Why perform on-screen marking?

Over the last decade, recognition of the benefits of on-screen marking has steadily grown within the education sector.

Candidates for a "high stakes" examination have a right to expect fair and equitable treatment in the marks awarded. Often they put in enormous effort and long hours of study in preparation. Their future career options may well depend on the outcome. Each certifying authority and testing body has a duty of care to mitigate risk and optimise marking quality on behalf of all the candidates whose scripts they mark. Equally the certifying authority has a responsibility to ensure marking is impartial and fair to all.

MarkManager delivers tangible benefits to certifying authorities and testing bodies by:

  • Improving the accuracy and reliability of marking
  • Reducing risk inherent in the marking process
  • Streamlining procedures and reducing costs.

Quality of marking

Quality of marking is determined by the reliability, accuracy and fairness (equity) of marking. MarkManager delivers more reliable and accurate marking via a wide range of in-built measures. It also helps reduce marker bias, whether conscious or unconscious, to encourage greater equity in marking.

  • Specialised marking (split marking) enabling markers to focus on specific questions rather than mark the whole script
  • Controls to ensure markers conduct wide reading and reach proficiency in practice marking before graduating to actual marking
  • Logon scripts to ensure markers adequately warm up for each marking session
  • Quality assurance scripts (seeded scripts), which cannot be recognised as such by the marker, are presented at intervals to validate whether the marker is maintaining accuracy over time
  • Supervisor notification when quality assurance script marking is out of tolerance, so that immediate corrective action can be taken
  • Two-way messaging allowing markers to readily refer any marking difficulties to a supervisor for assistance
  • Supervisors can monitor marker performance in real-time, detect any anomalies in marks awarded by a specific marker, and take corrective action as needed
  • New scripts are presented to each marker in a random sequence, so that a marker isn’t influenced by the style of a particular school or exam centre (removes halo effect)
  • Double marking and check marking can be carried out without the marker being able to see notations, queries and marks already assigned, thus eliminating any unconscious influence of prior marks and “herding effect”
  • Reduced bias via anonymous scripts, after cropping or masking of candidate id, name and exam centre details
  • Reduced errors by ensuring all responses in each script are marked in the correct range
  • Reduced errors by ensuring no responses are inadvertently skipped, achieved by enforcing entry of “not attempted” where applicable
  • Reduced errors by automated addition of marks awarded to calculate a total “raw mark” per script, and automated resolution of differing second marks within tolerance

Risk Mitigation

Specific MarkManager measures to reduce risk and enhance security include:

  • Control over the entire marking process end-to-end with rigorous checks and balances at designated mile-stones
  • Flexible and configurable, enabling you to modify MarkManager’s behaviour to align with your own script design, marking model and processes without re-programming
  • Preserves the confidentiality of scripts by concealing candidate id, candidate name and examination centre during the marking process
  • Reduces risk of marker bias by maintaining script confidentiality
  • Preserves security of scripts by reducing their physical movement to an absolute minimum
  • Reduces risk of lost and misplaced examination scripts
  • Secures all data accessed and returned by markers using industry-standard encryption across all browser traffic
  • Proven in large-volume “high stakes” production examination environments
  • Enhanced security by ensuring no marks ever reside on the marker’s desktop

Streamlined Procedures

Streamlined procedures possible with MarkManager lead not only to reduced costs but also to faster marking turnaround.

  • Faster marking outcome via automation of the routine and on-line collaboration between markers and their supervisors
  • Increased marker work-force flexibility (“mark from anywhere”), reducing costs associated with travel to and from marking centres and increased opportunities for markers
  • Reduction in marking time per script by eliminating the paper-handling and manual processing on each side of the marking task
  • Elimination of mark-sheets if applicable (note: mark-sheets are used to record marks separately from the script in a manual environment), to facilitate “blind” double marking and check marking
  • Prompt action of double mark, check mark and re-mark requests via on-line recall, without the need to physically re-distribute hardcopy scripts
  • Lower re-marking costs through earlier detection of marking anomalies
  • Reduction in logistical and marking centre expenses