Question: What should marking criteria look like and how should we use them?
At this stage of the cycle, assignments have been submitted and they are going to be graded/marked/judged. How does this process work? What basis do you have for making the decisions?
NB For the purposes of this discussion, we are not thinking about the types of assignments where you are adding up the number of correct answers/elements – short answer questions and the like – that kind of assignment needs a marking scheme, not marking criteria.
As we move through the course, it seems appropriate to give you some choice over your formative assessment.
a) Develop marking criteria for an assignment task you are familiar with
b) Critique existing criteria for an assignment task you are familiar with
Use any approach you like for this – we’ve provided links to the descriptors used at Queens’ University Belfast and Manchester Metropolitan, but it would make sense to use your own university’s descriptors as a basis for development or critique. The resources listed below should help you to frame your ideas. Questions you might like to ask:
What is being assessed with this task?
Do these criteria capture the threshold (pass) requirements?
Do these criteria allow me to reward outstanding performance?
Are these criteria appropriate to this level of study? Am I expecting enough? too much?
Queens University Belfast assessment criteria
Information about and links to MMU Marking descriptors
Guidance on using MMU marking descriptors (scroll down to f) Marking Criteria)
Some things we know about marking screencast (some MMU staff may have seen this already as part of their PGCAP – no need to sit through it again)
Hendricks, C (2013): Problems With Grading Rubrics For Complex Assignments blogs.ubc.ca/chendricks/2013/01/23/problems-with-grading-rubrics-for-complex-assignments
This is a blog entry which touches on many of the issues which have been raised in discussion for previous topics, as well as about rubrics (sometimes also called marking grids). Well worth a read, freely available, and contains a link to another paper by Royce Sadler which I think you’ll also find useful.
Articles which depend on your library access:
Beattie, D., et al. (2008). “Are we all agreed it’s a 2.i? Making assessment criteria explicit.” Practitioner Research in Higher Education 2(1): 36-42.
Bloxham, S. (2012). “‘You can see the quality in front of your eyes’: grounding academic standards between rationality and interpretation.” Quality in Higher Education 18(2): 185-204.
Bloxham, S., et al. (2011). “Mark my words: the role of assessment criteria in UK higher education grading practices.” Studies in Higher Education 36(6): 655-670. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075071003777716
Ecclestone, K. (2001). “‘I know a 2:1 when I see it’: understanding criteria for degree classifications in franchise university programmes.” Journal of Further and Higher Education 25(3): 301-312.
Orr, S. (2010). “We kind of try to merge our own experience with the objectivity of the criteria: The role of connoisseurship and tacit practice in undergraduate fine art assessment.” Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education 9(1): 5-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/adch.9.1.5_1
Examples of assignment briefs with rubrics