• Peter M. Ostafichuk University of British Columbia
  • Carol P. Jaeger


The use of online team marking has the potential to both simplify and expedite the process of marking exams, papers, and other artifacts. An online team marking tool (Crowdmark) has been piloted at UBC inĀ  Mechanical Engineering (125 student midterm) and two common first year introduction to engineering courses (840 student final exam, and 730 student midterm and final exam).
Crowdmark, the particular software tool used, printed a unique QR code on each page of each exam and then exams were written by students in a conventional pencil-andpaper fashion. After the exam, papers were digitized and uploaded to the Crowdmark system. Following a brief training and orientation session, all marking took place by teaching assistants through the Crowdmark interface. Overall grader preference was positive, with the majority of graders expressing a strong preference for the Crowdmark system over conventional paper-based grading. In MECH 223, extensive historical data for marking time was available, and a significant reduction in marking time per exam (30%) was observed. This time savings included time saved handling papers and entering grades. Additional benefits were also observed through the use of this system: grades and histograms are available per question in real-time; time and grader tracking data is available; exam regrading is simplified; and there is a digital record of each exam for archiving purposes as well as to prevent issues of students altering papers prior to requesting regrading. Special safeguards had to be put in place due to freedom of information and privacy protection (FOIPP) requirements in British Columbia. We have
observed a slightly lower cost per graded page with Crowdmark ($0.426/page) compared to a conventional exam ($0.439/page), but this includes outsourcing printing and scanning to an industrial-scale printing company. We consider this essentially cost-neutral, but like Crowdmark
for all of the other benefits it offers.