A system that is wide of the mark

Bloxham, Susan (2007) A system that is wide of the mark. Times Higher Education (THE) .

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The idea of fair assessment is not only meaningless but the ways in which it is guaranteed are counterproductive, says Sue Bloxham. Most assessment is a matter of professional judgment. A doctor will make an informed judgment when diagnosing symptoms, but the more complex and difficult the nature of the symptoms, the more the diagnosis is open to question. A second opinion is sought for just that reason. But it is only a second opinion, not necessarily any more correct. Likewise when we make judgments about student work; the more complex the subject matter or task, the greater the number of factors to take into account and the more likely that we will come to different decisions about the correct mark. A second opinion may confirm or contradict our view, but neither will be "correct" because, in most cases, there is no such thing as a correct grade. Marking involves an element of professional judgment informed by our own views of standards in our disciplines that are enormously difficult to codify and apply consistently to student work.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Times Higher Education (THE)
Publisher: TSL Education Ltd
ISSN: 0049-3929
Departments: Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Additional Information: Sue Bloxham is professor of academic practice and head of the Centre for the Development of Learning and Teaching at Cumbria University.
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2010 11:02
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 20:15
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/219


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