Marks of distinction

November 2, 2007

From: The University Assessment Officer
To: Department of Media and Cultural Studies

The university assessment committee has recently been conducting research into biases in your internal departmental marking system that might affect its overall consistency. I am now pleased to outline the committee's principal findings:

1) Our research suggests that some lack of consistency may be produced by the tendency of Doctor Turpitz to give additional marks to students who not only cite his books extensively in their bibliographies but also accord such books stars for excellence

2) In a few cases it would appear that Professor Lapping's extreme hostility towards students who are unable to distinguish between "its" and "it's" has taken unreasonable precedence over the intellectual content of the papers under consideration

3) It is deeply regrettable that industrial action by the French postal system has prevented Doctor Piercemller from fully participating in the marking system within the past decade

4) Although the committee welcomed the use of additional examiners to ease the departmental load it felt that, except in extreme circumstances, it was inappropriate for Maureen to act as second marker on more than half the finals papers

5) Serious problems about equity were raised by Mr Odger's persistent refusal to allow anyone to act as his second marker who did not possess the same level of "revolutionary consciousness"

6) Although there was some sympathy with Doctor Quintock's wish to use Greek alphabetical notation for his marking, there was evidence that on several occasions his epsilon had been seriously confused with his gamma

7) The practice of reconciling extremely divergent marks by casting lots is generally to be discouraged

8) First markers should endeavour not to influence the second marker's assessment by writing such remarks as "recently dumped by boyfriend" on individual scripts.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

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