Student Guidance




Introduction

This is to give you as a student an introductory overview of the WebPA system. Here you will find a introduction to WebPA where it originated and why it is used. There is also a section on ‘How to use WebPA’ and how you complete an assessment that has been set.


All aspects of the WebPA system are explained including areas that may not be used by your tutors. There is also some information on where you can get further information and help for the WebPA tool.



Introduction to WebPA


History of WebPA

WebPA as a system has only existed in the current form since 2005, when an academic, who had championed an online assessment system since 1998, proposed that the engCETL (formally the Engineering Education Centre) adopted the system to make further improvements.


The WebPA system in use today at Loughborough University, is open to all faculties and is being used by over ten departments. The WebPA is also in use at other Universities as well.




Why Peer Assessment is used

From a students point of view there are a number of drivers for using peer assessment when participating in group/team work activities.



What is WebPA

WebPA is an online peer moderated marking system, which has been designed for students in teams carrying out group work, where an overall group mark is awarded. Each student in a group marks/grades their team member’s (and own) performance. The grades given are then used to weight an overall group mark.



How to use WebPA

In order to use WebPA you will need to go to the correct place for WebPA at your institution (this will be known to your tutor).



Logging in to WebPA

Here you will be presented with a login screen, as shown in Figure 1. To login you will need to enter you ‘user name’ and ‘password’ before clicking on the ‘login’ button.


http://webpaproject.lboro.ac.uk/additional_imgs/student_guide/login.png

Figure 1 – WebPA Login



Open Assessments

Once you have logged into WebPA you will be taken through to the WebPA Home page. The WebPA Home page will shown a list of all the open assessment that you can take, as shown in Figure 2.


To take one of the assessments, you need to click on the button next to the assessment labelled ‘Take Assessment’.


http://webpaproject.lboro.ac.uk/additional_imgs/student_guide/open_assessments.png

Figure 2 – Open Assessments to be taken


If you follow the ‘My Assessments’ link then you can access a list of all the assessments that have been set for you to take and all the finished assessments.



Finished Assessment

On the ‘My Assessments’ page you can see all the open assessments, the same as the homepage, and shown in Figure 2. Here you can also see all of the assessments that are finished, as in Figure 3.


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Figure 3 – Finished Assessments


If you took an assessment and submitted marks, then it will be marked ‘COMPLETED’. If you failed to take the assessment, it will be marked ‘DID NOT SUBMIT’. Failure to take an assessment may mean you are penalised when the peer-assessment marks are calculated.


Some assessments, such as the first in Figure 3, allow you to view feedback on your performance. Your tutor can decide whether an assessment provides feedback or not.


The ‘view feedback’ link only appears once the assessment’s deadline has passed.



Taking an Assessment

When taking an assessment you will be presented with a screen similar to the one in Figure 4.


At the top of the page is a link back to your assessments list. Clicking this link will cancel the assessment and return you to that screen. Any marks you entered will be forgotten. The assessment can be viewed or taken at any time until the closing deadline. But remember if you do not take the assessment you may be penalised when the marks are calculated.


After the link to return to the assessments link, is an explanation as to how the assessments work. Take time to read this line and if you don’t understand then seek advice from your tutor..


Under the explanation of the assessment system there may be some introductory text from your tutor. If your tutor has decided to provide further information about your assessment it will be displayed in this section.


You must enter a mark for every member of your team, including yourself. If you have missed some marks out, you will receive a warning when you try to submit the assessment.


http://webpaproject.lboro.ac.uk/additional_imgs/student_guide/take_assessment.png

Figure 4 – Taking an Assessment Screen Shot


Marking your Team Mates

The rest of the assessment screen is taken up with the assessment form. This form is be broken down into different assessment criteria. Each criteria will examine certain aspects of your group’s performance, and the key skills you should have employed. Each criteria on your assessment will look similar to the one shown in Figure 5.


http://webpaproject.lboro.ac.uk/additional_imgs/student_guide/criteria.png

Figure 5 – An Example Criteria


The line in bold, shown in Figure 5, is the name of the criterion or skill being assessed. In this case, it’s Leadership and/or Organisation.


Below the name, there may be a description of this criterion, to help you understand what is being assessed. The description of the criterion is optional and is your tutor has not used this, no information will appear.


Every criterion can have descriptions of what the different scores mean. Different tutors may use different marking schemes, so these scores and their descriptions may vary. The score descriptions are optional. If there are descriptions you should always take time to read them for clarification of how to score the criterion. In Figure 5, only the top and bottom scores have been explained.


Finally, there is the marking area. Each member of your team, including you, have their own row. Across the top are the different scores you can allocate for this criteria. For every member of your team, click the appropriate radio-button to assign them the mark you want.


Typically, the scoring range will be something like 1 to 5, but again, your tutor may have chosen a different range.


You repeat the marking process for every member and for every criterion or skill. You must give everyone a mark for your scores to be accepted. If you miss out a mark then you will be warned and asked to check your assessment.


When you have completed the assessment and are ready to submit, click the ‘save marks’ button.


Once you have clicked the ‘save marks’ button you will receive an on-screen confirmation of the submission. You have now completed the assessment and can return to the assessments list, or log out of the WebPA system.



Feedback

Your tutor can select for all to receive feedback on how you have done in the assessment. If feedback is available for an assessment, then a ‘view feedback’ link will be displayed next to the finished assessment on the ‘My Assessments´ page. As explained in the section Finished Assessment this will only happen after the deadline for the assessment submission has passed.


The WebPA system compares the marks that you received, with the marks that your team mates received, and report on your performance. This feedback is only descriptive, if you want the grade that you received then you need to contact your tutor.



Further Information and Help for WebPA

If you’d like further information on a particular peer-assessment, you should contact your tutor.


For other enquiries about the system, or if you’re having problems with something, please get in touch through the Web-PA Contact system, which is available from all screens to the left. You will be presented with a form to complete with your personal details (these are required so that we can respond to your enquiry). You will also need to select the type of enquiry from the list. Once you have completed the form you will need to click on the ‘Send Message’ button.