Education: Letter - Testing times

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When I taught journalism, assignments were graded by the teacher who set them (although students always had the right to appeal to another teacher).

This method was not well regarded by the head of department (who was not a journalist). He demanded instead that we used an "objective" method, marking out of ten various criteria.

We tried this method but got some very odd results. Work that was excellent got poor marks and poor work got good marks.

Clearly, it was necessary to give different weighting to each criterion. But we had to change the weighting several times before we could get the "objective" results to coincide with our own "subjective" ones.

Once we had succeeded in doing so, we gave up the whole idea of "objective" grading and went back to our original method.

Maurice Jay,

Senior Lecturer in

Journalism (retired)