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May 16, 2005

College of Law streamlines assessment marking with DRS

The largest provider of legal postgraduate training courses in England and Wales, The College of Law has chosen DRS Optical Mark Reading (OMR) technology to streamline its marking process. Using sophisticated OMR technology the College can now process its assessments much quicker and with a higher standard of accuracy than ever before.

The specific course design used in legal training is ideally suited to the use of MCQ assessments, and they feature heavily in the four postgraduate courses that the College offers. With the introduction of the Bar Vocational course, volumes of MCQ assessments rose significantly and a streamlined approach was needed in the marking process.

Initially, marking was conducted manually, but this was time-consuming and manual marking could be both unreliable and costly. The College found itself spending more and more staff hours marking and temporary staff were frequently brought in to help ease the burden. A better all round solution was needed and they turned to DRS to help.

DRS now provides the College with a comprehensive package including the design and print of bespoke mark sheets as well as a high speed, automatic CD800 Optical Mark Reader and software to electronically capture and process the assessment results. The College is now able to automatically mark its MCQ assessments very quickly. Manually, approximately 30 mark sheets could be completed in an hour. But using DRS technology it is now able to process over 7,000 mark sheets in the same period and enable the automatic download of marks directly into the College’s own results database.

This fast turnaround means that students taking exams in the morning can have their results by the same afternoon. Lecturers benefit as well. The results are linked directly to a student’s overall course performance, meaning written feedback on the assessments can be given to the student immediately.

“The DRS OMR has made a great difference to the way we approach our data entry requirements. Having access to fast, accurate data without the burden of manual keying benefits not only our students but our staff as well,” commented Lesley Hill, Deputy Director of Administration, The College of Law – London.

The comprehensive reporting facility that the software (MultiQuest) provides, allows the College to evaluate the performance of individual questions. Any rogue questions can be identified quickly and the results analysis adjusted accordingly. In the event that an answer was incorrectly set up when originating the test, MultiQuest eliminates the need for re-marking, the answer is simply changed in the setup field and all results are updated automatically.

DRS Press Office contact: 
Rekha Voralia
Tel: +44(0)1908 423760 
e-Mail: pressoffice@drs.co.uk