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?!

August 2, 2013

OCS is changing its name – Say hello to FASer

Filed under: Milestone Reached,Project Report,System Development — sgswaine @ 7:49 am

OCS will be changing it’s name this week to FASer – Feedback, Assessment, Submission electronic repository.

What are the reasons for this name change?

1. The current Online Coursework Submission name only alludes to a singular purpose, e-submission. Along with many other institutions nationally we are working towards a system that can handle three themes; e-submission, e-feedback, & e-marking; and broadly speaking all under an Assessment and Feedback step-change project. So we need a name that will reflect scalability for the additional functions we hope it will handle in the future.

2. OCS – we are obsessed with three letter acronyms and were looking for something that could be used as a word/ perhaps acronym that was longer than three letters. Moodle is a great example of a word that doesn’t stand for anything. CMR is another acronym but is not a very conversational word like ListenAgain or FindYourWay…but something like FeedbackSubmissionMarkingSystem is going a little bit far.

3. Students that were surveyed were dissociated with the tool’s identity and brand. They agreed that now was the time to establish a brand/identity of the tool as it will be changing. We hope this will give us opportunities to explore student engagement later in the year – something that is very hard to quantify. Real engagement. We can capture that students have “checked a box to agree they have read their feedback” before actually moving on to receive marks – but what does that mean? Will that feed forward and improve their next submission? Imagine FASer as a tool with a personality – students are the biggest user group of the system by a long way – if we can connect with them in a relevant way all the better.

Why FASer?

Well it was quite difficult to pin a name down at short notice. We did come up with an awesome name – SAFE (submission, assessment, feedback electronically)…but it turns out a neighbour university has already bestowed this name on their system. So FASer (pronounced Phaser or Phazer) was the only next name on the table that was relevant and timely.

How will this affect us now?

All web links that go to will now be redirected to which will be in place during the week. Links in the student myEssex website will still get them to where they need to be for submission.  When you log in to FASer you will now be welcomed with a new title. We have been in talks with Departmental Administrators recently to help with wording for  handbooks as they need to be produced simultaneously. Please get in contact if you need any assistance with wording or are concerned that what you have written still alludes to OCS – this is okay and anticipated throughout 2013-14.

You can enrol yourself on the Moodle course to be made aware of development news and to be involved in user testing.