Action Plan

Start of Course Planning timeline
Define Assignment Process
Identify what tools are available at your institution For the standard tools this will be obvious.
For more specialised tools you might have to ask around. Your institution might have access already or might be willing to support your request.
Identify and attend training opportunities Your institution might offer courses.
You will be able to find some material online.
Seek contact with colleagues who have used tools Ask around your colleagues, they might be willing to explore the same issues.
Staff in the e-learning support section of your institution might be able to put you in contact with others.
Experiment with the tools Always try out all features you might want to use, best in the context of your own situation, e.g., by re-marking a previous assignment. The e-learning support team at your institution might be able to setup a trial course for you in the LMS.
Use a trial course and pretend students to follow through the whole process, both from the marker and the student perspective.
Arrange access to tools for your students You might have to apply in your institution to have an LMS component setup for your course.
Plan your approach to using tools for your assignment considering all phases of the assignment process Do assignments have to be submitted in certain document formats so you can use your selected tools for marking?
Is there anything specific about your discipline which could have a flow-on effect on tool selection (e.g., do you need to deal with mathematical formulas or computer programs?).
How will you work with markers? Will they have access to the tools required?
Identify what information you need to communicate to students What level of computer access is required?Does this level match the classification of your course as web-supported, web-enhanced or web-based?
Do you students need specific tools or skills?
Will the process require any involvement besides submitting a solution?
Will the students need to look for team members?
What information do you need to give students regarding mechanisms for submission, release of results and communication?
Finalise Assignment Details
By now you have informed the students about the assignment parameters like submission format and mechanisms. It is now time to refine the actual task description.
Fully formulate the assignment task Describe the assignment task in detail.
Summarise all the assignment parameters so students have all information together in one place.
Work out a sample solution This helps you to determine if the assignment task is targeted at the right level.
It assists you in working out the marking rubric.
You'll have it ready for release after the submission deadline.
Prepare a marking rubric Possibly prepare two versions. One version for release to the students together with the assignment task. Another more detailed version that contains references to the sample solution and potential feedback comments to be used for marking.
Setup a communication mechanism This could be a discussion forum in the LMS to be used by students before the submission deadline.
For group assignments, work out mechanisms for selection of team members If you are using tools for this you will have to set these up.
You might want to use a discussion forum in the LMS to allow students to look for team members.
You might want to define a mechanism by which you can monitor the composition of groups.
Prepare Marking
By now you will have released the full task description together with all assignment parameters and possibly a marking rubric.
Monitor the communication You need to monitor the discussion on the assignment and provide additional or correcting information.
Preparation of markers Sometime before the final submission deadline you might want to discuss the marking procedures and tool use with your marking team.
Depending on which tools you use for submission you might want to use some early submitted assignments to check for agreement between your markers (depending on settings for your assignment your LMS might restrict download of assignments before the due date).
You might want to setup a communication mechanism for the marking team.
Dealing with incoming assignments If you have chosen to receive assignments via email you will need to save these assignments as they come in and you might want to record submission times.
If you use the assignment tool of your LMS you might want to occasionally verify that assignments are being submitted,otherwise you do not need to do anything.
Mark Assignments
All assignments are now submitted and the marking can start.
Release of sample solution You might want to release a sample solution to the class.
Preparing access to the assignments If assignments are arriving by email you will have stored them already in one dedicated place.
If you use the assignment tool of your LMS you will need to download the assignments.
If you work with markers you need to assign assignments to markers.
Marking You use the tools and mechanisms selected for providing feedback.
If working with markers you conduct your steps of monitoring markers and ensuring marking quality
If you mark by yourself you should guard against marker drift by revisiting assignments marks early on.
Overall evaluation Looking across all assignments you can identify general strength and weaknesses and prepare material for further teaching accordingly.
You might want to calculate some simple statistics for the assignment or look at the statistics the LMS has prepared for you.
Storing of marks You need to store all the marks for future reference and for import into your institution's result processing system. Depending on the tools you have chosen you might be able to simply export the marks in the required format.
Communicate with Students on Marking Results
The marking results have now been released via the mechanism announced to the students earlier on.
Communication with students Students will approach you with questions about the marking of their individual assignments. Access to the electronic copies of the marked assignments will help you in responding to these questions.
You might want to use the general communication tools of the LMS for communication on a class level.
Review Assignments Process
The course is finished for the students.
Reviewing of the assignment material Marked assignments can be a valuable resource for future teaching. You could analyse the assignment task, marking rubric, marking comments and student work to extract material for future use.
Reviewing the tool use and the marking process You should analyse how well the tools chosen have supported you and your marking team and how suitable the processes employed have been.
Storing marked assignments for future access You should make sure that you have stored the marked assignments in a form that guarantees future
Release of Official Course Documentation
Announcement of Assignment Task
Assignment Submission Deadline
Release of Marking Results
End of Course
End of Course Review