Using technology in assessment

Technology is, and can be, used to support both formative and summative assessment across the University of Glasgow. As with any use of technology in learning, we would suggest that it is used to enhance and support the students’ learning and assessment experience, rather than simply for the sake of the technology itself. The University supports a number of technologies that can be used in assessment and they are outlined below. For further information on any of them, please see the links.

Key points

  • Technology can be used to enhance students’ learning and assessment experience.
  • The University supports a number of technologies which are outlined below.
  • Each technology supports different methods of assessment and encourages different ways of learning.

Other things to consider when using technology in assessment

Using technology in assessment can make assessment more efficient. For example, if you choose to use quizzes in Moodle, as long as you set it up correctly, Moodle will automatically mark the answers and provide feedback to the student on their answers. This means that once you have set up the quiz, Moodle does the work. However, it is important to stress that students should not be disadvantaged in their learning by the use of assessment, and particular thought should be given to students who have disabilities.


Aropä supports peer review activities in which the teaching team sets their students an assignment. Students submit their assignment, and then comment on the submissions from their peers. Once this review process is complete, students read the comments their peers have made on their own submission, and, if desired they can then be asked to comment upon that feedback. In this way students learn through completing the assignment, commenting on others’ work and reading the feedback on their own work to reflect on their own learning and on what is required of them. Aropä can be used with class sizes from the very small to the largest in the University and it automates many of the time- and labour-intensive processes that can be required with peer assessment.

Relevant links:


Mahara is a tool for storing and sharing online portfolios. Whilst the primary aim of Mahara was for students to engage in personal development planning. Mahara has been used successfully to hold and share reflective portfolios of learning experiences. It is used by Schools across the University for this purpose, both formatively and summatively.

Relevant links:


Moodle has a number of functions that can be utilised for both formative and summative assessment such as quizzes, wikis and discussion boards. Moodle can also be used for the online submission of assessed work and for marking itself.

Relevant links:


PeerWise allows students to create their own multiple choice questions and to answer and comment on questions authored by their peers. It is most-often used formatively but sometimes carries a summative incentive. PeerWise can be used with class sizes from the very small to the largest in the University and it requires very little input from the teaching team.

Relevant links:


Turnitin is the online system the University of Glasgow has chosen to use to support good writing practice and deter plagiarism. It is particularly important for students to know that their work will be submitted through Turnitin and to understand what the report they receive as a result, means. Students can be given the opportunity to submit a first formative draft of an assignment through Turnitin, before a final summative submission is required.

Relevant links:


YACRS (which stands for Yet Another Classroom Response System) is a University of Glasgow-designed system that allows teaching teams to ask questions of their students during the class time, for the students to respond electronically, and for the results to be displayed on the screen. This technology can be used both formatively and summatively. It requires students to be in possession of an internet enabled device during the time in which they are required to respond to the questions being asked of them.

Relevant links: