Marking on a tablet could be more sustainable for lecturers and the environment.

A keyboard and mouse can limit engagement with a document on a computer. To mark student work, lecturers tend to print it all out so that they can mark up the hard copy with a pen as they read it through. Quite apart from the printing costs and waste of paper, this is not the most efficient use of lecturers' time. Elise Allen investigated whether marking on a tablet might enable a more efficient and sustainable workflow.

Elise ran a pilot programme with lecturers, to test whether using a stylus pen on a touchscreen would be a suitable alternative to marking on paper with a ballpoint pen. For the purposes of the pilot, she used an iPad Pro and a Apple Pencil with the software GoodNotes, and she transferred the student work onto the iPad Pro for the lecturers. Most participants found that using the stylus pen was pleasurable, but the pilot also identified some drawbacks with the software.

The results showed that using a stylus and touchscreen did enable the marking to be carried out digitally. For the next stage of this project Elise will look to find or develop software that is more suitable for marking.

March 2020

Image credit: Thomas Lok, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-ND 2.0