'E-assessment' is the over-arching term for the use of technology in any form of assessment. It may be formative or summative, it may be teacher, peer or self-assessed - what makes it 'e' is the use of technology.

Common examples of e-assessment are: e-submission and e-marking of assignments; online quizzes and tests; blogs or e-portfolios used for assessment.

'Electronic Management of Assessment' - EMA - refers to "the way in which technology is used across the assessment life cycle to support the electronic submission of assignments, as well as marking and feedback."

It involves "management of a complex set of business processes, such as assessment scheduling; submission of assignments; tracking of submissions; extension requests and approvals; academic integrity; marks recording; moderation and external examining."


Assessment Lifecycle


 (JISC, 2016)

EMA can provide both pedagogic benefits and administrative efficiencies. It can help staff deliver more immediate and effective feedback to students and can support efficiency in the moderation of marks. It offers students convenience and accessibility, as well as improved clarity of feedback. A summary of benefits is available in JISC's Guide on Electronic Management of Assessment

E-assessment and EMA at the University of Reading

The University's vision for e-submission, e-grading and e-feedback; is that 'All summative coursework will be submitted, marked and graded electronically in line with a consistent University experience. Feedback on coursework will also be given to students electronically".

Progress has been made towards this vision:

  • The Project for E-Assessment at Reading (PEAR) established institutional expectations for the first phase
  • The TEL team expanded the range of technologies to support and enable e-assessment (Blackboard Assignment Inline Grading and Turnitin Feedback Studio)
  • The TEL team created and continue to deliver professional development and training in support of e-assessment, with high engagement from staff from across the institution
  • All UG and PGT students, where appropriate, now submit summative coursework electronically.
  • Schools or individuals are not required to undertake e-marking or e-feedback but many are already developing their practice in this area.

Building on this foundation the Electronic Management of Assessment Programme (EMA) will deliver the vision for e-assessment within a broader framework that incorporates all aspects of the end-to-end management of assessment. It will encompass policy, practice, process and technology to deliver a consistent University approach to e-assessment.

Information about EMA is available on the EMA

Support and key information

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