The ‘Marking Expertise’ projects: Empirical investigations of some popular assumptions

The ‘Marking Expertise’ projects: Empirical investigations of some popular assumptions

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The ‘Marking Expertise’ projects: Empirical investigations of some popular assumptions

Cambridge Assessment continually evaluates the quality of its assessments, and the Research Division is conducting a series of inter-related studies investigating factors that could affect the accuracy of examination marking. These factors may include markers’, teaching and marking experience and the depth of their subject knowledge. Certain personality traits may also be important. Furthermore, different types of question have been found to place different demands on markers. Our overall aim is to establish which skills and experiences are necessary for marking which question types. The research explores diverse questions from UK and International GCSEs, taken from past examination papers. For each question, responses from a mixture of candidates were selected and all marks and annotations were removed. Markers with different backgrounds undertook some training and re-marked the responses. Additionally, Kelly’,s Repertory Grid technique was used with the most senior examiners to elucidate question features associated with accuracy among different marker groups. Our initial studies focussed on maths and physics and a number of key findings from this research will be presented. More sophisticated follow-on studies are currently underway, investigating biology and business studies, these will also be outlined.

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