Case Study: Inclusive marking

College Science
School / Department (list all where collaborative across more than one) School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Department of Life Sciences

Project / Innovation Title Inclusive marking
Start & End Dates (where applicable) January 2018
Project Lead Name Dr Neil Holden
Additional Project Team Members  


Summary of project activities, student-engagement and associated teaching and learning innovation arising from project delivery (this should be around 500-600 words) and include reference to any publications or related outputs.

In many assessments the marking process is a one-way street where students individually submit their assessments which is marked and feedback given by one or more academics, this often leads students to submit and not consider their feedback and ways to improve their work for future assessments. To combat this for 2 of the modules in the department of life sciences, an undergraduate 2nd year module BMS2010 Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and a post-graduate taught masters module MBI9004 Molecular Virology, we have instigated inclusive marking.

In both modules, one of the assessments includes a live presentation, (which is a group presentation for BMS2010 and a single presentation for MBI9004). Both presentations take place in small seminar rooms to an audience of 1-2 academics and an audience of 20-30 peers, students are each marked by the academic(s), their peers and they carry out self-reflection and mark themselves.

Students initially may consider this an easy way to get high marks however one of the aims of this project is to get students to realistically consider and critique both their own work and the work of their peers and so we instigated the following mechanism for calculating the final mark – If the academic mark, the median of the peer mark, and the self-mark are within 5% of each other then the final grade is the highest of the 3 marks. If the 3 marks have >5% but <10% difference, then the average of the 3 marks is given. If the 3 marks have a variation of >10% then the assessment is moderated by another academic. This has ensured that students are realistic when marking themselves and their peers in class. To facilitate this marking, students are provided with a bespoke marking sheet with clear marking guidelines for each element of the assessment along with space to provide peer and self-feedback comments, which are anonymously feedback to the presenters by the academic. This has resulted in students becoming engaged not only for their own assessment but also engage in each other’s presentations and pick-up best practice for future presentation assessments. We find that this assessment has increased students’ ability to effectively present in front of an audience as well as increase their ability to critique others work. students have provided positive feedback about his assessment method including

“Assessments included peer evaluation as well as self-evaluation. This type of marking method for assessments has allowed students to discover their own strengths and weaknesses through their own perceptions as well as through the perception of others. This has allowed students to discover what skills and knowledge they need to develop for the future. This was especially useful when providing presentations during the journal clubs for class presentations”.



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