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Efficient pre-assessment intervention to enhance student judgements using ReView

Thompson, D., Lawson, R. and Boud, D. (2011) Efficient pre-assessment intervention to enhance student judgements using ReView. In: Australian Technology Network (ATN) Assessment Conference 2011, 20 - 21 October 2011, Perth, Western Australia


Pre-assessment interventions aimed at helping students to understand assessment criteria and standards have led to significant improvements in performance (Rust et al., 2003). However, broad adoption of these interventions has not been widespread, perhaps due to a perception that too much additional time may need to be spent in conducting these interventions. This presentation analyses a tightly-focused intervention to improve students‘ and tutors‘ understanding of assessment criteria and their judgement of required standards. It was integrated within an honours degree subject in Design using the web-based marking tool ReView,

The intervention engaged students with the assessment criteria and standards of a design task exemplar using the same criteria that would be used to assess their work on this task. The tutor used 20 minutes of a normal lecture period working with a class of 80 students to grade the exemplar piece prior to the submission date. Onscreen grading sliders in ReView were used by students to show how they judged each criterion. This was accompanied with explanations for these judgements. Tutors were also asked during this live process to grade and provide an explanation for their judgements. Students were then asked to self-assess their own work on ReView at the time of submission using their experience of grading the exemplar for guidance. Once marking was complete, the ReView tool displayed the tutor‘s feedback as well as both the students‘ and tutors‘ grading against each criterion and the total. This clearly exposed the variation between the students and the tutor‘s judgements for the task.

The students‘ performance in this task was compared to results from the 2010 cohort of the same subject, who did not undergo the pre-assessment intervention. The 2011 cohort performed significantly better in each of the criteria and in the final marks. The 2011 students also showed less deviation from the tutors‘ marks in their self-assessments than in the previous year. Correlation analysis showed that those students who were more accurate in their self-assessment of their own work had higher grades than those who showed a large difference between their self-assessment mark and the tutors.

There were a number of critical features of the design of this intervention to benefit the development of student judgement: a) making judgements of an exemplar based on the criteria for the task in a context where variant opinions and reasons were expressed; b) self-assessing their own work using the exemplar marking experience for guidance; c) seeing a visual comparison of their self-assessment of their own work against the tutors for assessment criteria and totals.

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