Course 4, Week 2: Making Judgements and Ensuring Quality

The second is an extension on week 1, but slightly harder to place into my current practice. In situations like this, I continue to check-in with FutureLearn regularly to gather perspectives, opinions and current practice of peers in academic teaching. I use this to help inform future teaching. 

The second week begins with this statement:

Now, I have issues with this belief. The view that the teacher or academic practice should never be questioned is absurd. Each person has their own belief systems, their own mindset and way of thinking, analysing and criticising. Once reaching teacher or academic status, this does not change and the individual does not becoming all-knowing, with all statements purely factual. But, this is very much the stance taken in education. What the assessor marks is often seen as final, as otherwise this would question the assessors abilities. I discussed issues with subjectivity further on the FutureLearn platform. 

Moderation, Calibration and Standardisation

To my relief, the issue of interpretation in assessing is one of the concerns presented in our online learning.

Several methods are provided for overcoming disparity in practice, the first is moderation. FutureLearn defines the difference between pre- and post- moderation clearly: 

Calibration is next introduced. This is a process of peer-review, similar to social moderation; it involves meeting with colleagues on a course to discuss and negotiate small samples of work. The aim is to ensure the team marking are consistent in their interpretation of what does/does not deserve merit. This was a standard practice in 11-19 teaching, especially in assessing coursework or mock assessments. It was a great CPD oppurtunity as well, working with colleagues on a shared subject to improve assessment and marking knowledge.

On FutureLearn, a fanastic document was further available for more information on calibration, which further improved my understanding of the practice in HE compared to FE and my comment on the section.  The document can be found here: 

The CU method falls closely in line with the multi-level model of consensus moderation, which provides reassurance to all stakeholders that multiple practices have been used to reach a final professional judgement. FutureLearn provided the multi-level model example for CU here:

Quality Assurance and Enhancement:Key places this will take are presented in the screenshot from the FutureLearn video here: 

Peer Review Assessment

To bring the course and the module to a close, students of the M08 FutureLearn module were asked to complete a Peer Assessment Activity. We were each required to share our plans for resigning our assessment and feedback practices, to gain peer feedback to be used for the final reflection assignment. 

The full peer review criteria can be accessed here: 

Due to the limitations of FutureLearn, I presented my assignment using this Coventry.Domains platform, which can be viewed here using the access password: 

My peer assessor was provided the link and the password to access the submission. 

As an early submission, I was lucky to be in a situation to receive feedback from multiple peers, as you can see below. 

From this feedback, I am confident that my redesign is aligned with the intended outcomes of the Personal Tutoring service. I am happy with actions taken so far so make our assessment-feedback processes more inclusive, authentic and innovative, as the comments given support. This feedback will reinforce my continued plans for progression, as I hope to discuss in the final assignment.

I  had also actively engaged in the peer-review activity, providing feedback on an Engineering module, which was deemed useful. n 

End of course reflection

These last two course weeks have been harder to apply to my own practice, but extremely insightful. This week, I have found the calibration exercises to be the most interesting, as I can clearly see how these can be applied to practice. I was also interested to see how moderation took place at CU and found the application on the Multi-level model of consensus moderation useful to my understanding of the Coventry Group’s processes. If an opportunity became available, I would like to see how the model is specifically applied at Coventry University London. 

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