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Judging quality through substantive conversations between markers

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Peter GraingerPeter Grainger, Kenneth PurnellKenneth Purnell, Reyna ZipfReyna Zipf
Decisions by markers about quality in student work remain confusing to most students and markers (Banks, 2005; Haines, 2004; Payne, 2003; Sadler; 2002). This may in part be due to the relatively subjective nature of what constitutes a quality response to an assessment task. This paper reports on an experiment that documented the process of decision making by multiple markers at a university who assessed the same written student assessment responses. The paper analyses the professional conversations between those markers around their conceptions of quality in the student assessment responses. It was found that the markers appeared to share common understandings of quality in the context of the marking criteria and standards across the achievement levels awarded. However, despite these apparently shared notions of quality, in some cases different levels of achievement were awarded to the same student assessment responses. This suggests that there is a clear need for explicitly stated standard descriptors for each level of achievement and that this must be interpreted through substantive professional conversations in the context of real student work. The key driver is the student work, and conversations amongst markers about what constitutes ‘quality’ in the context of the written and explicit criteria and standards of achievement that are available to students and markers alike, are a necessity.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

33

Issue

2

Start Page

133

End Page

142

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1469-297X

ISSN

0260-2938

Location

London

Publisher

Routledge - Taylor and Francis Group

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education; Intercultural Education Research Institute (IERI);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Assessment and evaluation in higher education.

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