Academic Development and Quality Enhancement

Electronic Submission and Feedback

Electronic submission and feedback

The University of Sussex e-Submission and e-Feedback project is a three year initiative to establish processes for electronic submission of work by students and electronic marking and return of feedback by academic staff. The University uses Turnitin and GradeMark amongst the technical infrastructure used to support the project, further information on these is given below.

Further information on the policy can be found in the University's Electronic Assessment Policy [DOCX 51.24KB] or in the frequently asked questions below. Practical guidance on how to submit electronically and training on Turnitin and GradeMark are all provided by the Technology Enhanced Learning Office. You can find out more by visiting the e-submission and e-feedback section their website.

 Frequently asked questions for students

The following guidance deals with student questions about University policy. Practical guidance on how to submit electronically is provided by the Technology Enhanced Learning Office at: www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/submission.  

1. Will I need to submit my assessments electronically?

You will be required to electronically submit most text-based assessments such as essays and reports through your module pages in Study Direct. This applies to students in all stages of study on assessments that have been set up for e-Submission.

Where work is submitted electronically, academic staff will also mark electronically and your feedback will be accessible from Sussex Direct and Study Direct.

2. What are the benefits of e-submission and e-feedback?

The e-Submission and e-Feedback system was provided in 2014/15 for text based assessments at Level 4 taken by students in year 1. In 2015/16 text based assessments at Level 5 taken by students in year 2 were included. Student feedback has been very positive and demonstrates that there is high demand for electronic submission. There are a number benefits for students, including:

  • You will be able to submit assessments from any computer with an internet connection. You will not need to make a special trip to campus or queue at a School Office. 
  • You will be able to able to easily access high quality and timely feedback on your work.
  • You will not be required to print your work, and will therefore save time, money and contribute to the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

 

3. How do I know which assessments need to be submitted electronically?

Some assessments are not suitable for e-Submission, either because of their format or for technical or pedagogical reasons. You should therefore be aware that some assessments will need to be submitted electronically and others to your School Office.

You can find out how each of your assessments should be submitted by consulting Sussex Direct. The information published includes:

  • Submission point (i.e. shows whether submission is e-Submission via Study Direct, e-Submission Turnitin or to the School Office)
  • approved assessment mode(s) (whether the assessment is an essay, report etc)
  • weighting (how much the assessment contributes to the overall module mark)
  • word lengths
  • in person assessment duration
  • deadline (date and time)
4. How do I submit my work electronically?

The electronic submission process is straightforward and uses a simple document upload/submit interface in Study Direct.  Please refer to the Technology Enhanced Learning webpages for further guidance:  www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/submission

There are currently three types of e-submission. The type will be displayed next to your assessment deadline on the module e-submission page and will determine the technical requirements for your submission to be accepted by the system. Please refer to information from your tutor for specific instructions and details of the work being assessed. 

  • File required for Turnitin: a single text based document under 40mb can be submitted in a limited range of formats. Please refer to the following webpage for more information.
  • File(s) required: any type of file under 60mb can be submitted. For some assessments, it will be possible to submit multiple files. Please refer to the following webpage for more information.
  • Mahara portfolio required: a collection of digital content presented within an electronic portfolio to be created using Mahara, University of Sussex e-portfolio system.
5. What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is an electronic submission, marking and originality checking service, which is used by many universities to facilitate e-Submission and promote good academic practice. All text based work submitted as an e-Submission Turnitin assessment will be uploaded to the Turnitin database and stored there in perpetuity for the sole purpose of originality checking. An Originality Report will be produced and made available to the marker.

In addition, prior to submission, students can independently use the Turnitin facility as a developmental tool.  You should take care if you use other plagiarism checking websites as some websites retain your assessment and may offer it to another student for sale.

6. How will markers use the Turnitin Originality Report?

Turnitin will provide a percentage of content of the work matched to other sources within its database, known as the ‘Similarity Index’. However, a high Similarity Index is not automatically interpreted by markers as an indication of academic misconduct by the student. This is because Turnitin will match all text identified from the sources in its database regardless of whether or not it has been quoted or cited correctly, purely due to the fact that it has been identified as being unoriginal. Commonly used phrases, titles of publications, use of templates and group work may also be presented as unoriginal text.

Any decision to investigate a concern regarding academic misconduct is a matter of academic judgement after careful review of assessed work, using the Originality Report and Similarity Index as supporting indicators only.

7. What is GradeMark?

GradeMark is the marking tool which academic staff use to mark work that has been submitted as an e-Submission Turnitin assessment.

8. How many times can I submit work electronically?

You can submit work electronically as many times as you like up until the submission deadline. Each new submission will over-write the previous submission. Once the deadline passes the marking process begins and you cannot re-submit your work.

