Digital playground

Tagged: Marking

Automatic marking of code to reduce time and pressure on marking


📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Rachid Hourizi, Dept of Computer Science
Julian Padget, Dept of Computer Science
Marina De Vos, Dept of Computer Science
Alan Hayes, Dept of Computer Science

What problem did you hope to solve?
With increasing cohort sizes each year there is increasing pressure on marking for both academic staff and PhD students who help with marking. Students also enjoy knowing that their marking is standardised, so developing an approach to marking that could incorporate more standardisation was of interest.

What was done and what technology was used?
Software was developed under a TDF project to facilitate automatic marking of computer code. Code marking can be split into code that is marked subjectively, and code that is marked objectively. Subjective marking would include readability, comments, stylisation, etc., and objective marking would be checking for specific outputs compared to various different inputs. It is the objective marking which has been automated.

Students upload their data to Moodle from where it is automatically retrieved and processed, then code for each student is automatically ran through a small series of tests and feedback given to the marker. The marker still has to mark the subjective aspects of the code and provide this feedback on Moodle.

Next steps of this project are to develop the software further to release formative information to the students, so that they can have feedback on their assignments before submission deadlines and without and input from staff.


If you would like to know more about automatic marking, or would like to trial it within your department, please contact Rachid Hourizi:


LITEbox Event: Using Moodle for double blind marking

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📥  LITEbox Event

Using Moodle for double blind marking – good for students and academics?

Date: Tuesday 30 June 2015
Time: 1.15pm - 2.05pm
Venue: 8 West 1.28

Please send an email RSVP to to confirm your attendance

In theory Moodle makes double blind marking rigorous, effective and painless. But what happens when the Moodle capability is unleashed on a large number of academics? In this discussion Steve Cayzer will report on such an experiment: the MSc Projects in Mechanical Engineering. Having tried this already with a large group of academics, the session will cover all aspects including the good, the bad and the ugly.

The session is intended to be highly interactive, seeking your feedback on how to use our resources to make double blind marking better for both students and academic staff.

Dr Steve Cayzer is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Mechanical Engineering. He is the Director of Studies for four Postgraduate programmes, and has been convenor for more units than is wholly respectable. Steve is enthusiastic about any innovation that makes teaching and learning more effective. He is also a leader on one of the University MOOCs, “Make an Impact”.


Further Information:

Steve's event was very successfully completed - and the session is now available to catch up: