In this issue: MDL-27238 the suggestion is made to allow more flexibility of which phase students are in. David has suggested:
What is doable is to introduce a new phase covering both submission and assessment phase. I still resist to allow any on-the-fly calculation of the final grades because they rely on all submissions are available.
Still, there are many open questions that must be answered prior any actual development can start. Most notably:
- How should submissions allocation behave? I can imagine a new allocator type ("instant" for example) that would automatically allocate the submission immediately after it is saved and marked as final by the student. Note this automatically enforces that a submission can be reviewed by a student that has not submitted anything yet (otherwise, the first submission could not get any reviewer).
- How to improve the submission workflow and keep it still easy to understand for students. The author has to mark (tag) the submission as "ready for assessment". But then, maybe on the initial feedback from the reviewers, the student has to have an option to switch the status back to "work in progress" (when no other assessment is possible) and then submit it for assessment again. Do we expect that the submission is re-allocated in this case?
- In other words, I believe it is possible to allow submission + assessment phase overlapping. But to calculate the grades, both submitting and assessing must be finished.
- Most significantly, the allocation of submissions seems to be a tricky one:
- When the first student submits their work, there is nothing else to be allocated to them for assessment.
- When the second student submits their work, there is only one work to be allocated. Should it be allocated or not? Students might easily abuse this behaviour to "choose" their own reviewer, instead of having them assigned randomly.
- As other students are submitting their work, the pool of submission is getting bigger and bigger and the allocation may seem to work. Still we have pretty unbalanced situation as early submissions are already assigned for assessments and hence are unlikely to be assessed by students who submit their own work later.
- At the end of this time scale there is another problem emerging. The very last submission must be allocated to someone. But by that time those students may think that their task was already done. In other words, students never know if there is some submission to be allocated for them yet or not. Until the phase is closed, they never know the expected amount of work to do ("Mr Boerman, I already did all assigned peer-reviews last week. I did not know that a new submission can appear").