The lecturer can use Word to write the essay task description; scoring rubric; general feedback; add comments on essays and students may use it to write their assignment. An important feature for assessment is the provision of adding comments to assignments. One method is to use text of a different colour to the student text. This will highlight the markers comments. An easier way is to use the track changes and comments functions. The comments function allows the use of audio files.
User friendly in that comments can be placed beneath essay text and linked by highlighting relevant passages. Track changes and comments functions allow comments to appear adjacent to reference points aiding clarity for reader. The comments function allows the use of audio as well as text.
The format of the submitted student file is changed when using these systems so it is possible to inadvertently change some of the students work. As this system is closely linked to the assignment structure it is not possible to highlight outside it in order to make higher level comments. Audio comments can make file sizes large. Staff and students who use Word will have to buy a licence although many organisations will already have licences.
Commercial sofware suppliers. Software licence required. Guidance on using MS-Word mark-up tools is available at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/CH063555981033.aspx