Improving the standard and consistency of multi-tutor grading in large classes

Publisher:
Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, University of Technology Sydney
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
Assessment: Sustainability, Diversity and Innovation. A conference on assessment in higher education 2010, 2010, pp. 88 - 98
Issue Date:
2010-01
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For several years the authors have coordinated a large engineering design subject, having a typical cohort of more than 300 students per semester. Lectures are supported by tutorials of approximately 32 students that incorporate a combination of collaborative team and project-based learning activities. 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 and student feedback between different tutors. To address this issue the authors have used a number of methods including double-blind marking and/or random re-marking to support consistent grading. However, even when only small variations between the overall grading of different tutors were found, students still complained about a perceived lack of consistency. In this paper we report on an investigation into the use of a collaborative peer learning process among tutors to improve mark standardisation, and marker consistency, and to build tutorsâ expertise and capacity in the provision of quality feedback. We found that studentsâ perceptions of differences in grading were exacerbated by inconsistencies in the language tutors use when providing feedback, and by differences in tutorsâ perceptions of how well individual criterion were met.
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