Exam Marking, Verification and Anonymous Marking
The department has a rigorous process of checking and verifying all marks. Following marking of exam scripts by the examiners concerned, the module leader carries out careful checking and verification of the exam marks and scripts. The scripts are then checked carefully and another member of academic staff who is not involved in the module verifies marks independently. This is to ensure that any errors in marking and transcription of marks are rectified and such errors are kept to the absolute minimum.
It is a requirement of Senate that there should be anonymity at the point of marking for all invigilated examinations and wherever practical and appropriate for non-invigilated examinations. This requirement is intended to prevent unconscious bias (either in favour of or against students) which might occur in the marking process.
It is recognised that there are circumstances where the implementation of anonymous marking for particular forms of non-invigilated examination is either; not practical because the nature of the examination involves contact between the student and the examiner as part of the assessment, or not appropriate because the process of conducting anonymous marking would diminish the formative value of the feedback derived from the assessment process.
With reference to these principles, the following specific circumstances have been identified as acceptable grounds for exception to the requirements for anonymous marking:
i. When the assessment takes the form of a practical demonstration, performed in the presence of the examiners, for example, an oral language examination, presentation, artistic performance clinical practice or laboratory work.
ii. When the assessment takes place over a period of time with support from a designated supervisor or tutor and familiarity with the content of the assessment, usually a topic identified by the individual student or group, makes anonymity difficult. This would apply mostly to dissertations, projects and portfolios.
iii. When the assessment takes place during the teaching of a module for formative purposes. This is for the reason that administration of anonymous marking in these circumstances is likely to prevent feedback from being provided in sufficient time to inform learning during the module.
Other circumstances may be identified by departments in accordance with the stated principles for exception. However, it is confirmed that neither the general administrative workload arising from anonymous marking or the preferences of students will be given consideration as appropriate grounds for exception. Approval for further exceptions should be obtained from the Faculty and where agreed by the Faculty, should be brought to the attention of the Quality and Standards Committee who will continue to have a monitoring role.
Where anonymous marking is not implemented for non-invigilated, summative assessment departments should ensure that internal moderation is particularly rigorous to ensure that marking is accurate and consistent.
Procedures for internal moderation should reflect the University's Guidelines for the Internal Moderation of Examinations. The department operates effective administrative procedures for the management of anonymous marking to ensure that the process is conducted in a timely manner and with the minimum possible risk of error. All departments are expected to use students' registration numbers as identification, rather than create alternative sets of examination numbers.