Marking and moderation

As noted in the Regulations for Study (section 3), the University is committed to ensuring assessment enables students to show they have met the learning outcomes for their programme, through a variety of assessment methods, in line with the Assessment & Feedback Policy . Full details of assessment tasks, marking criteria, and arrangements for providing formative and summative feedback on assessed work must be provided in module and programme handbooks.

The University also has a range of measures in place to ensure fairness in assessment and to protect the standards of its awards; including: anonymous marking for summative assessments, and the requirement that robust and transparent internal moderation processes are applied to all assessed work (for all assessment modes) submitted for the award of University credit. These measures apply in all Schools/Departments and all delivery locations, including partner organisations, although the format of marking and moderation processes may vary, according to local circumstances, the mode of assessment, and professional body requirements.

Programme-level processes for internal moderation should be agreed (in line with the guidance in this chapter) through Subject Committees and approved by Faculty AESC/QLICs. Arrangements for internal moderation of collaborative programmes leading to Oxford Brookes awards, which must involve at least one member of University staff (usually the Liaison Manager), should be agreed with the partner organisation and clearly set out in the Operations Manual. The procedures which will be followed should be clearly communicated to students in programme/module handbooks, along with information on how marks will be allocated for each assessment task.

Anonymous marking

Anonymous marking is the practice of concealing the identity of the student who submitted the assessment from the staff member marking their work, until a mark has been agreed by the internal examiners.

All summative assessment, including all summative assessment on programmes delivered through a collaborative partnership, must be marked anonymously, unless it is not possible for a specific form of assessment to be carried out anonymously. For all instances where anonymous marking is not possible, particular attention must be given to ensuring that assessment processes are fair; and they should be clearly described in module handbooks. As a minimum, all students must be informed when an assessment will not be marked anonymously.

As far as possible, assessed work should be submitted electronically to facilitate anonymous marking. Where electronic submission is not possible, or nor practised, then the standard University Coursework Submission Sheet should be used.

Once a mark has been agreed, the student’s identity may be revealed to the marker. If a piece of work is double-marked, the student’s identity may not be revealed to either marker until after the second marker has completed their assessment. This is to ensure that feedback on assessments can be personalised and tailored to that student. A mark should not be amended once a student’s identity has been revealed.

Internal moderation

Internal moderation of assessed work is the process of ensuring that assessment criteria are applied consistently by examiners, that students are being treated fairly through the assessment process, and that there is a shared understanding of the academic standards students are expected to achieve. Moderation is the process of ensuring that the marks awarded for an assessment task across a module are within reasonable limits, in the context of the criteria against which students’ work is being assessed.

Moderation may be limited to sampling and second marking a representative number of pieces of assessed work across the marking range from a cohort of students; or it may involve second marking the work of the whole cohort (double marking). Second marking is the process in which a second allocation of marks is given to a piece of work by a second internal examiner (who may, or may not, be able to see the marks and comments of the first marker). Dissertations should always be ‘blind’ second marked.

External moderation

The role of the external examiner is set out in the relevant section of the Quality & Standards Handbook . Where a sampling approach to internal moderation is adopted, the sample of work that is moderated may be the same sample sent to the external examiner. If the sample that is sent to the external examiner does not include any of the work that has been sampled through the internal moderation process (for example, where a random sample is selected from across the grade bands), they should be provided with additional information about the internal moderation process that has been followed.