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A qualitative examination of the attitudes of Liberal Studies markers towards onscreen marking in Hong Kong

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In Hong Kong, onscreen marking (OSM) is superseding paper‐based marking (PBM) across the entire national examinations system. This paper describes a qualitative study of the attitudes of Liberal Studies markers towards OSM. This becomes a compulsory subject in Hong Kong's new senior secondary school curriculum to be first examined in 2012, with a candidature of 80 000 compared to the current candidatures of 3300. The current study describes semi‐structured interviews with Liberal Studies markers who provided in‐depth opinions on key aspects of the OSM process. Markers were positive about many aspects of the new system including: the advantages of marking by single question rather than by whole paper; improved reliability using control scripts; and relief from administrative tasks associated with PBM. There are, nonetheless, aspects of the new system that markers are unhappy with, primarily logistical, involving travel to marking centres and marking at fixed times when they are tired. Reading onscreen was also an issue. In summary, 43% of markers stated that they preferred the status quo of PBM, 35% stated they felt OSM was better, while 21% were ambivalent. While OSM has not yet been wholeheartedly accepted by markers, its potential advantages are beginning to be appreciated.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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