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Timely, rich, and consistent assessment feedback at McGill with Crowdmark

Timely. Rich. Consistent. These were words that came to mind for Dr. Laura Pavelka, Faculty Lecturer at McGill’s Department of Chemistry, when asked about the impact that Crowdmark had on the feedback her students were receiving.

Dr. Pavelka first started using Crowdmark in 2015 to help manage her large, administratively unwieldy chemistry classes. Having taught to students in classes with as many as 700 students enrolled, she quickly found that it helped “remove a lot of the administrative burden”.

With this added freedom, she was able to assign different teaching assistants to different questions, enabling them to spend more time giving richer, more individualized feedback. Combined with quicker turnaround times, she also found that students “would actually read their feedback!”, leading them to ask more informed questions because they were engaging more closely not only with teaching members, but with the course material itself. Students could see exactly where their learning gaps were, helping them connect more with their studies as they could more clearly discern where they needed to focus their attention.

This impact on student learning may also be a product of the increased level of consistency in the feedback that Crowdmark enables students to get:

“It’s very consistent throughout since you can have one question per teaching assistant. This is especially so in cases involving deductions, as you can change (point allocations) for everyone with one click. It’s fantastic! I know exactly who graded every question as an added bonus.”

When asked about her overall impression of Crowdmark as a teaching and learning tool, she stated that:

“Crowdmark has really enabled us to do more with our exams. We were pretty tied to multiple choice and minimal writing content. Crowdmark has allowed us to expand our offerings. It’s been the number one tool that I’ve been able to go with. If I had to grade everything on paper it would not be feasible.”

Dr. Pavelka was interviewed by Lawrence Williams, Customer Success Manager, Crowdmark.

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