Not particularly challenging, and it's not meant to be, it's mainly a handshaking exercise to make sure registration on the VLE has been completed and communications channels are open. We ask them to send some feedback on the exercise in the body of their email submission:
- What I liked about this assessment was...
- What I didn't like about this assessment was...
- This assessment could be improved by...
Should we abandon an email assessment altogether, assume universality, and replace this exercise with a more challenging handshake? Although 95% of the students found the exercise trivial, 5% had difficulty and I suspect more than that learned something. Several also commented that this, their first assessment in higher education, was confidence building. With some regret, I feel that this exercise has to stay, but be more focused on what they perceive HE is all about. So here's what I'm planning for next year, and I'd welcome your input.
Students will receive an email with an attachment instructing them to:
- Write a reflective essay (hey, essay's are what HE is all about, right?) entitled: "How should the University of Leicester use learning technologies in science degrees?"
- Maximum of 400 words.
- Submit the essay as an email attachment.
- All submissions will be checked for plagiarism by Turnitin
- Marks will be awarded as follows:
- Receipt of an email with an appropriate subject line containing your essay as an attachment: 10%
- Range of technologies discussed: 30%
- Personal experiences and opinions: 30%
- Quality of writing (including clarity of expression, spelling, grammar, etc): 30%