Going off-grid: Multiple benefits of rethinking the marking criteria format

Horak, Tania orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7461-8378 and Gandini, Elena Anna maria (2021) Going off-grid: Multiple benefits of rethinking the marking criteria format. Research Notes (80). pp. 3-20. ISSN 1756-509X

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As per many other higher education institutions, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) produces their own
set of English language exams, used, among other purposes, as part of the final assessment of pre-sessional English
for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. These exams are standardised and mapped against the Common European
Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR, Council of Europe 2001) and are used to confirm that students have
reached a general level of proficiency suitable for starting the course of their choice. At Levels B2 and C1, the exams
can be described as EAP-light, and draw on a broad range of topics not requiring any specialist knowledge to avoid
favouring specific academic disciplines. In this paper, we discuss an exam development initiative and report on a
small-scale research study in which members of the Exam Team recently investigated how two formats for marking
criteria might affect raters’ reliability, and their reaction to new formats.

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