The Marking Matrix

This cohort group exercise was to get to grips with assessment and review how the language format within the assessment criteria is structured.

It is important to mention at this point that this exercise came at the end of a session looking at two readings John Nixon ‘Interpretive Pedagogies for Higher Education’ and Ron Barnett’s chapter on Dispositions and Qualities. Within subsectioned groups we had spoken at length referencing dispositions and qualities mentioned in that chapter to compare them within the context of UALs Creative Attributes Framework. I consider to be an important link towards the current statements in the marking matrix and the assessment and attainment of students

Working in a group of five we looked at the current assessment matrix and discussed how the wording of the band descriptors can be improved. Some we found to be rather dated and not coherent. We were given the task of analysing the band descriptors to state what we thought may be wrong with it in its current form.

What is wrong with these band descriptors? Try to list as many flaws as you can (I’ve started you off):

  1. The difference between the descriptors for D/C, B and A is not always obvious
  2. Some aspects of the standard descriptors won’t apply to all assessed tasks
  3. The descriptors for the F and E grades are… rather unkind
  4. There are areas open for interpretation as well as manipulation of the grade boundaries.
  5. Some of the descriptors a rather vague and require more defined clarification
  6. There is no following order scaffolded descriptors therefore there is a gap between the banding an the matrix itself is inconsistent.   

We discussed the above areas of the descriptors.  Manipulation especially where there is no anonymous (blind) marking. We considered how these descriptors effected students.

Now, use the blank matrix on the next page to write your own band descriptors to peer and self-assess your participation in a group discussion task.

The second part of the task was to create our own descriptors using the following learning outcomes from the discussion task:

  • Analysis
  • Communication & Presentation,
  • Collaborative and/or Independent Professional Working

This was interesting challenging and fun and a good way to combine our thoughts that had also been influenced by our prior reading and discussion. I have thoroughly enjoyed this exercise. I enjoyed their collaborative approach and discussions what I learned from others and what I learned about myself. This was an engaging way to promote clear understanding of the assessment criteria a device which could be used within the classroom with students.




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