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October brings delegated grading to Ultra courses

Gradebook reminders, SafeAssign Direct Submit & more

The October update to Ultra brings a new grading workflow to large Ultra courses, allowing instructors to distribute grading for an assessment to multiple graders. Instructors can assign graders to groups of students using delegated grading and the graders will only see those students they are assigned to grade including randomly generated groups. The first phase of delegated grading supports individual assessments. In subsequent updates to this feature, delegated grading will support tests, group assessments, and anonymous submissions. Note: Delegated grading works with one grader per group of students whereas parallel grading works with multiple graders and therefore requires a reconcilement of grades. 

Image 1: Assigning groups of students to graders
Image 1: Assigning groups of students to graders

Faculty can also send reminders to students about missed assessments directly from the Ultra gradebook. This feature includes all assessment types including Ultra created, third-party tools, and anonymous assignments. At this time, reminders can only be sent for assessments that are visible to students and when there are no release conditions. Reminders can be sent from the grid view or the list view in the gradebook.

Image 2: Sending a reminder from the grid view in the gradebook
Image 2: Sending a reminder from the grid view in the gradebook

The October update also allows faculty to submit student work to SafeAssign for originality review when not enabled as part of an Ultra assessment. SafeAssign Direct Submit appears as an instructor tool at the top of the Books & Tools peek panel in every Ultra course, enabling faculty to upload Microsoft Office files, PDF, RTF, HTML, and ZIP files, or copy and paste content for review. Submissions are added to the institutional database unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

Image 3: Example of SafeAssign Direct Submit page with submissions and originality reports
Image 3: Example of SafeAssign Direct Submit page with submissions and originality reports

Please note: SafeAssign does not review for AI-generated content at this time. An integration of GPTZero for SafeAssign was postponed by the vendor due to concerns related to ethics, accuracy, and bias in the evaluation of student submissions (see Anthology white paper, 2023). 

Assessment & Grading
  • Instructors can now copy their custom grading schemas from Ultra and Original courses to other Ultra courses. These schemas are listed in a Grading Schemas folder on the Copy Items panel.
  • Ultra tests will auto-distribute partial credit across correct answer choices. If desired, instructors can edit the values if some correct answer options warrant more or less credit.
  • Graders can now post Bb Annotate comments without disclosing their names. Instructors have the option to mark inline comments as anonymous when creating them or even after comments are added.
Other updates in October include 
  • While Messages are enabled in all Ultra courses and cannot be turned off, in October, faculty will have the option to customize how students can interact with those messages. For example, students can message anyone or they can only message the instructors.
  • Instructors can edit many settings for third-party tools on an assessment or tool link including Name/Title, Description, Release Conditions, and more.
Faculty should see the latest updates in Ultra courses around October 5-6 2023. The next update to our Ultra test environment will take place on October 10, 2023; release notes are posted to the What's New in Ultra that same week. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. Please watch the FAQs, including the What's New with Ultra pageand myUMBC for additional information about Ultra. 

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Posted: October 3, 2023, 11:27 AM