Drever, MF & Armstrong, B 2000, ‘An electronic feedback tool for distance education students called ‘‘MarkIt’’, in R Sims, M O'Reilly, S Sawkins (eds), Proceedings of Learning to choose - choosing to learn: 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiarty Education (ASCILITE), Coffs Harbour, NSW, Southern Cross University Press, Lismore, NSW, pp. 467-476. ISBN: 1863844708
This paper examines the characteristics of ‘MarkIt’, a PC-based application that provides feedback on assessment items. The application has been prototyped over the past 3 years. The initial impetus for its development was the need to mark a large number of assignments submitted by students studying in distance education mode, and the need to coordinate and standardise the marking of several markers in one subject. The resultant software package incorporates features that provide students with information on the performance of their peers, plus the capacity for markers to enter detailed and consistent feedback at all stages of the marking process. A survey of students who received feedback from MarkIt showed a high level of support for its features and the level of comment on individual assessments (Armstrong, Cook, 1995; Armstrong, Cimino & Dingsdag, 1998). The need for effective feedback has been recognised by Rowntree (1987) who states that feedback is '…intentional and of the essence' and Ramsden (1992) who found students become angry if they do not receive an appropriate level of feedback. Research is currently being undertaken to assess the learning outcomes of subjects assessed with MarkIt and perceptions of students in units (subjects) that are using the current version of MarkIt to provide feedback on assessments. Key features of the system permit generation of e-mail feedback, use of key feedback comments across different units, and retention of feedback on each student’s assessment. Modules under development include marks allocation, and a web-based query interface.