If the deadline has passed and you have not submitted, you may be able to submit up to seven days after the deadline. Sussex Direct will indicate where a late submission is permitted.  

Under the University’s regulations, work that is submitted up to 24 hours late incurs a penalty deduction of 5 percentage points (not 5% of the actual mark). Work submitted up to 7 days late incurs a penalty deduction of 10 percentage points (not 10% of the actual mark). No work can be submitted (electronically or in hard copy) more than 7 days after the deadline. No work can be resubmitted during the late submission period. This applies where a submission has been made by the deadline or during the late submission period. This is because the marking process has started.

9. What if I have an extended deadline as a reasonable adjustment?

All students registered with the Student Support Unit can submit during the published permissable lateness period, without penalty.  As for all students, no resubmission is permitted once a submissioin has been made by the deadline or during the late submission period.

If you have an extension to a deadline agreed as a reasonable adjustment for an assessment which is submitted electronically, then you will be able to submit electronically up until your individual extended deadline. If your individual extended deadline has passed and you have not submitted, you may be able to submit up to seven days after the extended deadline, without incurring a late penalty. The only circumstance in which you can submit a hard copy of an assessment that is designated for electronic submission is if this is agreed as part of your reasonable adjustment.

No work can be submitted (electronically or in hard copy) after the late submission period for any student.

If the Student Support Unit has assessed you as eligible for having dyslexia stickers, you should have been sent an electronic version to attach to your e-Submission.

10. What if IT or technical problems prevent me from submittting electronically?

You are responsible for ensuring assessed work is submitted on time. IT or technical problems are not valid as mitigating evidence for late or non-submission.

If system failure on the University side prevents students from submitting on time, then the University will ensure that students are not disadvantaged, for example by resetting the deadline. A notification will be published on Sussex Direct where this has been agreed.

11. What if I submit the wrong file?

When you submit a file, you are reminded to ensure you have selected the correct one. It is your responsibility to check carefully that you are submitting the correct file, in the correct format, by the deadline and to the correct submission point published on Sussex Direct.

If you do submit the wrong file and the deadline has not yet passed, then you may re-submit your file. 

If, however, the deadline has passed, you will not be able to re-submit either electronically or to the School Office, and the original file you submitted will be marked. This may result in a low or fail mark depending on what you have submitted. 

The University’s regulations give students opportunities to retrieve academic failure as set out in the frequently asked questions on examination and assessment.

12. How do I access my feedback?

You will access your feedback through your My Course and My Feedback pages. Further information is provided on the e-submission and e-feedback section of the Technology Enhanced Learning Team's website.

 Frequently asked questions for markers

Developments have been completed for 2016/17 to support assessments not suitable for marking in GradeMark. Some of these were previously set up via the Study Direct assignment tool.  This is intended to simplify the student experience and will enable submission data to be recorded and any late penalties to be applied. Marks and feedback will continue to be entered into Sussex Direct. 

There are currently three types of e-submission. The type will be displayed next to the student's assessment deadline on the module e-submission page and will determine the technical requirements for the submission to be accepted by the system. 

  • File required for Turnitin: a single text based document under 40mb can be submitted in a limited range of formats. Please refer to the following webpage for more information.
  • File(s) required: any type of file under 60mb can be submitted. For some assessments, it will be possible to submit multiple files. Please refer to the following webpage for more information.
  • Mahara portfolio required: a collection of digital content presented within an electronic portfolio to be created using Mahara, University of Sussex e-portfolio system.

The following guidance deals with frequently asked questions relating to University policy for academic staff involved in marking assessed work. Technical advice and training on Turnitin, GradeMark and other types of e-Submission are provided by the Technology Enhanced Learning Office at: www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/submission.

Please refer to the Examination and Assessment Regulations for more information on the marking and moderation process, Regulation 2.6. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/adqe/standards/examsandassessment

 

 

1. Does the introduction of e-Submission and e-Feedback change how I should approach identifying potential cases of academic misconduct?

No. Turnitin and GradeMark are tools to support e-Submission and e-Feedback and their introduction does not imply any change to the University’s regulations for academic misconduct, which are set out at section 2.9 of the Examination and Assessment Regulations Handbook. Members of staff may make use of electronic means to review assessments that are not submitted via Turnitin for academic misconduct, for example, a Google search. Alternatively, staff may type a section of an assessment into a document and submit it to Turnitin via the 'Turnitin site for faculty' page in Study Direct in order to produce an Originality Report.  It should be noted that Turnitin will not recognise text from images of scanned documents.

2. When reviewing the Similarity Index, is there a percentage threshold at which I should automatically refer assessed work for investigation under the academic misconduct procedure?

