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19 NOVEMBER 2012

Using Individual Weighting Factor to fairly recognise and compensate individual contributions to group work

"The modified pool of marks technique will not, however, overcome a fundamental weakness of the procedure, namely that the students have to allocate a fixed pool of marks or points. This can be difficult to do using whole numbers. For example, if eight marks are to be allocated between four people and one is given four of them it is not possible to give all the rest the same mark. An alternative technique is to allow the students to allocate marks freely and then calculate an individual weighting factor based on the ratio between the individual score and the average score for all members of the group. This has the advantage of avoiding putting students in the situation where for every additional mark they give to one individual they have to take a mark off another individual. Indeed this is confirmed where a scale of marks is used and students are unconstrained in the marks that they can allocate. In this situation they show a reluctance to make much use of the lower end of the scale and consequently the mean score is well above the middle (average) point of the scale (Conway et al, 1993). Next year, in addition to using the modified pool of marks technique, a variant on the technique used by Conway et al (1993) will also be employed (Appendix 3). This technique awards the group mark to a student who makes an average contribution. Those who make greater (or lesser) contributions receive more (or less) than the original group mark. The method of calculation is described in Appendix 4."

(Mick Healey, 1993, p.4)

Mick Healey "Developing Student Capability Using Peer and Self Assessment: A Preliminary Evaluation of The Distribution of a Pool of Marks Technique for Assessing The Contribution of Individuals to a Group Project", Using Assessment to Develop Capability conference, 1993.

TAGS

1993accountabilityassessment criteriaassessment for learningassessment techniques • Atara Sivan • contribution to the group • David Kember • fairnessgrading schemegroup work • Higher Education for Capability (HEC) • individual accountability • individual contribution • Individual Weighting Factor • learning and teaching • May Wu • measurementmeasuring individual performancemeasuring instrument • Mick Healey • modified pool of marks technique • peer assessment • peer evaluationpeer learningproject work • Robert Conway • student performance

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 MARCH 2012

Seeking quality in criterion referenced assessment

"Norm and criterion referenced assessment are two distinctly different methods of awarding grades that express quite different values about teaching, learning and student achievement. Norm referenced assessment, or 'grading on the curve' as it is commonly known, places groups of students into predetermined bands of achievements. Students compete for limited numbers of grades within these bands which range between fail and excellence. This form of grading speaks to traditional and rather antiquated notions of 'academic rigour' and 'maintaining standards'. It says very little about the nature or quality of teaching and learning, or the learning outcomes of students. Grading is formulaic and the procedure for calculating a final grade is largely invisible to students.

Criterion referenced assessment has been widely adopted in recent times because it seeks a fairer and more accountable assessment regime than norm referencing. Students are measured against identified standards of achievement rather than being ranked against each other. In criterion referenced assessment the quality of achievement is not dependent on how well others in the cohort have performed, but on how well the individual student has performed as measured against specific criteria and standards. Underlying this grading scheme is a concern for accountability regarding the qualities and achievements of students, transparency and negotiability in the process by which grades are awarded, an acknowledgement of subjectivity and the exercise of professional judgement in marking."

(Lee Dunn, Sharon Parry and Chris Morgan, 2002)

TAGS

2002 • academic rigour • accountabilityassessmentassessment criteria • assessment regime • awarding grades • banding • benchmark • cohort • criteria and standards • criterion • criterion referenced assessment • education • excellence • fail • fairness • grades • grading • grading on the curve • grading schemeinformation in contextlearninglearning outcomes • marking • measurement • negotiability • norm • norm referenced assessment • norm referencing • pedagogy • predetermined bands of achievements • professional judgement • qualities and achievements • quality of achievement • range • ranked • standardisationstandardised testingstandardsstandards of achievementstudent achievementstudent performancestudentssubjectivityteachingteaching and learning • teaching and learning quality • teaching methodstransparency

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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