Grade variation

August 14, 2014

Victoria Halman is right to highlight the differences in the distribution of classifications between subjects (“Marked differences”, News, 31 July). However, she might have also pointed to the differences produced by the variety of classification algorithms in use.

As the Student Assessment and Classification Working Group pointed out nearly 20 years ago, some 15 per cent of students would have been likely to receive a different class of degree under another institution’s regulations. A common model for a grade point average system would eliminate that variable. Whether it would overcome the disciplinary differences, their assessment cultures and marking practices is, of course, another matter.

Marie Stowell
Chair of Student Assessment and Classification Working Group and director of quality and educational development
University of Worcester

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