assessing students’ learning: it’s more than just marking   Leave a comment

This morning I attended an optional module of the course on developing teaching skills, which was dealing with the assessment of students’ learning.  I know, it does not sound so exciting… anyway, it was fascinating and informative not only to follow the pathway of this subject presented by the lecturer, but also to see how professionals with different backgrounds approach the assessment process in more or less similar ways.

My experience in this aspect of teaching is extremely limited.  I have to go back in time to my first job as a tutor of organic chemistry for biology students.  At some point one of my colleagues and me with the supervision of one of the professors of the course had to mark the written tests.  It turned out to be not an easy task.  I remember my colleague and the professor complaining benevolently about the high marks I was giving the students.  So today I have been finally introduced to the importance of developing a marking scheme to assess students’ learning and to other things as well.

When we were working in groups we had to read two essays on an environmental topic individually and, then, we had to discuss our marking.  The discussion was very vivid, not turning into an argument though, but everyone wanted to explain the reasons why the essay of student 1 was much better than the one written by student 2 or vice versa.  At the end we came to the conclusion that our group marking scheme needed some revision, and we did a relatively good job because the marks of our group were close to those assigned by professional teachers.

So today I started getting familiar with the UK academic grading scheme.  It was kind of fun having to do it in a relaxed environment.  In the real world it is most probably going to be much more complicated than just marking a couple of unknown students.




Posted October 28, 2014 by andrecatte in career

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