Scantron results go digital for profs
Published: Monday, February 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 02:02
The Information Technologies Support Center changed their Scantron grading process from a paper-based pickup service to digital delivery this semester, an alternative methodthat can return test results to professors in hours instead of days.
Cindy Guerrazzi, information resource consultant at the support center, said professors and teachers' assistants will submit Scantron forms to IT and receive the grades through UD Dropbox, an internal online sharing service. Professors will receive the link to the grades in an email. Previously, professors retrieved the hard copy documents from the center.
Guerrazzi said the electronic results will benefit professors because the process is faster. Students would not receive exam results for days and sometimes weeks under the old system.
"They're getting results within a few hours instead of 24 or more," Guerrazzi said. "It varies with the volume of input, but it's still a much quicker turnaround. Overall it's just easier and more convenient."
Junior Julie Cohen said many of her exams use Scantron and she looks forward to the change because she will receive her test results earlier, which she thinks will reduce stress.
"I get so nervous about getting my exam grades back," Cohen said. "Knowing my grades faster would mean less anxiety and more time preparing for the next exam."
Animal and Food Sciences professor Dallas Hoover said he uses Scantron sheets for exams in his classes and said the change will make grading tests easier because returning test scores to students will be easier. Previously, he printed out images of students' Scantron forms and attached them to copies of the answer key to the test, which were returned to the class.
"I'd say it would take at least 45 minutes with about 100 students," Hoover said. "So for me, this trims the time down. Now, no more cutting, stapling and returning Scantrons."
Kinesiology Professor William Rose said he often uses Scantron forms for exams and will still retrieve students' answer sheets from IT so he can identify discrepancies in scoring, but approves of the new process.
"It is a good improvement and may make it a lot easier to go through electronic records rather than digging through paper records," Rose said. "I think it's a step in the right direction."
The new system will also reduce the university's carbon footprint, Guerrazzi said. Previously, with such a huge amount of input, the resources necessary to produce the output were damaging she said.
"Great amounts of ink, toner, paper and money are all being saved as a result of this change—it could be around thousands of paper jobs being saved," Guerrazzi said. "If you look at the whole picture, everything needs something to be produced. Now, we just don't need them. "
Sophomore Melanie Foldes said the new process is a positive change because it will conserve resources.
"Everyone is green-conscious today," Foldes said. "Not having to use so much paper and other things may seem small, but eventually all of those small things could make a big difference."
Guerrazzi hopes her department will be able to expand the service to deliver results for other paper-based questionnaires and forms in the future.
"We hope to implement this type of thing in the future with things such as teacher and class evaluations," she said. "Anything we can do to be more green at the university, the better."