This an online system for submitting thesis report, presentation and viva assessments for Masters degree projects at the Silwood Park campus of Imperial College London.
When assessing these reports, we would like to remind you that there is strong evidence that all of us draw unconscious associations and inaccurate judgements about people (Greenwald and Krieger, 2006), which can reflect in marking, especially in face-to-face assessments. However, there is also evidence that recognising the existence of unconscious bias can help mitigate its impact: Greenwald, A. and Krieger, L. (2006) ‘Implicit bias: Scientific foundations’, California Law Review, pp. 945-967.
You should not adjust your marking to take into account the impacts of COVID-19 on a research project: grades should reflect the material presented. However, in the viva you should extend the normal discussion of supervisory issues to put together a quick statement about the impact of COVID-19 on the research.
The viva form will have a separate box to record this information. This should be a brief description of any academic impacts: only the switch to remote working, planned field data collection lost, project switch at 8 weeks. It is intended to provide brief information to the exam board where mitigating circumstances do not explicitly cover this.
The project supervisor assesses the student's research performance over the course of the project. In contrast to report markers - who can focus on the final report in front of them - it is unrealistic for supervisors to attempt to separate the performance they observed from any constraints and impacts imposed on the resarch by COVID-19. Consequently, all supervisors should attempt to assess performance relative to those impacts and constraints.
There are four components of project assessment:
A supervisor report on how the student adapted to independent research and how they worked within the reserach group.
Two independent marker reports on the submitted thesis, which assess how well the thesis describes a piece of research and how well the research has been conducted.
A single report on a research presentation by the student that assesses how well the student communicates the research to a wider audience.
A single report on the project viva that assesses a student's broader understanding of the research and their ability to explain and defend the details of their research.
A project supervisor will be asked to provide a single supervisor report. This must be submitted before the project vivas.
Each project will have two markers that will be asked to provide an independent thesis report. These must be submitted before the project vivas.
Once the project marking reports have been submitted, the two markers collaborate to create a single presentation report and the viva report. Note that as part of the viva report, the two markers will share their independent report grades and agree on a final reconciled report grade. These should be completed as soon as possible after the viva and before the final exam board meeting.
We distribute links to assessment report forms by email, which will contain a list of individual links for each student and assessment type. These links contain a security token that allows a user to access the form: you must not share these links with other people. The actual reports can be found here.
Each link will take you to the appropriate assessment form. The form will have instructions at the top along with a link to the appropriate marking criteria. You may save your marking at any time and the link will take you back to your progress so far. When you have completed the report, press the submit button: you will be forwarded to a static version of the report that contains a link to download a PDF.
After the exam board has met, project assessments are released to students. This is something like the manuscript review process and allows students to understand where the strengths and weaknesses of their research lie and how it might be improved. Students do not see percentage grades, but do see all comments and Likert scale choices.
For this reason, please provide as many of your comments as possible as constructive feedback in open comments sections. If you do have confidential comments on the project that you do not wish the student to see, please use the private comments section: you can view this as 'Comments to Editors'!