Crowdmark Instructor Guide

Crowdmark is an application for grading online, designed for easing the challenges of grading collaboratively with a teaching team, particularly on exams. Crowdmark supports grading by managing the distribution of assessments and assignments to graders, facilitating the adding of grades and feedback to student work, automating returning work to students, and providing analytics on the grading outcomes.
Cost Yes Free (funded in response to COVID-19 until at least December 31, 2021)
Bandwidth Yes Low demand
Canvas Integration Yes Works in coordination with Canvas
Privacy Yes Crowdmark is FIPPA compliant and data is stored securely in Canada
Similar UBC-Supported Tools Gradescope is also centrally supported for online collaborative grading.

What can I use it for?

You can use Crowdmark for managing the grading process of assignments and assessments:

  • Creating, collecting, and grading fully online assignments and assessments
  • Creating paper-based assessments that are then scanned, graded, and returned to students online
  • Allowing multiple graders to grade the same student submission and even the same question in parallel without overwriting one another

What do I need to use Crowdmark?

A supported web browser

Crowdmark runs in your web browser and supports using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.

A Canvas course

Crowmark only works with Canvas courses at UBC.

A Crowdmark course

To use Crowdmark, you will first need to request a Crowdmark course be set up for you, following the instructions below.

Tips

  • Xerox offers scanning services to assist with digitizing paper-based assessments for Crowdmark. Teaching teams will need to take care of securely delivering the paper versions to Xerox and picking them up. You can contact us in the LT Hub for details and pricing.

How do I use Crowdmark?

To get started with Crowdmark, you will request a course, set up collection of what you want to grade, and get to work on grading.

Click any bar below for instructions and tips for using Crowdmark.

Request and access a Crowdmark course

  1. To use Crowdmark, you will first need to request a course from us in the LT Hub.
  2. Once we have created a Crowdmark course for you, you will receive a Crowdmark email invitation from lthub.admin@ubc.ca. Click Go To Crowdmark in the email or paste the provided link in your browser.
  3. Log in to Crowdmark using your UBC CWL (Campus-Wide Login), if prompted.
  4. You may be asked to authorize Crowdmark's access to your Canvas account. Click Authorize.
  5. Provide an email address and click Continue. You may also be asked to verify your email address.
  6. Your Crowdmark course homepage will open and you can begin creating assessments.

Tips

  • Each member of your grading team should receive an invitation to the Crowdmark course, once we process your request, provided they have an email address in Canvas. Please contact us if anyone does not receive an invitation.
  • After accepting an invitation to a course, you can access Crowdmark at app.crowdmark.com/sign-in/ubc. Select the "Sign in with Canvas" option and use your UBC CWL.
  • Currently, only the LT Hub can run the sync function in Crowdmark to update your class list. You will need to request we run syncing whenever there are enrollment changes in your course.

Create an assessment or assignment using Crowdmark

All work collected in Crowdmark is called an assessment, whether you want to collect an assignment or an actual assessment (e.g., exam). Crowdmark supports collecting two types of assessments: Assigned (online from start to finish) and Administered (paper-based that is scanned and uploaded into Crowdmark after students complete it).

With assigned assessments, you will create an assessment and add questions to it using the Crowdmark interface. With administered assessments, you will upload a PDF of your paper-based assessment before you print it, so Crowdmark can add a code on each page that will be used when the finished exams are later scanned.

To create a fully online assessment that will be graded with Crowdmark:

  1. Go to app.crowdmark.com/sign-in/ubc, select Sign in with Canvas, and log in using your UBC CWL.
  2. Under "My Courses", you will find all your Crowdmark courses. Click the course to open it.
  3. Click Create assessment and select New assessment.
  4. Enter the name of your assessment, select the students you will be assigning the assessment to, and select who on the instructional team should have access to the assessment.
    • If your course has sections, also designate which section the assessment is for here.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Select Assigned (Remote) as your assessment type and click Next.
  7. Enter the assessment due date and, optionally, a late penalty to apply as soon as the due date time passes.
  8. If appropriate to your context, make this a Timed assessment to set a window of time for students to complete the work (e.g., to set up an asynchronous exam) or a Group assessment to enable group submissions.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Create questions for your assessment. Note that Markdown and LaTeX languages can be used to format text and attach files in the description and question boxes. To add more questions, click Add another question.
  11. Click Preview assessment at any time to see a student's view of the assessment.
  12. Once you are done, click Save and go to Dashboard.
  13. You will see options for distributing the assessment to your students right away or scheduling automatic distribution at a later date and time.

