Mark Shead talks to Andrea Blanchflower, Director of University Services, and Caroline Sauverin, Head of Learning and Teaching.

Now that coursework receipts are no longer issued, what proof will there be that coursework has been handed in, or that work was handed in on time so that penalties are not imposed incorrectly?

Coursework submitted in person (as opposed to electronically online) is locked away at the hub and submission is recorded online. This can be accessed by students via E:Vision through clicking on assessment submission, then looking under the status column. By the coursework in question, if it has been submitted, the status will confirm that the coursework has been submitted and will show the date it was been submitted on. This is evidence for the student that the coursework has been successfully submitted. This is part of the LTS effort to modernise coursework submission by phasing in more electronic services. The objective is for all coursework, cover sheets, receipts etc to be submitted online to make the process easier and faster for students; help the environment by printing less paper; and reduce costs. E:Vision also specifies deadline dates to clarify them for students who aren’t sure.

This online submission process has been used by some schools already and has worked well for them, so the LTS is planning to extend this method across the university. The aim is for a majority of the submission process to be carried out electronically within this academic year, though this may take longer to fully enforce. However, coursework receipts will be issued if a student submits their work late, so all concerned are aware that the student will be penalised unless an extension has already been agreed and authorised. Extensions can be gained through filling in an extension request form.

Since the hub system has been implemented, coursework seems to take longer to get back to students. How do you plan to address this?

Coursework shouldn’t be taking longer to be returned to students, and should be returned within 20 days since the date of submission. If this is not the case, the student should raise the issue with the head of their school. The hubs pass coursework on to be marked the day after submission, and takes the marked work back afterwards for two more days for quality assurance and change coursework from anonymous registration numbers back to the student’s name. This should be an improvement on the previous system as, when work was inside boxes in the school’s corridors, there were complaints that work was sometimes lost and could be accessed by other students, when they wished their work and their marks to be private.

How can students find out where exactly their work is to be submitted, and to whom?

You can find this information if you visit the UEA website. In most cases, students will submit the work at the hub which covers their school eg history coursework is submitted to the Arts hub. However, if students want to submit their work in the evening when the hubs are closed, there is an evening submission box in the library. A box should also be available for coursework that is handed in early, though early submission boxes may not be assigned to a single module. All work in boxes at the hub is collected daily.

Where can you find cover sheets for coursework now that they are not provided by the schools? Also, isn’t it an unfair extra expense that students must print off their own cover sheets, which occurs regularly for some courses.

Cover sheets can be found on E:Vision under the assessment submission section. These cover sheets are personalised so students will not have to worry about finding out and filling in most sections of the cover sheet that they previously had to do under the previous system. The LTS is aware that some students are unhappy with printing their own cover sheets but this should be remedied in the future when coursework is submitted online. When this happens there will be little need for printing anything coursework-related by that stage. Meanwhile, schools have been encouraged to share printing credits amongst their students, which could help cover the cost of cover sheets.

Why aren’t there always enough boxes to put completed work in? And why have there have been situations where relevant submission boxes are not available?

In the short term, more boxes have been ordered so this shouldn’t be an issue for affected students for much longer. However, if there is a significant issue, such as no appropriate box being provided at all, this should be raised with staff at the hub. In the long term, submission boxes will not be an issue as most work should be submitted online instead.

Why have the hubs and new systems been adopted in the first place?

It is hoped that the hubs will make the coursework submission process more efficient and effective than before. It will also accommodate changes in university funding and introduces more modern methods of submitting work, such as greater use of online submission instead of using paper copies of work. The hub system also allows students more time to submit work, with staff present from 8am to 6pm, and work still able to be submitted by 10pm, and should make submission of work for those studying in two schools (perhaps due to a joint degree course) more straightforward. Personalised cover sheets also specify which hub work needs to be submitted to in case there is any confusion. There are also more informal areas of the hub, where food can be accessed and sofas are available, offering a common space for students.Andrea Blanchflower added: “I’m pleased that the vision has been realised. There are some teething problems, but we aim for the hubs to go from being good to very good in the near future. We appreciate the feedback from students and will be happy to address any more issues that arise”.