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Assignment submission, student behaviour and experience

Author(s): Keith Gregory | Sue Moron-Garcia

Journal: Engineering Education
ISSN 1750-0044

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 16;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: assessment | student workload | deadlines | mixed methods

Time management is one of the life skills students are expected to acquire during their time at university and dealing with workload is an issue for both academics and students. It is suspected that students do not initially manage their time very well and use deadlines to control what they do and when. However, it is also believed that students' time management improves as they progress through their course. This paper explores the student experience of assignment submission with respect to the assessment of one undergraduate module. The aim is to investigate how students deal with their workload, whether their time management improves as they get older and more experienced, if electronic submission has any effect on the way they manage their work and the influence, on submission, of the length of time allowed to complete an exercise. Both quantitative and qualitative data, derived from submission records and the results of interviews and an email survey were used to examine student behaviour and to investigate their experience. The data suggest that while many students find coincident deadlines, often found on university courses, very stressful, they feel that their management of these deadlines improves over time. They value the submission flexibility and economy offered by an electronic system as well as the opportunity, afforded by long deadlines, to discuss assessment strategies and solutions with their peers.
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