Judging quality through substantive conversations between markers

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Title Judging quality through substantive conversations between markers
Author Grainger, Peter Ralph; Purnell, Ken; Zipf, Reyna
Journal Name Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Year Published 2008
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Decisions by markers about quality in student work remain confusing to most students and markers. 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 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.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602930601125681
Volume 33
Issue Number 2
Page from 133
Page to 142
ISSN 0260-2938
Date Accessioned 2012-03-28; 2012-04-03T22:51:08Z
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Specialist Studies in Education
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/44197
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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