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EMA update: 2018/19 milestone year for online assessment


The 2018/19 academic year marks an important milestone in the achievement of our long-term vision for online assessment, as the majority of schools begin the move to increased electronic submission, marking and feedback.  

Over the last 6 months (with some continuing into September), workshops have been held to agree the most appropriate electronic submission routes, processes, and support for each school. This takes into account learning from two Early Adopter Schools (SAGES and SAPD) who adopted online assessment over the previous year.

A wide range of supporting activities have taken place over the last year, including a symposium bringing together colleagues from across the University to share experiences of electronic assessment in May. Training and support sessions will continue to be provided throughout autumn by the CQSD TEL team for Academic and Professional staff. New training materials have been created and a map of where to find supporting online resources will be available shortly.

Following on from the inclusion of Undergraduate sub-modular marks in RISIS and additional reporting, autumn 18 – spring 19 will see the inclusion of sub-modular marks for Post Graduate Taught and Foundation programmes. Having all of this information held centrally enables increased reporting capabilities, and work has commenced to provide additional analytical, dashboard-style views for Spring 19.

Building further on the online management of sub-modular marks, it is hoped that automation to pass key information between RISIS and Blackboard will be achieved in early 2019, reducing processing effort. This is a complex piece of work, which is currently in a design stage.

A wide range of benefits are anticipated as a result of managing assessment electronically, whilst recognising that everyone’s specific experience will be different. A full range of benefits is available on the EMA Website. Overall, it will:

  • enable a consistently good student assessment experience, not just in terms of delivering a more efficient process, but one that brings significant pedagogical benefits promoting effective student learning.
  • provide an improved and supported assessment experience for staff, with a particular focus on increased consistency, availability of information and effective use of staff time.
  • reduce the administrative burden of assessment for the University, with a particular focus on the provision of technical solutions to ease staff workloads.

The Programme continues to work collaboratively with key groups including TEL, ADE, Support Centres and Programme Administrators, RUSU, IT, MCE and a range of communities of practice across the University. A significant amount of work has been undertaken by all and the positivity and flexibility which has been shown whilst adapting to these changes is appreciated.

 Further information and regular updates can be found on the EMA website.

If you have any questions or comments please contact or the EMA Academic Director, Emma Mayhew, at

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