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The effect of scripts’ profiles upon comparability judgements

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Rushton, Nicky 


Comparability studies often involve experts' judging students' scripts to decide which is better. Sometimes this involves experts judging more than one paper/component from a student. Students frequently achieve a higher level in one paper/component than they do on another. The scripts from these students are described as having an uneven profile.

Uneven profile scripts have been identified as a cause of difficulty for those making judgements in comparability studies. This study investigated whether it was harder to compare uneven profiled scripts and whether uneven profiled scripts were judged more harshly.

It found that the profile of the script only affected the difficulty of making comparisons in English Literature, where the effect varied by judge. Uneven profile scripts were slightly more likely to win their comparisons, but this depended on the judge. These findings suggest that the outcome of comparability studies could be affected by the existence of uneven profile scripts.



Comparative Judgement

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Research Matters

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Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

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