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You now need to think carefully about how to convert achievement against criteria and standards into a 'mark' or grade, in a way that is valid and reliable. To be valid, the outcome needs to accurately reflect the quality of the work; the holistic professional judgement we often talk about comes into play here. To be reliable, the process you use to assign grades or marks should ensure the same data will always produce the same result. This is especially important if there are multiple markers involved.
While using standards and criteria provides a more consistent approach to marking student work, professional judgement still plays a key role in assigning marks or grades. Often, a piece of student work contains elements across multiple levels of performance and we need to use our professional judgement to decide how that should be combined to produce a final mark or grade for the student.
Broadly, there are two approaches to ascribing grades under CRSBA.
The first approach assigns a weighting to each criteria and awards marks for each standard of performance. You can add these together or average them to get a final mark for the assessment.
|Criterion 1 (40%)||Description (35-40 marks)||Description (30-34marks)||Description (25-29 marks)||Description (20-24marks)||Description (0-19 marks)|
|Criterion 2 (40%)||Description (35-40 marks)||Description (30-34marks)||Description (25-29 marks)||Description (20-24marks)||Description (0-19marks)|
|Criterion 3 (20%)||Description (17.5-20 marks)||Description (15-17 marks)||Description (12.5-14.5 marks)||Description (10-12marks)||Description (0-9marks)|
You need to ensure the weightings you apply don't place too much or too little emphasis on each criterion. For example if you weight quality of writing fairly low, would a barely literate response still be eligible to achieve a pass grade? Conversely, if you weight it too high would those students who write well, but who don't necessarily understand the content, achieve a higher grade than they deserve?
Some criticise rubrics for their atomistic approach to assessment, however this doesn't need to be applied rigidly to your marking. While your criteria and standards make it clear to students what you are expecting them to do to achieve each grade, you need to decide – on balance and against those criteria – what level of performance the student's work is at. This is where you use your professional judgement to grade holistically.
In the above example, if you value each criterion equally, you can 'average' or combine the grades to assign a Credit as the final grade, and award a mark within the Credit band (65-74%). The final mark or grade needs to make sense given the grades highlighted in the rubric; for example, assigning a Pass grade for this assignment doesn't make sense based on the information provided. Sometimes, you may find a student response covers most but not all of the elements described in your criteria, for example they may have missed one of the areas you asked them to look at or have completed it to a different standard. A simple way to demonstrate this is to highlight the words that are relevant, for example:
|Accurately identify and describe the structural, language and visual features of a range of types of text.||A range of complex structural, language and visual features are consistently and accurately identified across all text types. The features are clearly described with consistent control of complex meta-language.||A range of complex structural language and visual features are consistently and accurately identified across different text types. The features are described using complex meta-language that is sustained across most text types.||A range of simple and more complex structural, language and visual features are accurately identified for most types of text.
Few errors in identification are evident. The features are described using more complex meta-language.
|Simple structural, language or visual features relevant to the text type are identified. Some errors in identification are evident for some text types.
The features are described in basic terms with the use of appropriate meta-language.
|Analysis of text content reflects critical literacy practices.||Text content is analysed using a range of sophisticated critical literacy practices. These have been skillfully synthesised in the discussion.||Text content is analysed using more sophisticated critical literacy practices. The practices are coherently synthesised in the discussion.||Text content is analysed using a number of simple critical literacy practices. These are used discretely in the discussion.||Text content is described rather than analysed. There is limited use of critical literacy practices resulting in a more superficial discussion of the|
This is a useful way to provide specific feedback to students about what they have done well and areas for improvement. As in the previous example, you would use your professional judgement to decide a holistic final mark/grade, which makes sense taking into account the student's performance across all the marking criteria.
Now you're ready to publish your assessment tasks and marking criteria and standards. As you use them throughout a session, keep notes on what works and any issues you'd like to improve upon for next time.
Terminology is important when writing assessments, criteria and standards so the following resources may help.