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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

McGuire, W. & Raaper, R. (2016). Developing a Guiding Protocol for the Moderation of Summative Assessments. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice 4(1): 36-43.

Author(s) from Durham


According to literature, assessment moderation is a process for assuring ‘valid, fair and reliable’ assessment outcomes but also consistency of applied marking criteria. While being an important area in assessment, moderation is often referred as an ‘under researched area of higher education’. The School of Education in the University of Glasgow, like many other academic units in the UK and internationally, adopts a range of approaches to moderating assessment within any one programme and across programmes. By drawing on a small-scale study carried out in academic year 2014/2015, this article introduces the ways course leaders and markers from the School of Education experience moderation practices and their own roles within this process. The paper argues that both groups experience assessment moderation as being a diverse and often problematic part of assessment that requires time and collegial support. Furthermore, their detailed suggestions for institutional and practice level improvements will be highlighted. When exploring and analysing the research findings, the paper draws on recent scholarly work on social moderation and the development of communities of practice in assessment.

School of Education