Masterclass: Ian Sadler, Nicola Reimann & Berry O’Donovan

Social moderation and calbration

Dr Ian Sadler, Liverpool John Moores University, Associate Professor Nicola Reimann, Durham University, Professor Berry O’Donovan, Oxford Brookes University

Ian Sadler

Nicola Reimann

Berry O’Donovan

Social moderation and calibration bring academics together to jointly discuss the academic standards they hold by applying them to concrete exemplars of student work. This process, carried out separately from marking, has considerable potential for reducing the variability in academic standards which the research on marking has so consistently highlighted. This masterclass will provide participants with the experience of undertaking a short calibration activity and provide a model that can be adapted and used in participants’ own contexts. The session will start by considering the concept of academic standards and the evidence for variation in these standards. The ideas underpinning social moderation and calibration will then be introduced and participants will be led through the process, based upon a review of three pieces of student work. We will discuss the challenges that need to be considered when organising calibration activities and complex issues arising from marking and moderation more broadly, such as individuals’ ‘portraits of average’ and the negotiation of and agreement on academic standards in multidisciplinary programmes.

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