To create a paper-based assessment that will be graded with Crowdmark:

  1. Go to app.crowdmark.com/sign-in/ubc, and select Sign in with Canvas, and log in using your UBC CWL.
  2. Under "My Courses", you will find all your Crowdmark courses. Click the course to open it.
  3. Click Create assessment and select New assessment.
  4. Enter the name of your assessment, the students you will be assigning the assessment to, and who on the instructional team should have access to the assessment.
    • If your course has sections, also designate which section the assessment is for here.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Select Administered as your assessment type and click Next.
  7. You will need to create an assessment template that Crowdmark will use to build your paper copies and an online grading outline. Set your assessment template options:
  8. Review the images that are generated to see how your template looks with the Crowdmark-generated QR codes added at the top. Click Next to continue or Try again to upload a different file.
  9. For the online grading outline, Crowdmark will ask you to define each question's location, label, and points.
    • By default, one question is added per page. To add more questions to a page, click Add question.
  10. When you are done, click Save and continue.
  11. Enter the number of paper copies of the assessment you would like Crowdmark to create. Click Generate PDF and Crowdmark will build a file containing uniquely identifiable assessments for each of your students, which you can print and distribute.
  12. When you are done, click Finished! Go to Dashboard.

Tips

  • When you add questions to online assessments, it is quickest to type question text directly into the question content field. If you instead cut and paste questions from a Word or PDF document, the formatting will be lost and you will need to add it again in Crowdmark.
  • Once an online assessment has been distributed, you will be able to monitor which students have engaged with it, and see who has received, viewed, or submitted each assessment. You can adjust an individual student’s due date, assessment timing window, or late penalty.
  • Using Crowdmark for paper-based assessments introduces changes to current workflows that add time because you must add a code to assessments before printing them and scan the assessments after completion. Find out the capacities of your in-house printers and scanners ahead of time, and consider off-site options, if local tools will slow you down too much.
  • For paper-based assessments, consider involving teaching assistants in printing and scanning to expedite the processes. Additionally, counting and sorting completed assessments (by number) before scanning can help ensure a smoother process, providing a check on the final uploaded count (i.e., if not all exams were uploaded, which number was missed?) and a faster way to reference hard copies, if needed.

Grade student work in Crowdmark

Once available, student submissions will be organized by question in Crowdmark. You can divide up work between a team of graders to grade one specific question or student at a time.

  1. Go to app.crowdmark.com/sign-in/ubc, and select Sign in with Canvas, and log in using your UBC CWL.
  2. Under "My Courses", you will find all your Crowdmark courses. Click the course to open it.
  3. Click the name of the assignment or assessment you would like to grade. You will see the grading options here, provided the assessment is paper-based or is online and you have already distributed it.
  4. Click on a question to start grading it. You will see the first student’s submission or, if grading has already been started by another grader, you’ll be taken to the first student submission that has not yet been graded.
  5. The grading screen shows the current student’s pages arranged vertically. You can scroll to see all of the student’s responses. On the right is the grading sidebar, where you can see the booklet number and question you are currently grading. Enter the points for the student's submission and click OK to save the points you've entered.
  6. You can use any of the tools in the grading toolbar on the left side to mark the student's work:
    • Comments tool (speech bubble icon) - lets you click anywhere on the assessment page and leave written feedback. You can also build and use a comments library, which allows you and your teaching team to reuse common comments to save time.
    • Freeform annotations tool (pencil icon) - lets you draw directly on the student's work with your mouse.
    • Stamp menu tool (checkmark icon) - lets you add a checkmark, X, or question mark stamp anywhere on the assessment page.
    • Rectangle tool (rectangle icon) - lets you create a semi-transparent box to highlight portions of a student's work.
    • Delete tool (trash can icon) - lets you delete marking or feedback you've added.
    • Colour menu tool (colour drop icon) - lets you add colours to annotations, stamps, and highlight boxes.
  7. When you are done grading the submission, click Next ungraded at the bottom of the grading sidebar to go to the next student submission that has not been graded for this question. Crowdmark will alert you when there are no more submissions to grade.

