Criterion referenced assessment as a form of feedback: student and staff perceptions in the initial stages of a new law degree

Chardon, Toni and Collins, Pauline and Hammer, Sara and Hart, Caroline (2011) Criterion referenced assessment as a form of feedback: student and staff perceptions in the initial stages of a new law degree. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 6 (3). pp. 232-242. ISSN


Criterion referenced assessment (CRA) has become the preferred method of grading in higher education institutions in recent years. There has been a substantial amount of academic literature over recent years that has attempted to advocate, explain or outline best practice for CRA. This paper explores academic and student participants' perceptions of CRA and related marking practices based on a study focused on assessment practices in a new Australian regional law school. Existing research proposes two broad rationales for the use of CRA: to increase the reliability and validity of assessment practices; and to provide greater transparency within grading of assessment items for students. The aim of the research discussed here was to discover whether the stated rationales for CRA in the literature aligned with the perceptions of and uses by academic staff and students. Preliminary findings are based on a small, qualitative sample of staff and students. They suggest that, whilst academic participants' valuing of CRA does echo some of the researched rationales, they more strongly value this practice because of the time efficiencies that the use of CRA and marking rubrics can achieve for the provision of feedback. This finding is important because it stands in possible conflict with perceptions of students in our study, who appeared to perceive criteria sheets or marking rubrics as being distinct from individualised feedback. Implications of our findings are discussed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: See link to published version online. Copyright of published articles is held by eContent Management Pty Ltd. No limitation will be placed on the personal freedom of authors to copy or to use in subsequent work, material contained in their papers. Please contact the Publisher for clarification if you are unsure of the use of copyright material. Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of research and private study, or criticism and or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 of Australia, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the Publishers.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Law
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2012 04:35
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 05:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: criteron referenced assessment; law education; staff perceptions; student perceptions; higher education research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5172/ijpl.2011.6.3.232

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