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#59000 02/27/02 04:33 PM
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I was talking to my supervisor today as we were working out a marking scheme (possibly grading scheme in the US?) for an assignment I am marking for his class - that is, a breakdown of how the marks for each part of each question were distributed. He said he thought there was a word - besides marking scheme - used by teachers to describe what we came up with. He said his friend (a school principal) had taught him this word. But we can't think of it. He first thought it might be rubric but a dictionary investigation disqualified it. Is there a single word which means "marking scheme"? Any teachers out there who can help us?


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Does "the curve" qualify for your meaning?

Marking "on the curve" is taking the grades, listing them in numerical order, then superimposing that list on a normal distribution curve, so that (for example) the top 5% get an A, next 12% get a B, middle 66% get a C, lower 12% get a D, bottom 5% fail (E or F or whatever your system uses). The ranges may be adjustable to suit individual preference.

This gives the counterintuitive possibility of having papers with 37% right, for example, getting a B or a C instead of failing...


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Does "the curve" qualify for your meaning?

No, that's not what we were doing. We were distributing the marks based on content. The question was out of 10 marks:

First part: 8 marks:
* 0/8 if you had no clue
* 4/8 if you just copied verbatim from the book
* 6/8 if you sensed there was something a bit off about the info in the book but didn't successfully correct it
* 8/8 if you correctly derived the thing we were looking for.
The remaining 2 marks were:
* 1 for showing you put some thought into the second question, and
* 1 for getting the answer right.

This way everyone in the class has their thoughts evaluated fairly, and rewarded if they put the work in.

Curving the grades in a class of only 21 is not a very good idea, especially when there are 3 graduate students taking the course. And most of the rest are a bunch of lazy engineering students who just copy the assignment off one person (often someone who does it wrong, to boot).

Anyway, my supervisor thinks there is a word for laying out the marks just so, being clear about what I am looking for in each assignment, and marking everyone on the same scale. We just can't remember it.


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My sis is a teacher, and i'll see her this afternoon and ask (she probably won't be able to help much, though, since she teaches calculus and there's not a whole lot of subjectivity involved there).

my inclination would be toward calling it "criterion grading" (as opposed to "norm grading").


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since she teaches calculus

That will probably help, in fact. This isn't subjective either, it's physical oceanography - which is basically ocean calculus!

I'm beginning to think it is rubric after all. I Googled it, and came up with a bunch of teaching sites. But this use isn't in the dictionary. It does make sense, though, because among its meanings are "authoritative rule", and, as a verb, "to mark up with red" (which is what we're doing).


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Here in my line of business we call it weighting: assigning a predetermined weight to the different parts of the response.



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normalizing. :-)


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weighting

Well, I guess my supervisor thought there was a more pleasing word. (He is the type who should be on this Board, but doesn't have the time.) And I think it was the noun we were looking for. As in, "We need to come up with a rubric to mark this assignment." (if the word is, in fact, rubric).


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a rubric to mark this assignment

I use rubric quite often when talking in the UK about assignments, but only in the sense of instructions about how to answer the question.
As in, "Candidates must answer one question each from sections A, B and C. Lines must be double spaced and only one side of the page should be used. Answers written in purple ink will be disqualified."




#59009 02/28/02 10:26 PM
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Bean, I think you're right about it being rubric, if that's how it's spelled. (Rubrick?) In my AP English class last year the scale was from 0-6 in a similar manner to what you've described. I'm pretty sure the teacher called it rubric.


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