Anonymous Marking

by Greg Sabatine – September 12, 2019

About Anonymous Marking

Anonymous marking, or blind marking, is the practice of removing unconscious bias in grading by removing the student’s name, attempting to overcome any gender, personal, or racial biases as the instructor grades assignments or exams.

Recently, the University of Saskatchewan’s outgoing vice-president academic affairs of the UofS Students’ Union, Jessica Quan, has been working with colleges across campus to bring attention to blind marking. In the The Sheaf article, Blind grading an attempt to reduce marking bias (Sadika, 2018), Sadika notes that, “The practice of blind grading can significantly decrease the amount of academic appeals made by students, as it circumvents the chance for any racial, personal or gender biases from the instructor, according to Quan. While blind grading can benefit students in many circumstances, there are exceptions depending on the class size and type that can impede this practice.”

And that’s where CourseLink can help…

Anonymous Marking in CourseLink

CourseLink allows anonymous marking in two of the central tools: Dropbox and Quizzes.

Dropbox

Instructors can configure the Dropbox to use anonymous learner names. When the feature is turned on, instructors only see an anonymized learner name on the assignment.

  • Students should be instructed to remove their names and ID numbers from assignments.
  • Instructors can only publish anonymous marking using Publish All Feedback, to prevent identifying learners through selective marking feedback.
  • Instructors can enable anonymous marking for Dropbox folders after they are created, but cannot disable the feature once submissions have been made.
  • Instructors that use Turnitin can only enable Anonymous marking in an existing folder if no submissions have been made.
  • Instructors can publish feedback without completing feedback for all submissions. Clicking Publish All Feedback displays a confirmation dialog indicating that some submissions will be published without feedback.
  • In instances where instructors are required to identify a user, such as academic integrity, they should contact CourseLink Support.
The Dropbox anonymous marking option in CourseLink
Figure: The Dropbox anonymous marking option in CourseLink

Quizzes

Instructors can configure the Quizzes tool to use anonymous learner names when grading individual questions. This feature is only available when grading questions, not individual student attempts.

  • The Quizzes tool uses the term Blind Marking instead of Anonymous Marking.
  • Unlike the Dropbox tool, the blind marking feature in Quizzes only uses anonymous learner names while grading questions. Any feedback or grades can be identified on the individual student attempts.
The Quizzes blind marking option in CourseLink
Figure: The Quizzes blind marking option in CourseLink

Contact

If you require assistance or have questions with the anonymous marking or blind marking features in CourseLink, please contact CourseLink Support.

Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 56939
Toll-free: 1-866-275-1478
Email: courselink@uoguelph.ca

References

Sadika, B (2018, March 22). Blind grading an attempt to reduce marking bias. The Sheaf. Retrieved from https://thesheaf.com