The impact on stakeholder confidence of increased transparency in the examination assessment process

Matt Bamber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A group of postgraduate accounting and finance students were asked to participate in a three-phase exercise: sit an unseen past examination question; mark a fully anonymised previous student solution (exemplar); and then mark their own work. The marking process was facilitated by explaining and discussing the marking guide, assessment systems and process, and grade descriptors. Levels of marking accuracy significantly improved through the phases of the exercise, demonstrating a calibration of standards. Students’ perceptions of the exercise were explored via questionnaires and focus groups. Respondents gave a strong indication that the exercise was useful and identified several learning benefits. The introduction of transparency was found to contribute towards increased stakeholder confidence in the rigour and robustness of assessment systems and processes. It also made participants less cynical about marking veracity and integrity. Another consequence of this increased transparency was that while some concerns were alleviated, others emerged. Through this exercise, students came to understand some of the difficulties assessors face when completing examination setting and marking exercises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-487
Number of pages17
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Examination marking
  • Assessment process
  • Transparency

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