Face-to-Face Feedback Required?

Can the way that we mark, and return feedback make a difference? Instead of simply returning marked scripts to students, academics at Edinburgh Napier University invited first-year biomedical sciences students to sit with them while they assessed their work. With students in the room, tutors were able to explain more easily why they were awarding marks and which areas needed improvement, said Charlotte Chalmers, lecturer in biomedical science, who led the pilot study. The 45…

Questions of anonymous marking

We still don't have anonymous marking, and I certainly find it wrong in a world where we are increasingly giving feed-forward (and therefore would know whose piece of work it is), and are looking for students to provide personalised assignments using online tools such as blogs - which means we HAVE to know who they are: In recent years, the practice of "blind marking" students' written work has become almost universal in UK universities. Why?…

Over-zealous risk management?

Fear of litigation has left some scholars unwilling to criticise students' work. David Matthews reports Academics are afraid to give negative student references or put candid remarks on exam scripts because of an overbearing risk-management culture in universities, according to a researcher who has undertaken a two-year study of the issue. Kim Soin, reader in accounting at the University of Greenwich, said academics needed to engage with the concept of risk management to ensure their…

I feel like a marked man

This just rings SO true... Undergraduate examinations drive Tim Birkhead to the therapist's couch I hate to say it, but I really dislike marking examination scripts. I'm not sure if this is unusual, but I feel I need some help... Therapist: Lie down on the couch and tell me why you feel this way. Me: I've just been asked to mark 500 essays in 24 hours. In principle I could do it, but it gives…