Cirrus Hidden Gem: Annotation Excellence

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This month, it’s all about marking, we’re thrilled to introduce an exciting hidden gem in our new and improved Cirrus Marking Tool: Annotation. This feature, born from your feedback, is designed to streamline the marking process and enhance the clarity of feedback for candidates. Let’s dive into what makes Annotation a game-changer for your marking workflow.

What It Is

Annotation is a versatile tool that allows markers to highlight candidate responses, provide comments, and connect feedback to specific criteria. Imagine being able to pinpoint exactly where a candidate excelled or where they could improve, all with a few simple clicks. Here’s how it works:

  • Highlighting: Select a piece of text within a candidate’s response.
  • Commenting: A pop-over appears, enabling you to add a comment to the highlighted text.
  • Connecting to Criteria: Optionally, link your comment to a specific criterion to provide focused feedback.

The Perks

Personalised feedback 

Annotation allows markers to give personalised feedback directly on candidate responses. By highlighting specific sections and adding thoughtful comments, feedback becomes more meaningful and helpful. Candidates will appreciate knowing exactly what they did well and where they can improve.

Quick and easy comments

With handy pre-defined comments like “Source?”, “Off-Topic,” “Good,” “Grammar,” “Disagree,” and “Rewrite,” markers can quickly provide consistent feedback. This not only speeds up the marking process but also ensures that every candidate gets clear and helpful guidance.

Clear criteria tracking 

Markers can easily link their annotations to specific criteria, making it simple to see how each response stacks up against set standards. The system shows the number of annotations for each criterion, giving a clear picture of performance and areas that need attention.

Flexible feedback sharing 

We know that feedback visibility is important. With Annotation, you can choose to make comments visible only to markers or share them with everyone, including candidates. This flexibility ensures that feedback is given appropriately, whether for internal discussions or for helping candidates grow and learn.

Visibility Scenarios

Annotations can be shown in various scenarios, tailored to your needs:

  • Directly after exam: Show results and annotations immediately after the exam. Ideal for objective questions but less so for manually scored ones.
  • After publishing results: Once the final results are published, annotations can be displayed on the candidate dashboard, provided the ‘Detailed’ option is enabled.
  • Candidate review session: The most common scenario. After results are published, set up a review session where detailed feedback, including annotations, can be shown to candidates.

How It Works in Cirrus

Enabling Annotation in Cirrus is straightforward. In the assessment options, toggle on ‘Show annotations’ and select when and how you want to display them to candidates. Whether immediately after the exam or during a review session, you have full control over the feedback process.

Curious to learn more about Annotation and how it can enhance your marking process in Cirrus? Check out our Knowledge Base for detailed guides and tips.

Not a Cirrus customer yet? Let’s discuss how our advanced marking tools can simplify your workflow and improve candidate feedback.

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Picture of Mathijs Urbanus
Mathijs Urbanus
Mathijs heads up Cirrus' Customer Support Team. With his technical expertise and experience helping our diverse customers get the most out of Cirrus, he knows the platform like no other.
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