The structure, use and impact of the staff version of ORWET

Osu Lilje, Virginia Breen, Alison Lewis, Aida Yalcin

Abstract


Human Biology (HB) is a large junior course in the School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney that employs 15-20 casual staff members to help teach in the laboratory classes and assist in the marking of summative assessment activities. There is usually a considerable turnover of staff, which means a varying level of marking experience from year to year. A staff version of the Online Report Writing Evaluation Tool (ORWET) has been created and used in 2007 and 2008 to increase staff awareness and interpretation of the marking criteria for one of the assessment activities, scientific report writing. ORWET complements strategies already in place to train markers by providing a flexible learning environment from which staff can practise marking worked examples of the report. ORWET provides detailed feedback for each sample report so that staff can compare their interpretation of the marking criteria to the desired standard set out in ORWET. The tool aims to increase markers’ confidence in marking and hence the quality of the feedback provided to students. Consistency in marking between multiple markers in a large course will also increase student confidence in the marking process. This paper describes the structure of the staff version of ORWET, its influence on consistent marking practices and the results of a staff evaluation of the tool.

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