Perceived Differences in Tutor Grading in Large Classes: Fact or Fiction?

Stipes Publishing LLC
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Willey Keith and Gardner Anne 2010, 'Perceived Differences in Tutor Grading in Large Classes: Fact or Fiction?', , Stipes Publishing LLC, USA, , pp. S2G-1-S2G-6.
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For many years the authors have coordinated a large engineering design subject, having a cohort of approximately 300+ students. Lectures are supported by tutorials of approximately 32 students which incorporate collaborative team learning activities and project-based learning. Each tutor is responsible for grading the assessment tasks for students in their tutorial. A common issue is how to achieve a consistent standard of marking between different tutors. To address this issue the authors have used a number of methods including double-blind marking and remarking to support consistent grading. Despite mainly finding only small variations between the grading of different tutors a number of students still complained about a perceived lack of consistency. We theorised that differences in the feedback provided by tutors was a contributing factor to this perception. In this paper we report investigating this theory and finding that while students' perception of difference in grading were not unfounded, the problem was exacerbated by inconsistencies in the language tutors use when providing feedback.
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