Tips

  • When grading, you can also use the arrows beside the "Booklet" title to navigate between student submissions or click the label of the question to navigate between questions. You can go back to the assessment’s overview and select a different question at any time.
  • Crowdmark includes specific shortcuts to help save time in marking. Train your teaching assistants how to utilize the keyboard shortcuts to mark most efficiently in the application.
  • Be clear in training teaching assistants about your expectations regarding the feedback they leave for students (i.e., how much, how often, what kind of content), as students may expect more detailed feedback using this digital medium, especially if they will not be meeting with you otherwise to go over the results.
  • The comments that you write while grading assessments are automatically saved and added to a comment library, which you can use to mark later assessments or share with your team to use in the same assessment.
  • Crowdmark provides basic stats to reflect how teaching assistants are doing with their marking, but look at the qualitative measures of how the team is doing too (e.g., checking on the feedback individuals are leaving), to ensure expectations set in the beginning are being met as marking progresses.
  • By default, graders in Crowdmark do not have access to each other’s grading, but you can change this and allow graders to see each other’s feedback and grades.
  • As you mark, you can add tags to organize and bookmark student work and evaluations with your grading team. Use tags to bookmark exemplary answers or flag work that requires another set of eyes to review.

Review and release Crowdmark grades to students

After grading is complete, you can review and return the graded submissions to students. To return grades for paper-based assessments, you will also need to make sure you assign identities to each student work using the "match booklets" feature of Crowdmark.

  1. Go to app.crowdmark.com/sign-in/ubc, and select Sign in with Canvas, and log in using your UBC CWL.
  2. Under "My Courses", you will find all your Crowdmark courses. Click the course to open it.
  3. Click the name of the assignment or assessment you would like to review.
  4. Click Students in the left sidebar. You will see a list of students, with student grades listed in the right-most column.
  5. To view an individual student's score, locate the student, then under the "View" column, click Score. A pop-up with the student’s scores and feedback will appear on the page.
  6. For paper-based assessments, you will need to identify booklets:
    • Click the assessment name in the left sidebar to go back to the overview page.
    • Click Match booklets from the options on the right side.
    • Locate the student’s information on the cover page you see, and begin typing it in the search field on the right side. The list of students will be filtered as you type in identifiers. Once you’ve found the student, click their email address to match them.
    • Repeat this process on the next unmatched cover, until all the cover pages are matched to a student.
  7. Once you are ready to release grades to students, click Results in the left sidebar.
  8. Under "Send and export grades", click Send grades to students. Note that for paper-based assessments this option will only appear after you've matched booklets.
  9. Crowdmark will send an email to each student containing a link to their score page, which includes their work, scores, feedback, and any other information you’ve chosen to include.

Tips

  • You can include a message to your students and/or a class results graph on the student score page by editing the student view options on the "Results" page.
  • Once you release grades, you may wish to lock the assessment from further grading. Locking an assessment makes it read-only, ensuring that scores and feedback will not be changed accidentally.
  • Releasing grades to students has no impact on Canvas. To share grades in your Canvas course, follow the instructions in the section below.

Use Crowdmark grades in your Canvas course

Canvas and Crowdmark cannot sync grades automatically, but you can sync them manually from any assignment or assessment with the click of a button.

  1. Go to app.crowdmark.com/sign-in/ubc, and select Sign in with Canvas, and log in using your UBC CWL.
  2. Under "My Courses", you will find all your Crowdmark courses. Click the course to open it.
  3. Click the name of the assignment or assessment you would like to export grades from.
  4. Click Results in the left sidebar.
  5. Under "Send and export grades", click Export grades to Canvas.
  6. If there are any issues with the export, you will see a summary of issues before you export grades. To continue, click Export grades. Your assessment grades will be posted to Canvas as a new assignment column in your gradebook.
  7. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Grades in the Course Navigation to confirm your grades from Crowdmark.

Tips

  • Scores must be manually synced from Crowdmark to appear in Canvas’s gradebook. This means if you make changes to the grades in Crowdmark later on, you will need to sync with Canvas again to keep the gradebook up to date.
  • You can also download the list of grades from Crowdmark in a spreadsheet file. Click the "Export grades as CSV" option from the Results page (step 5). The CSV file can be opened and edited in a spreadsheet software like Excel, and can be imported into the Canvas gradebook afterward.
  • For your own records, you can also download all grades from a Crowdmark course. Follow the steps to export a list of the course grades.

Where can I get more support with Crowdmark?

Technical support

If you have trouble with Crowdmark:

For supporting your students:

Learn more


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