For Turnritin text based assessments, Turnitin will provide a percentage of content of the work matched to other sources within its database, known as the ‘Similarity Index’. However, a high Similarity Index is not automatically interpreted by markers as an indication of academic misconduct by the student. This is because Turnitin will match all text identified from the sources in its database regardless of whether or not it has been quoted or cited correctly, purely due to the fact that it has been identified as being unoriginal. Commonly used phrases, titles of publications, use of templates and group work may also be presented as unoriginal text.

Therefore, there is no percentage threshold at which assessed work should automatically be referred for investigation. Rather, the decision to refer a piece of work to the Investigating Officer remains a matter of academic judgement for the marker, under the oversight of the Module Convenor, based on careful review of the assessed work, with the Originality Report and Similarity Index used as tools to support the judgement. A number of examples are provided of cases where Turnitin have matched text based on similarity.  These are provided on the following webpages as guidance on how to interpret Turnitin Originality Reports:

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/submission/staff/turnitin/originality

 

3. Should markers read the Turnitin Report prior to marking or after they have marked the piece?

Both the student work and the Turnitin report appear simultaneously. There is no specified order in which markers should consider the work and the report.

4. Should I use the Turnitin facility to request assessments from other institutions?

The Turnitin database will identify where there is similarity between work submitted by a student of the University of Sussex and work submitted to Turnitin by a student from another institution. Turnitin includes a facility for markers to request a copy of such work from the institution concerned. The University also receives requests from other institutions to share work submitted by Sussex students. Turnitin includes a button for markers to request to see work from another institution.

As outlined above, identification of potential cases of academic misconduct is a matter of academic judgement. Any decision to refer work to an investigating officer should be made without reference to work submitted at other institutions. Therefore markers should not use the facility to request work or independently contact other institutions or share students’ work with other institutions. Any student work obtained from other institutions through this method may not be deemed admissible evidence by misconduct panels. In the majority of cases where Turnitin indicates a text match to a student at another institution it is because both students have used text from the same published source. Therefore, the evidence for a misconduct case could be based on the text drawn from the shared source, rather than being based on the text shared with the other student.

5. How will marks checking work?

Schools are required to put in place appropriate arrangements to secure the standard of marking. This means that marks checking may be required for some modules, for example, modules with large numbers of students where more than one marker is used. Marks checking may involve double marking, second marking or another marks checking process as determined by the School. Guidance on electronic methods to support double marking in Turnitin is available on the following web pages:

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/submission/staff/turnitin/markschecking

School Offices will continue to have a role in co-ordinating the marks checking process.

 

6. How will moderation work?

Moderation is required on assessments at levels 5, 6, and 7. There is no formal requirement to moderate assessed work at level 4. Please refer to the FAQs on moderation for further details. 

7. Will students see annotations on scripts?

Yes. For text based assessments submitted via Turnitin, students’ feedback may consist of annotations on scripts as well as in-text and summary comments. For other types of e-Submissions students can access feedback via Sussex Direct or Study Direct.

8. What should I do where a word count has been exceeded?

The Examination and Assessment Regulations Handbook describes what markers should do in the event of students exceeding or not meeting word counts for assessed work. The introduction of e-Submission does not in principle change the University’s approach. The word count given by Turnitin should only be used as a rough guide as it is not calculated in accordance with the University regulations. 

For ease of reference, the relevant section of the Handbook is re-produced below:

Failure to observe limits of length

The maximum length for each assessment is publicised to students. The limits as stated include quotations in the text, but do not include the bibliography, footnotes/endnotes, appendices, abstracts, maps, illustrations, transcriptions of linguistic data, or tabulations of numerical or linguistic data and their captions. Any excess in length should not confer an advantage over other students who have adhered to the guidance. Students are requested to state the word count on submission. Where a student has marginally (within 10%) exceeded the word length the Marker should penalise the work where the student would gain an unfair advantage by exceeding the word limit. In excessive cases (>10%) the Marker need only consider work up to the designated word count, and discount any excessive word length beyond that to ensure equity across the cohort. Where an assessment is submitted and falls significantly short (>10%) of the word length, the Marker must consider in assigning a mark, if the argument has been sufficiently developed and is sufficiently supported and not assign the full marks allocation where this is not the case.

9. How do I mark submissions from students who are eligible to use a dyslexia sticker?

The procedure for marking work with a yellow sticker is the same for e-Submission assessments as it is for assessments submitted to the School Office. For guidance on marking work with a yellow sticker please consult Regulations 2.6.7 in the Examination and Assessment Regulations Handbook 2016-17 [PDF 1.55MB].

