A further update on submitting assignments


From now on, that is the amount of paper that will be used in handing in course assignments compared to what it was previously.

On Friday, we received the following message from the course administrator:

Dear all,

It has been decided that you only need to hand in one copy of your MPhil coursework for the ESD modules from now on, not two. We have been advised that we need to collect a paper copy of your coursework for the convienience of the external examiner. We do not, however,  need to return a paper copy back to you and therefore, we will only return a mark sheet.

There may, exceptionally, be cases where we will ask for two paper copies as the marker may wish to make comments on the papers. You will be informed if two copies are required.

Please don’t forget we need an electronic copy in CamTools too.

This is exciting, as it is a step in the right direction towards reducing paper use in submitting assignments. Is this a result of our campaigning for change?  Potentially, as a number of us in the course are looking at reducing paper use for our change challenge.  Either way, we can celebrate this progress.

I had previously updated on my progress in understanding and removing the barriers to electronic submission of assignments.  The departmental guidelines had been highlighted as a barrier, and this email does raise one more barrier to complete electronic submission: having a paper copy on hand for “the convienience of the external examiner”.  However, as far I know it is unknown if the external examiner will actually want to look at the assignments, and if they do, whether they would want to receive them in hard copy or electronic copy.  I can understand the desire to have paper copies on hand from the point of view of the administrator, as if the external examiner wants hard copies and she only has electronic copies, much time and expense will be spent on printing all the assignment asked for.   However, do we really need to do so given the unknown nature of the external examiner’s potential request?  Perhaps a suggested step would be to clarify with the external examiner what format that would wish should they desire to review assignments, instead of being prepared for a possibility that is less than certain?

Be paperless,


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One Response to A further update on submitting assignments

  1. davismaks says:

    Be paperless indeed!
    Thanks for a great blog Micah. I read your research into the iPad CO2 emissions with great interest, as I had been trying to answer the very self same question in my blog.
    Your point about the survival of paper is a very good one! It is funny that at the time those old manuscripts were written, there were only a few people in the world who could really control pen and put thoughts to paper. Books, manuscripts and the info they contained were therefore considered quite precious, especially given the time it took someone to actually produce one. But today this quality appears to have been somewhat lost; anyone can write anything and put it out to the public on the net. This bigs the question….how much of the stuff getting written today is actually worth keeping for a hundred years or more?
    Floppy disks did indeed come and go however, and the web is simply a bunch of servers that hold the cloud up in the air…let us hope that it does indeed stay floating!

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