Assessment in higher education: the potential for a community of practice to improve inter-marker reliability
2016-02-24T13:53:30Z (GMT) by
The design, delivery and assessment of a complete educational scheme, such as a degree programme or a professional qualification course, is a complex matter. Maintaining alignment between the stated aims of the curriculum and the scoring of student achievement is an overarching concern. The potential for drift across individual aspects of an educational scheme (teaching, learning and assessment), together with emerging criticism in extant literature of the reliability of marking processes, suggests that, in practice, maintaining alignment might be more difficult than had previously been assumed. In this paper, the concept of a Community of Practice (CoP) is employed as an analytical lens through which the notion of a markers' standardisation meeting that focuses on maintaining alignment between the curriculum, the marking scheme and the scoring of student scripts can be critically examined. Given that the aims and subject content of management learning are both multidimensional and contextual, such meetings have the potential to develop a shared approach to the elaboration and application of the marking scheme. A further role of the CoP is in the calibration of markers to accommodate further variations in student responses as they arise in the actual marking process. In this respect, the CoP has both descriptive and prescriptive potential in terms of aiding the development of markers of professional accounting examinations and also, we suggest, within accounting education more generally.