Tools Report - Generic Tools


Generic Office tools which can support working with essay-type assignments

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Generic software has the advantage that staff and students often already know how to use them and have them available. All institutions provide access to generic office software to staff and to on-campus students. Off-campus students and students who choose to work off-campus, typically have access to generic office software.

Generic software has a number of limitations for the marking and management of assignments. These include a lack of specific functions that have been designed using assessment theory. This means that the markers need to customise the software. Markers therefore need to be particularly familiar with the assessment theories as the tools themselves provide no guidance. Further, the inherently time consuming activity of formative assessment is liable to restrict commenting and interaction with co-markers. Quality of marking and opportunities for teaching and learning may suffer as a result.

Open Source products are available that have similar features to the commercial products listed below. They may provide a cheaper option.