Towards Consistent and Fair Assessment Practice of Students’ Subjective Writing
Keywords:Fair Assessment, Bias, Reliability, Equity; Justice; Validity
The question of fairness is perhaps as old as the invention of assessment in education, and it is of utmost significance for the teachers to understand this issue to ensure that certain fundamental standards are followed so that all assessments administered to students are fair and consistent. This paper aims to explore the way students’ writings are marked by the assessors at a selected university in Bangladesh. It addresses two questions: do all the markers follow the same criteria while marking a piece of writing? and, do test takers know the criteria used by the markers? For the current work, the variation of marks awarded by multiple markers on a written task was compared and the issues affecting their marking variations were explored. The data sample was chosen in simple random sampling approach to ensure representativeness of the population. The findings confirm no evidence of inter-marker reliability, where the marks of the script were clearly influenced by different factors for the individual markers. It also reveals that the test takers are unaware of the criteria used for marking their writing. The paper concludes by providing a number of recommendations on the way forward to solve the issues of fair and consistent assessment.
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