ERIC Number: EJ945453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Examiners' Reports on Theses: Feedback or Assessment?
Kumar, Vijay; Stracke, Elke
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, v10 n4 p211-222 Dec 2011
Traditionally, examiners' reports on theses at the doctoral and Master's level consist of two components: firstly, summative assessment where a judgement is made about whether the thesis has met the standards established by the discipline for the award of the degree, and, secondly, the developmental and formative component, where examiners provide feedback to assist the candidate to revise the thesis. Given this dual task of providing assessment and feedback, this paper presents the findings of a small-scale empirical study that aimed to gain insights into the connection or potential disjunction between feedback and assessment in six examiners' reports. The main aim of this study was to identify the nature of examiners' reports on Master's and doctoral theses: is it primarily assessment or feedback? Our study suggests the crucial role of feedback in postgraduate thesis examination practice. Without feedback, there is little impetus for the candidate to progress, to close the gap between current and desired performance, and to attain the level needed to become a member of the scholarly community. The study concludes with the implications that a stronger focus on feedback might have for all stakeholders involved in the thesis examination process.
Descriptors: Feedback (Response), Doctoral Dissertations, Examiners, Masters Theses, Summative Evaluation, Standards, Intellectual Disciplines, Role, Graduate Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A