Laurie Taylor

June 21, 2002

The improvement in degree classes is attributable to the increased use by universities of feedback and continuous assessment - Education Quarterly.

Professor Lapping, Sally is here.


Sally Tottman. Medium build. Fairish. Worried expression. Your supervisee for the past three years. She wants to discuss her re-submitted finals paper on Foucault.

But I talked to someone called Sally about Foucault last week.

That was her third draft. This is her final submission.

Wheel her in. Ah, Sally. No need to look so worried. What's the problem?

It's my Foucault paper. You say it's a considerable improvement so I wanted to know if it was now an upper second.

We have to be careful. A considerable improvement is not the same as saying that you merit an upper second.

But that's not my first considerable improvement. You said my first draft was a good lower second. And then you said my second draft in March was a considerable improvement. And then in May you said my third draft was a considerable improvement. And now you say that the final submission is also a considerable improvement. That's three considerable improvements. It must have become an upper.

Sally, I really can't discuss confidential assessment procedures.

So one can improve considerably three times and yet not show any considerable improvement.

Sally, I've already advised you not to question assessment procedures. It could have an adverse effect on the examiners.

What sort of adverse effect?

In extreme cases it could lead to one of your considerable improvements being overlooked. Now, off you go. I have a seminar waiting. And Sally?

Professor Lapping?

Do try not to look so worried.

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