Students Staff
University of Essex

May 23, 2014

Online annotation now available

Filed under: Milestone Reached,System Development,System Update,Testing — 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?!

May 19, 2014

New type of feedback launching on Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — 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).

May 12, 2014

Student feedback email alerts are coming!

Filed under: System Development,System Update,Technical — Alex ONeill @ 1:06 pm

As of next Monday, 19th May, students will be sent email alerts when they receive feedback through the FASer system.

Email alert

In response to requests from students, the FASer system will now send out an email to students whenever they receive a piece of feedback from their department. The email will be sent to their University email address and will contain a link in the body so they can click through directly to their feedback as soon as they have received it. Students will no longer have to check the system to find out whether anything has been uploaded.

For staff, they will be warned when they are publishing an assignment or making feedback visible so they know emails are going to be sent out. There is a half hour delay on the email being sent so that feedback can be hidden or deleted if released accidentally.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment below or email

May 7, 2014

Test the new in-FASer document annotation system

Filed under: System Development,System Update,Testing — Alex ONeill @ 8:45 am

Want to be a beta tester?

We have now started beta testing on the Feedback Assistant with real users and are hoping to get more using the system over the next few weeks.

The Feedback Assistant gives academics the chance to change the way they approach feedback with their students. It allows them to:

  • access submissions one student at a time
  • give text feedback
  • give audio feedback within the browser
  • drag and drop feedback files to upload them
  • give feedback to groups of students or the whole cohort

We will also very shortly be releasing the ability to annotate submissions directly within the web browser – no need to download or upload files at all! We are using a nifty little system called Crocodoc to help us with this – apart from the fact it has a great name, it makes opening of Word, PDF and Powerpoint files really easy and you can type comments, add drawings, highlight text and more without ever leaving FASer.

If you want to try out the new system, we can come to your office to talk through how you mark and what might work best for you and show you the basics of using the system. Either sign yourself up to the system here or email Alex O’Neill on