Using the MarkR Software Package to Improve Your Feedback

Paterson, H. , Debruine, L. and McAleer, P. (2021) Using the MarkR Software Package to Improve Your Feedback. 14th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference (LTCONF21), Glasgow, UK, 18th June 2021.

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Over the last four years, we have developed the MarkR R package to automatically generate feedback documents with rich content from minimalist spreadsheets and feedback templates. Examples of the minimalist spreadsheet are available in a previous presentation ( The spreadsheets allow markers to save time in generating individual feedback, while the templates allow us to add reflection about class performance and other information such as rubrics. Feedback documents are generated at the end of the marking process for the whole class, rather than for each script as it is marked. Traditionally feedback sheets are edited in a word processor and hence require that all substantive content be decided before the marking process starts. There can then be a significant cost when a marker needs to update feedback such as recalibrating a categorical rating, identifying a systematic misunderstanding about content, or updating an explanation that the marker learned to articulate better as they progressed. In the past, we shared additional documents with students that summarised these reflections, but with MarkR we can present reflection and rubrics that are enriched with examples from the current assessment, in a single document alongside individualised feedback. In the School of Psychology, we have used MarkR to make feedback for practical and essay-based coursework and for exams and have received positive student comments on the detail of feedback from students while our own perceptions are that MarkR saves time to focus on producing better quality individualised feedback. In this workshop, we will show examples of our feedback generated with MarkR and teach attendees how to generate feedback by customising MarkR templates using their own previous feedback files. Attendees will need to bring along previous feedback sheets and install the software before the workshop but require no other experience of R.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McAleer, Dr Phil and Paterson, Dr Helena and DeBruine, Professor Lisa
Authors: Paterson, H., Debruine, L., and McAleer, P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
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