I’m moderating assignments today.  It’s an important step in the assessment process.

It works like this Lecturer A marks the assignment.  Lecturer A can then give the assignment back to the students making it clear it’s ‘subject to internal and external moderation’, or the work can then be passed to Lecturer B who then performs internal moderation before returning to the students?

What do we check?  There’s simple addition errors which can be spotted, but more importantly moderation checks that the marking scheme which has been provided to the students has been applied consistently.  I see three outcomes from moderation –

  1. No problems, the marking scheme has been applied appropriately and the marks can be passed to the students (subject to external moderation by the external examiners).
  2. Problems with one or two assignments.  As a moderator I would never unilaterally change a student’s marks, but discuss with Lecturer A why they awarded a particular mark.  There may be some ‘negotiation’.
  3. Problems with all marks.  This could indicate a problem with the marking scheme, and will need closer examination.  In the few rare times this has happened, we’ve prepared a report for the external examiner about the difficulties.  In reality this rarely happens with coursework, and is more common with examinations.  There are various options available to the module team.

One quirk of our faculty is that we do moderation in green pen, so it’s frequently known as ‘green inking’ coursework or examinations.

Enough procrastination, I’d better get my ‘green ink’ out and start moderating.  Marking some assignments and then completing the long-prepared course report for e-skills awaits.


1 comment so far

  1. Simon Stanford on

    I think red and green are international colours for marking and moderating. An OU lecturer told me once that when you sit an exam you should then go through and mark it yourself in red and put the mark on the front. ( Nothing too high to arouse suspicion of course)

    The poor harrased marker faced with hundreds of scripts will pick it up and think he has already marked. The really clever students put green pen on the last few pages so the moderator falls for it as well.

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