The Effect of Marker Background and Training on the Quality of Marking in GCSE English

The Effect of Marker Background and Training on the Quality of Marking in GCSE English

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The Effect of Marker Background and Training on the Quality of Marking in GCSE English

In the UK, the selection of markers for national examination systems is largely a matter of custom and practice. The criteria used by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) are comparable to those used by other UK awarding bodies. These are that examiners should have suitable academic qualifications (usually a relevant degree or equivalent) and at least three terms’, teaching experience which should be recent and relevant. These selection criteria have face-validity, as it would seem appropriate to insist upon a relevant educational background and teaching experience at the appropriate level for the marking of examinations. Indeed the code of practice governing UK awarding body procedures (QCA, 2007) demands that examiners must have relevant experience in the subject but does not explicitly discuss the nature of this experience. The proliferation of examining and the introduction of computer-based assessment have meant that the search for an empirically supported definition of ‘,relevant experience’, has taken on new importance. Examiners are in short supply and e-marking technology has provided the facility for individual items within an examination to be marked separately, by individuals with different backgrounds. Investigations of the relationship between individual differences and marker reliability are crucial in determining examiner recruitment practices. A number of studies have attempted to identify factors that might allow the identification of those examiners who are likely to mark most reliably and those who are likely to require additional training or monitoring. These studies are reviewed below.

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