We gave UG students examination feedback by allowing them to view their marked unseen written examination scripts, with full solutions available in advance and with the examiners present at the sessions.
The target audience for this pilot was 2nd year students taking mathematics examinations in summer 2017/18.
It was a Department meeting decision to allow students to view 2nd year course examination scripts as a pilot to give students feedback on their examinations.
Candidate email addresses were downloaded from SITS for each course offered. Dates were set for the script viewing sessions over three weeks when examiners were available to attend the sessions in MT weeks 2-4 to comply with Academic Code reporting requirements. There were no alternative dates.
Students were invited by email to book a place at the session for the exam(s) they had taken:
The Department of Mathematics is going to run a pilot whose goal is to enable students to see their exam scripts in some courses and compare them with model solutions and/or exam commentaries (which are/were available from Moodle). Because of a large number of exam papers and scripts involved, we need to put the following restrictions in place:
-You may only view scripts from 2018 exams for the following courses: MA203, MA208, MA209, MA210, MA211, MA212 and MA231. The viewing days are
- October 10 for MA209, MA210 and MA211,
- October 17 for MA203, MA208, MA212, and
- October 24 for MA231.
-You must book your place by replying to this email with your candidate number for 2017/8 so that we can prepare your scripts. You will then be given an appointment with the time and place. There will not be any alternative times. The deadline to book your appointment is Monday 8th Oct at 12.00 noon.
-Script viewing is under exam conditions (see Exam procedure below, e.g. no phones, smart watches, stop watches, e-readers, tablets or other electronic devices), we will provide pens and paper. https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/services/assets/documents/examination-procedures-for-candidates.pdf
I hope you find this pilot useful and informative. However, keep in mind this is meant to be a viewing session. The School (and the Department) is confident that its approach to the marking of students' summative work is sufficiently robust and you are not able to call into question the academic judgement of the Board of Examiners. There is no provision, therefore, for summative work to be re-marked.
Jozef Skokan, Deputy Head (Teaching), Department of Mathematics, LSE
We made 20-minute appointments allowing 4 students at one time to view their script along with the examiner. For MA212 (around 300 students) three examiners were present. The take–up across all sessions offered was roughly 8% of students: 60 appointments booked out of a possible 743. We retrieved the scripts beforehand and gave them to the examiners so that they could look through them before the appointments.
The motivation was students’ requests to see their marked examination scripts, and to give feedback to continuing students as required by the Academic Code.
After our script viewing experience this year, it became apparent that students do not understand how faculty mark examination scripts until they actually see them: neither how carefully, nor what does and does not get marks. For example: one student asked why there were lots of green ticks. Once explained that the green ticks were from the second marker, they seemed genuinely surprised and impressed that there was a detailed checking process. Hopefully script viewing opportunities will help to develop students’ understanding. It was mostly high-achieving students who reviewed their scripts. We observed that the experience was very useful for the students who came to see their scripts but it was also useful to faculty to get feedback from students on the gaps in their understanding of the assessment process.
The most common questions were, "Why didn't I get full marks for this?" (usually the right answer, but with little or no explanation given) and "Why is this wrong?" (usually for questions where candidates were asked to give a definition of some property, and instead they gave a method or theorem to check for that property). Once explanations were given by faculty markers, the students accepted the explanations.
We will offer the opportunity again for 2018 second year unseen written examinations and possibly include one of our large 1st year courses. We established GDPR regulations on handwritten assessed work and subsequently gained permission from a number of students on one course to scan and anonymize their script and make it available on Moodle to the next cohort as a learning resource to show how scripts are marked. We will only invite continuing UG students as graduates do not seem to be interested in returning to do this, and the School is keen for us to give feedback to progressing students.
This was a very worthwhile exercise and we encourage other Departments to try it. We have very little spare space in the Department, so storing the scripts for so long can be a problem. This year we held all our exam scripts back, but in 2018 we will send the scripts of the courses we are not providing script viewing sessions for back to the exams office, and only keep the scripts necessary for the script viewing sessions.