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Examining the tension between academic standards and inclusion: the impact on marking of individuals’ frameworks for assessment

Ashworth, Mary; Bloxham, Sue; Pearce, Leonie

Abstract:
This paper draws on developing theory regarding assessment and marking to explore the impact of staff values regarding widening participation on grading decisions. It reports on an innovative module delivered for students with complex disabilities. Data collection included observation of teaching, interviews with staff, students and learning support staff, recordings of two academic team discussions and a questionnaire on moderation issues completed by staff. Whilst the students were very positive about the experience, the data identified pace of learning, the role of support workers and issues in authenticating student learning as aspects for future development. In particular, the research suggests that staff tackled the tension between valuing academic standards and inclusion by recasting student achievement as different rather than inferior, interpreting assessment rubrics in the light of their individual ‘frameworks’ for assessment. The paper considers whether this recasting of standards illuminates the problematic nature of standards and assessment criteria in higher education.

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Document Title: Examining the tension between academic standards and inclusion: the impact on marking of individuals’ frameworks for assessment
Journal: Studies in Higher Education
Volume: 35
Issue: 2


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Research
Country:International
Keywords:Academic Standards, Assessment, Academic Quality


File Size:106 KB
Date Added:28 September 2011


Examining the tension between academic standards and inclusion: the impact on marking of individuals’ frameworks for assessment