Forums | Mahara Community
Anonymous pages for assessment
05 November 2012, 23:55
We're using Mahara at the University of Portsmouth. Increasingly we're getting questions about using Mahara as a means for assessment. We're using the Moodle-Mahara assignment module which is really handy for providing a framework for assessment.
One of the key features this Mahara is missing is the functionality to provide anonymity to students involved in the assessment process.
Ideally it would be useful for a student to be able to adjust a setting on the share page to be able to mark their page as anonymous if they intend to send their page to a lecturer for grading. Also a setting within the Moodle-Mahara assignment module to produce anonymous submissions would also be really useful. Blind marking is being developed for the core Moodle assignment (http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-26997), it would be good to have this within the Mahara assignment type as well.
As I'm writing this post, I was thinking that a possible work-around for the time being, might be to produce an anonymous theme for Mahara which removed all of the identifying information about a page author, a student could then invoke this theme before sending their page to a lecturer. The lecturers email alert about the page would still identify the student though.
06 November 2012, 12:16
That is an interesting proposal. In Mahara, everything is tied to a user and nothing is anonymous. The only time you can leave anonymous comments is when you give feedback on a public page and it allows comments from not logged-in users. Then it is pretty much untraceable who you are.
Thus, I think, internally, in the database, the user would still need to be tracked so that the portfolio can still be associated to the correct person. Only on the actual page no identifying information would be displayed (goes along the lines of what you write about the anonymous theme).
A note for the assignment submission plugin: It does not work with the new assignment type that made it into Moodle 2.3. You still need the old assignment type activated to use the Mahara assignment submission plugin. A proposal for an updated Mahara assignment with new features is available at https://wiki.mahara.org/index.php/Developer_Area/Specifications_in_Development/Moodle_LTI_integration but has not been tackled yet, but would be good.
This could be part of the process for submitting pages / collections to a group.
One question: When something is tied to assessment, usually, it needs to be traceable who submitted it at least at some point so it can be connected to the correct person, especially when the student questions a grade. That's why the University of NSW for example wanted to retain a copy of the page when it was assessed. Is that not a requirement for you or how would you mitigate this?
Are you planning on developing this anonymous submission feature?