Seem I had such a great response to ‘Can I do this’ blog I thought I would share another great concern of mine and that is how we are marked. Have you ever had that excited yet scared emotion when you hear results have been released? Only to find your marked assignment is a big let down. You have worked your butt off and you checked it numerous times against the rubric how could you possibly have such a crap mark? Not to mention a fellow student who posted on face book two days before the assignment was due that they were only just starting, now she just posted that she got 98% !!!!
I found it interesting the other week when I read a lecturer’s comments on how we are marked. They stated that a marker only has half an hour to mark each assignment and to ensure all markers are consistent an essay is randomly plucked out and all markers mark and then compare marks. As long as the % of difference is low the markers are deemed consistent. I am sure this is a system that has more than likely been used for some time however I have to ask how fair is this system? Have you ever asked for a re-mark or wanted to ask for one? I have and I was correct in doing so as my mark increased. This was a good indication to me that I had fair grounds for requesting the re-mark. I know of another student who also asked for a re-mark and was awarded an extra 10 points to her original mark ! The remarks which came through with her amended results was that the marker was having a bad day! Seriously?
I know from my own personal experiences the sacrifices I make and the hours I put into every assignment and to have someone limited to half an hour to mark what takes well over the recommended study time to complete does seem a little unfair. What erks me even more is the comments that are attached to assignments ( or the lack of). There is nothing more disheartening than having a marked assignment returned full of negative comments. I was lucky enough to do a course last semester where the marker provided very positive comments and no, my assignment was not of HD standard but the comments made me feel like I had put in a great effort and with a little tweaking I could reach the HD standard.
It is very disheartening to think that whether we receive a degree largely depends on how well we write an essay, express our creativeness or interpret a rubric (that may not always be relative to what one has learned throughout the course or difficult to interpret). The fact that we are awarded only 1% for practical placement makes it appear that the marks awarded are unbalanced. Who is to say that ‘Johnny’ is a better teacher than ‘ Paul’ because he has achieved HDs for all of his assignments? Yet he has no life experience, no children and finds it very difficult to teach or engage a room full of nine year olds.
These are just my opinions and I would love to hear if you agree or disagree. I know one thing for sure, I want to encourage my future students to reach for the stars and I will be encouraging this by being a fair marker who also considers the little things such as the effort that was put in by the student. Making a point of marking and returning their marked work in an appropriate time frame and most importantly only ever providing positive feedback (no red pens 🙂 ).