ERIC Number: EJ718843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Reference Count: 53
Gender, "Bias", Assessment and Feedback: Analyzing the Written Assessment of Undergraduate History Essays
Read, Barbara; Francis, Becky; Robson, Jocelyn
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, v30 n3 p241-260 Jun 2005
This paper reports on findings relating to a project on gender and essay assessment in HE. It focuses on one aspect of the study: the assessment of and feedback given to two sample essays by 50 historians based at universities in England and Wales. We found considerable variation both as to the classification awarded to the essays and to positive and negative comments made about their quality, supporting the argument that the "quality" of a piece of writing for assessment is ultimately constructed by the reader of the essay and cannot be objectively ascertained. Gender issues emerging from the data are explored in the paper, relating to lecturers' perceptions of the essays' qualities; views concerning the way feedback should be presented; and the content and style of feedback given by lecturers on the sample essays. We found that gender constructions were manifested more in presentation than practice. These findings on the situated practice of assessment have implications for the conception of the "reliability" of essay assessment in HE.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Historians, Feedback, Gender Issues, Essays, Gender Differences, Evaluation Methods, College Faculty, Grading, Interrater Reliability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)