Students Staff


August 27, 2014

MEFE is going public

Filed under: FASER, MEFE, Projects — Alex ONeill @ 12:10 pm

The MEFE project is going public next week as we speak about it at ALT C, a conference organised by the Association for Learning Technology with over 400 learning technologists attending from around the world.

We will be talking not only about the content of the project and what we have developed, but how the project has been run and what we have done to understand what our users want and need out of a feedback system.

The focus of the talk will be on “maximising engagement” of users, with the system, the feedback process and with each other. The next 12 months of the MEFE project will be looking at how to encourage this engagement across the University, showing the benefits of feedback and how the features of FASer can help with different parts of the process.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

July 7, 2014

Integrated similarity checking is nearly here!

Filed under: FASER, MEFE, Projects — Tags: , , — Alex ONeill @ 9:56 am

We are in the final stages of testing the FASer integration with our chosen similarity / plagiarism checker, Ephorus. It’s looking good and will make life much easier when organising submissions to be checked. All that will be required is to set up similarity checking on the Edit Assignment page and the final document submitted by each student will be automatically checked. You can then see the results and the reports directly in the FASer system – no more downloading and uploading of files requred!

Find out more about Ephorus here: More detailed instructions will be released once we launch the changes.

Also note, we are not planning on retiring TurnItIn at this time so it will still be available for manual checking if required.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

June 10, 2014

Similarity checking integration underway

Filed under: FASER, MEFE, Projects — Alex ONeill @ 11:45 am

The ability to automatically send documents for similarity checking is currently in development!

We are working on an integration with Ephorus, a popular similarity checking software which has a large user base in Europe and is gaining many users in the UK. This integration will mean you can create assignments in FASer that will automatically check the similarity of all or a portion of submissions after the deadline. It checks against millions of web pages and online journals, as well as comparing documents with previously submitted items. Academics and administrators will be able to see at a glance what percentage of a document has been matched against something else and see a report detailing what bits are similar to another document and the source of the match.

Development is fully underway with a plan to release the functionality at the beginning of July.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

May 23, 2014

Online annotation now available

Filed under: FASER, MEFE, Projects — Alex ONeill @ 10:03 am

There is now the option to annotate student submissions online using FASer. If you don’t want to bother with downloading and uploading files to the FASer system, you can now login and annotate documents directly in your web browser! All you need is to be signed up to the Feedback Assistant and named as a lecturer or second marker on an assignment (your department administrator should be able to do this if you aren’t already). To get to the online annotation section:

  1. Login to FASer (
  2. Click on Feedback Assistant in the left hand navigation.
  3. Search for your module.
  4. Either click on the assignment name to see a list of all students or the student icon  to start marking students one by one.


  5. Click on the pen icon  next to a document to annotate it. It may take a little while to load and process the document.


  6. Start annotating using the Comment button.

    Comment button

  7. The Comment bar gives you lots of options such as adding comments using points, areas or highlighting, drawing freehand and typing text directly onto the paper.

    comment bar

  8. You can also see a list of and jump quickly to any annotation using the Comments menu (click on the arrows in the top right corner).

    crocodoc arrows

  9. Once you’re done, click on the Marking Complete button and your annotated file will show in the list of feedbacks.
  10. Annotations save as you go along so if you get distracted, close the window or want to come back later you can click on the pen icon again to carry on annotating.

This is still in testing phase at the moment so feel free to contact LTT ( if you have any comments or questions (and don’t forget to “Tell us what you think”!)

tell us what you think

Look for the “Tell us what you think” button in the top right of any screen in FASer

Good luck! P.S. Isn’t Crocodoc just the best name for a marking system?!

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

May 19, 2014

New type of feedback launching on Thursday

Filed under: FASER, MEFE, Projects — Alex ONeill @ 11:20 am

On Thursday 22nd May (this week) we will be launching a new way to give feedback to students in the Feedback Assistant.

Lecturers will have the ability to open student submissions directly within their web browser and make notes on them just as they would in Word or PDF. They then mark as complete and move onto the next document – no uploading or downloading of documents or zipping up files!

Options include adding highlights, making side notes and typing text or making scribbles directly onto the page. Here’s a little sneak preview:

online annotation

If you want to try it out, sign up to the Feedback Assistant here. You will then see a link to it in the left hand navigation whenever you login to FASer.

If you have any questions feel free to contact the Learning Technology Team (, ext. 3659).

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.


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