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Feedback and Assessment
Feedback and Assessment

Grading and marking

There are 4 main issues relating to grading and marking: scales and standards, reducing variability, using criteria and providing helpful feedback.

Each institution will have its own system of grading which you will need to be familiar with. From a marking and grading perspective scales and standards refers to ‘what does each of these grades mean, in terms of the nature, quality, maybe quantity, of work?’ In other words, what are the assessment criteria?

When marking you want to ensure that as much as possible only the student’s performance is reflected and that other extraneous factors have as minimal an effect as possible. For example, whether the student’s essay was first in the pile, or last and so forth. In other words another marker given the same assessment task should broadly be in agreement. There are a number of strategies to assist in Reducing Variability.

Adopting a standard set of criteria is a significant strategy to improve objectivity of marking process and hence minimize the variability. It is important therefore that in all assessment tasks, there are clear descriptors of the standards against which you will mark or grade the students’ responses and that these criteria have been explained to the students in tutorials.

See Effective written feedback and in-class feedback for strategies related to providing students with written and oral feedback.