A green coloured icon with a minus sign in the middle will be displayed next to a candidate number on the Study Direct e-submission marks pages.  This means that a student is registered with the Student Support Unit with a specific learning difficulty (dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD/ADHD). Some students who have a specific learning difficulty (generally those with a dyslexic profile) have been assessed with a phonological processing difficulty affecting spelling and grammar. Those students will have been given a digitized version of the yellow sticker which they can insert into the front page of a document for e-submission so that tutors can take these difficulties into account as per Regulation 2.6.7 (see above).

Students with a green icon but no yellow sticker should have their work marked in the usual way without any concessions.

Frequently asked questions for moderators (internal and external) 

The following guidance deals with frequently asked questions relating to University policy for those involved in moderating assessed work, both internal moderators and external examiners. Technical advice and training on Turnitin, GradeMark and other types of e-Submission are provided by the Technology Enhanced Learning Office at: www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/submission.

FAQs are also provided for External Examiners.  These cover a range of issues, including their role as external moderator. These are available at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/adqe/standards/externalexaminers/eefaqs

Please refer to the Examination and Assessment Regulations for more information on the marking and moderation process, Regulation 2.6. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/adqe/standards/examsandassessment

1. What is moderation?

Moderation is a process that is undertaken following the completion of the marking and marks checking process. It determines if the marking process has been conducted appropriately, in a fair and reliable manner, consistently in accordance with the approved marking criteria and assessment task. No marks or feedback may be changed as part of the moderation process.  

2. Which assessments need to be moderated?

Assessments on modules at Level 5, 6 and 7 need to be moderated if they are weighted at ˃30%.  In 2016/17 moderation will be conducted electronically on assessments at Levels 5, 6 and 7 which have been designated for e-submission.

3. How will I moderate work submitted electronically?

You will receive an email notification when moderation is required with instructions on what to do.  You should follow deadlines for the completion of moderation set by your School.

Technical advice and training resources on 'e-Submission Turnitin' and e-Submission via Study Direct assessments are provided by the Technology Enhanced Learning Office at: www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/submission.   

If you have any technical issues, then please contact ITS: support@its.sussex.ac.uk

4. What written work will I moderate?

As a moderator you will be provided with an automatically generated sample of student work.   The sample will represent 10% of the assessments (subject to a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 25) and all fails. The sample will represent all classification bands. Module assessments weighted at ≤30% will normally be excluded from moderation.

5. What is my role in reviewing the sample?

It is your responsibility to ensure that the outcome of the marking and moderation processes are appropriate.  Your decision should be based on the marks and feedback given in the sample of assessments reviewed for the cohort.  Statistical data and the register of marks to date on the module are also provided.

The sample should demonstrate that marking and feedback have been completed appropriately.  Evidence of a marks checking (second marking) process is not provided.  This is because you are reviewing the assessment outcomes, not how they were achieved or how marking disagreements were resolved.  

6. Can I change marks?

You are not permitted to change individual marks or feedback, act as an additional marker or decide on disagreed marks.   This is because you are not part of the marking team. You are the Moderator and are only reviewing a sample of students’ work. 

7. What should I do if I do not agree with the marking or feedback given?

If you have concerns about the marking or feedback given on the assessments in the sample and are unable to confirm that the sample is an appropriate outcome of the assessment process for the cohort, you should reject the sample. Please contact the School first if you have any concerns regarding the sample, before you reject it. Your comment must clarify  the nature of your concerns, for example, inappropriate feedback provided for first class marks or concern about the marking on a particular essay question.

If you are the internal moderator, this will result in a second sample being reviewed by a second moderator.  The School may conduct a full/partial remark for the cohort to address the problem identified prior to the second moderator reviewing a second sample. 

If you are the External Examiner, you may request a second sample for further scrutiny.  Any second sample requested will be provided in hard copy.  If you wish to reject the sample, you may determine whether all or part of the assessment is remarked, for example, the first class band or a particular examination question. University policy states that this will apply to the whole cohort.  

8. What should I do if I suspect a case of academic misconduct in the sample of assessments for moderation?

This should not be a reason to reject the sample.  Instead moderation should be completed and the individual assessment referred for consideration of academic misconduct in the usual way.

9. What will happen if I do not complete internal moderation within 15 term time working days?

In some circumstances it may not be possible to meet the 15 term time working day deadline, for example, where a second moderator is asked to review a second sample.  In these circumstances students should be advised of a second date when marks are expected to be published and whether or not unmoderated marks will be published.  Marks are always subject to ratification by the examination board.  Marks will be published, along with module results, on the designated publication date for assessments scheduled in the assessment period (usually 15 term-time working days for A1, after the PAB for A2 and A3).