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Student-generated marking keys: Lowering standards or raising them?

Barnard Clarkson
School of Communications and Multimedia, Edith Cowan University
We see self assessment in action all the time, whether we are playing a social game of tennis, watching a game of marbles in the playground or a verbal disagreement in a bar. Traditionally however we insist students rely on some external authority when it comes to rating their own work. Would students set too low a standard if we asked them to create the marking key as well as the assignment, or would they lack the skills needed? My experience in a multimedia unit just completed is that they tend to set very high standards indeed, and then strive to achieve them. Furthermore this meta-learning allows them to reflect on the skills that contribute to the quality of their work. The literature on adult learning and rubrics supports the concept in general terms, and there seems to be the prospect for this approach to support generic skills improvements too. Nevertheless it was not all 'plain sailing' and the session will conclude with some suggestions to improve the process; and would welcome contributions from others who try such things in their units.
Please cite as: Clarkson, B. (2003). Student-generated marking keys: Lowering standards or raising them? In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/clarkson-abs.html

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Last revision: 13 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/clarkson-abs.html