This is a proof-of-concept example hot off the press – the first step in marking is to append a sidebar with marking ladder for subtotals, and a marking flow diagram for the total marks for each question that will be formally captured. Or, if the image is unusable, you can flag it for further attention by your support staff, and they will be alerted when they process your marked scripts. If the image is good, you can TAB from box to box, entering marks, leaving your brainpower to focus on the marking task itself rather than how to get the marks onto the page. If you have a tablet or pen display, you can freehand annotate, and these will be safely flattened into images and preserved by the system without risk of erasing them at future steps.
You can download the actual example here . You can edit and save using Adobe Reader, reload and keep going later. Other editors have variable support. For example, you edit and save in Edge, but not Chrome (it lets you edit but not save). If you’re using chrome, like me, feel free to try out the editing side in the browser, just download the form and use a better editor before doing any work you want to keep!
To support additional steps in the process – e.g. for moderating and checking – additional sidebars can be added with different content, designs, colours, names – examples to follow soon!
With multiple people involved in the marking process, they may have different preferred ways of working. So we can mix and match by flattening any annotations that are made on the script.
The script “freezing” is using ghostscript to render the original image in the PDF so that it bakes in any annotations that the student has made (e.g. erasing mistakes or adding extra work). This way, the marker cannot accidentally undo the electronic editing that the student did to their own work.
It’s even conceivable to mix in printing, marking and then scanning, although it will require some additional steps in the workflow to match up returning scripts with the metadata in the electronic version (QR codes are one possibility here – topic for a future post).