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Results sky high: "DAMN"ing marking forever

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Purpose ‐ The aim of this paper is to stimulate further discussion on divergent institutional and academic needs for effective marking processes to evaluate student work in Australian universities. This is in specific response to institutional stated goals and emerging policies under current economic realities. After identifying the three significant areas of marking that must be addressed: content, consistency and cost; the author proposes that the use of the AERO-dynamic model of marking will reduce academic workloads and provide institutions with an effective marking process to meet corporate budgets. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This conceptual paper is a synthesis of researcher participation and discourse interpretation. It is based on a cynical response to changing realities and resides in the arena of the "Theatre of the Absurd". Findings ‐ The AERO-dynamic model of marking was found to be highly cost effective for institutions with large student cohorts and ever diminishing budgets. Critical analysis identified areas of concern in marking consistency and assignment content and recommends specific actions to address these but also identifies that no process will be perfect and that some tradeoffs between cost, consistency and content need to be made. The role of the academic within this marking process is redefined and the implications of this for both institution and individual acknowledged. Originality/value ‐ This paper offers a starting point for further debate into the widening gap between student expectations on assignment marking and institutional resource allocation and support.
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Keywords: Academic integrity; Academic workloads; Assignment marking; Australia; Economic reality; Students

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-03-22

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