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EMA Programme: progress highlights and next steps

EMA programme update

The Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) Programme has made good progress this academic year, following the project’s launch in March 2017.  

The EMA Programme has three core objectives:

  1. To enable a consistently good student assessment experience
  2. To provide an improved and supported assessment experience for staff
  3. To reduce the administrative burden of assessment for the University

To deliver a consistent staff and student experience, EMA will support the continued move towards online submission, marking and feedback of assessed work; the underlying integration between Blackboard and RISIS, the availability and management of assessment marks (or ‘sub modular marks’) on RISIS; the creation of a feedback dashboard to support both staff and students; and, support further developments in our approach towards learning analytics.

Progress highlights

  • Marks available through new RISIS screens: students and personal tutors will be able to see assessment marks as they become available throughout 2017/18 in new RISIS screens. The Core Systems work stream has focused on preparing RISIS to store and manage sub modular marks for all undergraduate modules this autumn. A significant amount of work has been undertaken to collate and prepare data to ensure all undergraduate modules information is correct and loaded into RISIS. Preparations will continue over the summer and training will be available for Support Centre staff to ensure processes work as smoothly as possible.
  • SAGES and SAPD to become early adopters: two schools – the Schools of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Sciences (SAGES) and the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD) – will become Early Adopter schools for the 2017/18 academic year. Both schools are working closely with the Electronic Submission, Grading and Feedback (eSFG) work stream and TEL teams to update processes, systems and support methods. 
  • Troubleshooting for IoE and Henley: in parallel to the above, several special projects will aim to resolve complex eSFG issues, starting with the Institute of Education (IoE) and Henley Business School. There will be opportunities for other schools to contribute to these special projects over the course of the next academic year. This stage will also help inform the team for full eSFG roll out across campus from 2018/19 (barring exceptions). 
  • Learning Analytics project nears completion: the initial consultation phase of the Learning Analytics exploratory project is nearing completion and the University’s ongoing strategy in this area is now being carefully considered. A decision on how to proceed in this area is expected in the autumn.

Along with the highlights above the EMA team continue to explore additional project areas, including dashboard data requirements, the production of online resources, business change support and training development.

Professor Gavin Brooks, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, said:

“I would like to thank all colleagues who have contributed towards the development and initial stages of the EMA Programme, in workshops, consultations, events or by applying to be more actively involved in the project work. Ongoing consultation with all parts of the organisation is critical to the success of the Programme and we will be continuing to seek your engagement as we move forward.”

Please see the EMA Programme website for further information. For enquiries, please contact Emma Mayhew (EMA Academic Director) or ema@reading.ac.uk

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