no educators

teacher at chalkboard writing

Photo courtesy of Roger Blackwell In Ontario this past week, the big news was the election of a Liberal majority to Parliament. This led to a wide-ranging debate on various campaign promises, including the promises about (de)funding higher education. Ontario’s situation mirrors that of many US states, the UK, and Australia: per-capita spending per student is doing down, tuition […]

Assessing assignments: Essays, papers, and other works

assignment with a burger on the cover graded with a+

Every year at about this time, I start drawing up syllabi for new classes. (It sounds early, I know, but because our textbook orders are due in mid-July, it’s more efficient for planning.) And each year, I’m seduced by the possibility of what we can call the non-traditional assessment — something like the diorama approach, […]

Students in the UK find that their educational experience does not meet expectations

teacher at chalkboard writing

A survey of over 15,000 UK undergraduates found that the majority of students attending universities in England were unsatisfied with the value of the degree. This is an abrupt departure from earlier measures of satisfaction (undertaken in 2012) and contrasts with the judgment of students in Scotland, where university is free for many students. Over […]

Crowdmark named “Most Innovative” at SIIA Conference

teacher at chalkboard writing

Crowdmark was recently named the “Most Innovative Product” at the SIIA awards in San Francisco. Our collaborative online grading platform was chosen among 50 applicants by both industry leaders and educators in classrooms across the country. “Crowdmark is very pleased to have been chosen as Most Innovative by the attendees at the SIIA Education Industry […]

Exams Returned Faster with Crowdmark

student getting exam marks back on phone

Physics Instructor Jason Harlow explains how exams can be returned to students faster using Crowdmark. “Last year, I had a big stack of tests that had to get passed around physically between eight TAs. They had to finish with that stack and then pass it to the next TA. It would take sometimes two weeks […]

Introducing freeform annotations and keyboard shortcuts

teacher at chalkboard writing

We’ve added two new features to boost and enrich your grading experience, with efficiency and better student feeback in mind. Freeform annotations Feedback is no longer limited to text comments. Check, circle, and write on exams to provide your student with rich, contextual feedback. It’s easy to draw and delete annotations as you go—one click […]

Crowdmark expands team with three key hires

teacher at chalkboard writing

Crowdmark announces the hiring of three new employees to our team: Jamie Gilgen, Murray Marven and Sandra O’Reilly. Feedback from early users improved our online collaborative grading platform and allowed Crowdmark to recently graduate from beta deployment. Jamie, Murray, Sandra and the rest of the Crowdmark team are advancing our solution to the assessment bottleneck plaguing the global education […]

Crowdmark to save teacher marking time and government dollars

teacher at chalkboard writing

Ed-tech start-up completes successful EQAO and Canadian Open Math Challenge pilots TORONTO, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ – Crowdmark Inc., a Canadian education technology start-up, is positioned to save cash-strapped Departments of Education millions by making massive-scale testing more efficient. Crowdmark has raised $600,000 in seed funding through the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program, MaRS Innovation and U […]

K-6 teacher testimonials validate Crowdmark

teacher at chalkboard writing

In May, we ran a successful Crowdmark EQAO marking pilot at Golf Road Junior Public School. Joseph Romano, who led the pilot at the school, wrote that Crowdmark cut teachers’ marking time in half and provided a smooth, easy-to-use interface to facilitate both individual and group marking from home. Through the demo, we received additional feedback […]