29 August 2018

Revisely helps teachers reduce their teaching load

Sietse Overbeek has substantially reduced his teaching load for his Master’s course Method Engineering by using Revisely. As a result, the compulsory course for the Master’s programme Business Informatics (MBI), in which students work on their individual assignments, is ready for growth in student enrolments. Can using Revisely help you too, to find the balance between teaching load and high student numbers?

”An easy tool” say both students and Sietse
Students can give feedback on one another’s work

What is Revisely?

“Revisely is an online tool for evaluating written assignments. The program supports the full process: from posting the assignment, checking for plagiarism, providing feedback, to monitoring the submission and grading process. Students can also give feedback on one another’s work, and even evaluate other assignments. That way, the lecturer can come to a more accurate and less time-consuming evaluation of the assignment.”

Why did you decide to learn more about Revisely?

Sietse explains that the number of students enrolling in Method Engineering has increased from around 40 when the course was first offered some years ago, to more than 80 today. That caused a dramatic increase in the teaching load for the lecturers and student assistants. “In addition to reducing the teaching load, it is also vital that our students have courses with individual assignments in addition to group assignments. We wanted to keep that element of Method Engineering, because it contributes to achieving the learning goals and it is good for the students’ future career paths.”

How did you achieve your goals?

“I entered modelling assignments for my students in Revisely. In addition to completing the modelling assignments, all of the students also provide feedback on the work of three other students. That way, the students not only learn from each other, but also learn how to give feedback, how to evaluate a text, and how to justify their evaluation. In doing so, we actually give the students two extra assignments for the course. That was good for the course study load, because there was some room to add more assignments. A great added benefit of working this way.”

The biggest investment of time was drawing up criteria

More efficient organisation

With regard to evaluating assignments and efficiency, Sietse says: “In the old course structure, we spent a lot of time grading the assignments. Now the students evaluate each other’s assignments based on instructions I’ve provided. Then three student assistants conduct peer reviews of each written assignment. After that, I evaluated the difficult cases and I studied the commentary by the student assistants and the assignments with significantly different student evaluations. So from the lecturer’s perspective, the Method Engineering course is organised much more efficiently.”
“Naturally, the lecturer posts the assignments and the feedback evaluation criteria in the system him- or herself. The biggest investment of time I made for the proper use of Revisely was in drawing up those criteria. To do that, I used a weak, median, and strong example of assignments from last year as examples, and then made them suitable for this work method.”

Remindo for digital exams

“I also saved some time by administering the mid-term and final exams in Remindo. To do that, I had to enter the multiple-choice questions in advance, but the grading process was automated. It was a bit of a puzzle to put the questions about modelling knowledge into the right form. I chose to have the students work out a model on scratch paper based on a case study, and then to ask them evaluation-type questions about it. To do that, it was important to use an existing model as a basis, so that there wasn’t too much room for different results or interpretations.”

Education infrastructure

Sietse is positive about Educate-it, and how the programme encourages reinforcing education. “I’m very pleased with the infrastructure for using ICT in education, and how Educate-it facilitates it. Both the timing and the support are exactly right for me. After an orientation meeting about the needs and application of tools in courses like mine, Educate-it provided the work environment. Based on my input, they prepared the tool with the right information about the students and the required authorisations. The team’s support is truly vital, since they arrange the coordination with the supplier of Revisely. Naturally, you as the lecturer are responsible for posting the assignments and the feedback evaluation criteria in the system yourself.”