TOWARDS UTOPIA: TRAINING TEACHING ASSISTANTS TO MARK CONSISTENTLY

Joel M Ross, R K Selwyn, Sean A Lancastle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

The increasing fiscal pressure on higher education has created a drive toward larger cohorts, in turn making marking and feedback extremely burdensome. As a result, postgraduate teaching assistants are employed in ever greater numbers to provide feedback and grading, particularly of reports, early in a student’s academic career. Whilst relieving workload from academics in one area, the challenges of quality assurance and moderation are becoming increasingly acute.

This paper reports on interventions to train teaching assistants to provide consistent marking and helpful feedback to students. The training sessions utilised a newly developed interactive group learning space to provide the assistants with hands on experience before they began. After this initial intervention the assistants were employed to conduct the marking and feedback. After each successive marking instance, the authors moderated the assistants’ outputs. Initially, there were still significant shortcomings in assistant marking consistency, requiring moderation changes of up to 5 grade boundaries. This was corrected through several further interactive tutorials which reduced marking discrepancies to within acceptable limits. Whilst a singular intervention was not sufficient, strategies to implement successful assistant marking and feedback were obtained and are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED2020 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Place of PublicationValencia, Spain
PublisherIATED
Pages 8247-8251
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-84-09-17939-8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Structured keywords

  • Engineering Education Research Group

Keywords

  • Quality assurance
  • Marking
  • Feedback
  • Training

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