2 results for Conference item, 80% of what? - a preliminary investigation of tutors' understanding of the 80% pass mark for DipBC modules

  • 80% of what? - a preliminary investigation of tutors' understanding of the 80% pass mark for DipBC modules

    Kennedy, D.; Ross, J. (2000)

    Conference item
    Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Te Wānanga Ōtautahi

    “I don’t take an awful lot of notice of the 80% thing” Tutor comment. As new people are recruited to join the many teams of NDBC teaching staff throughout the country, “old timers” attempt to explain the concept of mastery that is supposed to form the basis of assessment procedures in the various modules. The concept is described in the NZQA approved document, commonly known as the Bluebook, which details the NDBC, and other, qualification requirements. In that document, a figure of 80% is suggested as a guideline pass mark for assessments which concern knowledge-based modules. This paper focuses on the meaning of that 80% guideline since, for many, both the explanation and the practice of assessing mastery provide a hurdle with an element of mystery. We attempt to unravel some of the mystery by examining what the current practice is in one Polytechnic and to suggest that our methods may be forcing a dumbing down of assessments which target the comprehension sections of modules. The descriptors for the diploma modules categorise the learning required for each module using the RCAP model. It seems that even with Recall sections some tutors have trouble relating the 80% to the assessment. The Application and Problem Solving areas have largely become the things we assess using assignments. This paper examines how the 80% pass mark is being applied to assignments and to the comprehension elements of various courses, for it is in these areas of cognitive processing that competency (or 80%of competency) is harder to establish particularly in areas of original, creative thought. The paper raises the question of honesty of assessment practices in terms of marking guides and suggests that we should be insisting on using both appropriate tools for generating valid evidence and appropriate means of judging student performance against a course’s learning outcomes, rather than trying to force pass marks to add up to 80%.

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  • 80% of what? - a preliminary investigation of tutors' understanding of the 80% pass mark for DipBC modules

    Kennedy, D.; Ross, J. (2000)

    Conference item
    Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Te Wānanga Ōtautahi

    “I don’t take an awful lot of notice of the 80% thing” Tutor comment. As new people are recruited to join the many teams of NDBC teaching staff throughout the country, “old timers” attempt to explain the concept of mastery that is supposed to form the basis of assessment procedures in the various modules. The concept is described in the NZQA approved document, commonly known as the Bluebook, which details the NDBC, and other, qualification requirements. In that document, a figure of 80% is suggested as a guideline pass mark for assessments which concern knowledge-based modules. This paper focuses on the meaning of that 80% guideline since, for many, both the explanation and the practice of assessing mastery provide a hurdle with an element of mystery. We attempt to unravel some of the mystery by examining what the current practice is in one Polytechnic and to suggest that our methods may be forcing a dumbing down of assessments which target the comprehension sections of modules. The descriptors for the diploma modules categorise the learning required for each module using the RCAP model. It seems that even with Recall sections some tutors have trouble relating the 80% to the assessment. The Application and Problem Solving areas have largely become the things we assess using assignments. This paper examines how the 80% pass mark is being applied to assignments and to the comprehension elements of various courses, for it is in these areas of cognitive processing that competency (or 80%of competency) is harder to establish particularly in areas of original, creative thought. The paper raises the question of honesty of assessment practices in terms of marking guides and suggests that we should be insisting on using both appropriate tools for generating valid evidence and appropriate means of judging student performance against a course’s learning outcomes, rather than trying to force pass marks to add up to 80%.

    View record details