Improving the quality of assessment grading tools in Master of Education courses: a comparative case study in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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Michael Francis Christie
Peter Grainger
Robert Dahlgren
Kairen Call
Deborah Heck
Susan Simon


This study compares the use and efficacy of assessment grading tools within postgraduate education courses in a regional Australian university and a regional university in the US. Specifically, we investigate how the quality of postgraduate education courses can be improved through the use of assessment rubrics or Criterion Referenced Assessment sheets (CRA sheets). The researchers utilised interviews and a modified form of the Delphi Method to answer three research questions relating to; assessment and student motivation, grading tools and raising quality in learning, as well as assuring quality in assessment grading tools. The research resulted in the development of a checklist, in the form of a set of questions, that lecturers should ask themselves before writing rubrics or CRA sheets. The paper concludes by demonstrating how assessment grading tools might be applied, developed and constantly improved in Master of Education courses in Australian and US higher education institutions.


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Christie, M. F., Grainger, P., Dahlgren, R., Call, K., Heck, D., & Simon, S. (2015). Improving the quality of assessment grading tools in Master of Education courses: a comparative case study in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(5), 22–35.


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