Tag Archives: administrative

Marking Exams

The game
Image by Dr Stephen Dann via Flickr

Step1: The preparation.
If I have set the marks criteria for the exam questions, the first step is spent tuning the set up, putting advice to the numbers so I know what it takes to score the HD on the paper, what separates a Distinction from a Credit or Pass. This includes coding a spreadsheet in Excel that matches the marks breakdown for the exam, and has the list of student id numbers. The Excel speadsheet also gets divided into blocks of five student numbers so I can track how far I am from the end of the process. Other coding (sum, averages, percentage) are set up. At this stage it’s all in draft mode, and fairly flexible if I need to completely redo the criteria based on how it performs under real exam conditions.

Step2: Processing the papers
The next step consists of me working through the manuscripts to check which ones are missing from the pile (no exam ever produces 100% of the cohort in the one room. There’s always an exam to arrive later from a special requirements sitting.) so that the Excel spreadsheet matches the exam pile. When I mark in sequence, I want to make sure that the paper above and below match the list on the screen. It’s also the ideal time to divide the exams into blocks of five papers.

This is the time to code any additional data being stored about the exam – I’m tracking the number of pages spent on Question 1 (20 marks) versus Question 2 (10 marks). I did say to the cohort that they had to balance the answer lengths, and I did mean it. Also, having drilled this into the cohort over numerous points in the semester, I want to see how they perform on the final. Plus, I’ve spent a good bit of code on the “if then” logic statements in Excel to give me a bias lean score for the paper. Equal weight between the questions is good, mild bias lean can be overlooked, giant bias lean means being sent to clean out the hoverocerous stables.

Step 3: Payday
Coding is set. First set of exams are used to check the codes are in place properly, the marking criteria is working, and the minor tweaks needed to make the assessment fair are in place. At this point, I start looking at the impact of the exam marks on the pass/fail probabilities, and work out a rough high point and low point score in my head that makes the HD worth achieving and the must-pass-to-pass achievable at the same. First two exams took 26 minutes to mark. Four exams at 48 minutes. Tweaking the scoring, confidence setting and minor changes to the distributions take place. Prior scores rechecked against new coding.

Step 4: And the man at the back said “Everyone Attack” and it turned into a Ballroom Blitz
Once the marks criteria is stable, and the assessment expectations are firmly planted in my head, it becomes a pattern recognition process of reading the answers, checking them against the criteria lists (printed and on the walls of the workspace), and the expectations (on the second PC screen in the workspace). Fatigue is an issue in Step 4 since I’m starting to move at pace in the reading/mark inputting process, it’s easy to get a mental fog forming after a while. Distractions are most welcome.

Step 5: The Long Road Home
20 papers left to go (well, 19 in the stockpile, 1 somewhere at work in the internal mail). The method is well entrenched, the crosschecking less frequent, and I know what I want to see for an HD,D,C or P grade in that answers. Plus, my magic’s hand question is doing the job nicely of diverting students to the question I wanted them to answer (at a ratio of 7:1). The second half of the papers flow faster than the first, since I have half a cohort of students worth of practice, and the criteria is tried, tested and locked into place.

Step 6: Aftermath
Using Excel to code the exam marks is particularly useful as it allows me to create individual marks sheets via the magic of Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, five litres of goat blood and mail merge. Each exam has a custom marks sheet printed out with the average for the question component, what the student has per that component, and their overall total. It’s gone a long way towards autofeedback since we don’t mark up the exams with comments anymore.

Since the exams are current in an embargo state, I can’t actually release the various files attached to the system (eg criteria sheets, XLS, PDF of the expectations etc). That’ll have to wait for a later, post-exam date.

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2008 Annual Report – The Year in Work Recognised Outputs

The To Done List from 2008 (thus far…)

I do need to preface this list by pointing out that I’ve included the blanks on the annual report to indicate what my workplace recognises as outcomes in a year. I still feel a little bit disgruntled with the performance for 2008 (three rejected papers, a few missed shots, and some stuff from 2007 which I haven’t converted into anything yet is getting towards time expiry.)

It’s small wonder I’m feeling tired.

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If you’ve got a blacklist I want to be on it.

It’s the last day of class for the 2008 Consumer Behaviour subjects.  This year, in consumer behaviour, I’ve discussed the following topics

  • roles of the family, including the role of presumptions of gender in determining “male” and “female” roles
  • white-race privilege,
  • male privilege
  • the flexibility of the gender construct (it’s somewhere between 5 and 9 categories on a scale of Cisgender Male to Cisgender Female with an Intergender() as the mid point for categorical statistical purposes)
  • feminism, including several rants about the portrayal of male roles in advertising, and the portrayal of female roles
  • race stereotypes, race stereotyping, and the dangers of using demographics as a segmentation variable.

In fact, as part of consumer behaviour, we cover women’s rights, gender, feminist philosophy, social welfare, community and community structure, the role of religion including cultural conflict between mainstream society, conservative and progressive religions and commercial enterprise; racism, class and employment.

Apparently, I managed to fly under the Young Liberal’s radar because I discussed these concepts in a commercial marketing subject.

Well kids, as a former member of the Young Liberals, and as a believer in Liberalism, I have this to say

If you’ve got a blacklist (and you do), then I want to be on it.

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Shared Reference Lists

I’m using a new method of notetaking where I keep my files organised in Excel/OpenOffice Calc so that I can do quick searches when I need a reference for a concept as I’m writing my papers. At the end of the project, I’m combining the notes files with the reference lists so that I can start building up a bit of a database of papers+notes+referencing for further projects.

The first of the file sets is a sports marketing reference + notes set shared through GoogleDocs. Obviously, I can’t share the original files (there’s a slight case of copyright to be respected), but with the reference information, and the notes, if you’re interested in the original, it shouldn’t be that hard to track down and find.

Here’s a sample from the Sports Marketing Reference set

Author date content Reference
Alexandris, Tsaousi and James 2007 sponsor outcomes of image/attitude, word of mouth, purchase intention, overviews importance of the sponsorship in economic terms, lower levels of awareness arise in situations of ambush marketing, cites Meenaghan (2001) to support argument that sponsorship starts from a position of perceived benefit to society Alexandris, K, Tsaousi, E, and James, J (2007) Predicting Sponsorship Outcomes from Attitudinal Constructs: The Case of a Professional Basketball Event, Sport Marketing Quarterly, 2007, 16, 130-139,
Weinreich, Abbott and Olson 1999 Tobacco*Free Racing sponsorship as a case study in social marketing sports sponsorships Weinreich, N, Abbott, J and Olson, C (1999) Social Marketers in the Driver’s Seat: Motorsport Sponsorship as a Vehicle for Tobacco Prevention, Innovations in Social Marketing Conference, July 20, 1999

If you want to collaborate on the development of these notes databases, drop me a line with your G-mail account, and I’ll add you as a collaborator.