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How experience affects assessment – a longitudinal study of assessment of university students’ essays

Journal article
Authors Maria Jansson
Jan Carle
Andreas Gunnarsson
Hans Ekbrand
Published in Studies in Higher Education
Volume 44
Issue 4
Pages 719-732
ISSN 0307-5079
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 719-732
Language en
Keywords Criterion referenced assessment, autonomy, experience, written assessments, longitudinal study
Subject categories Educational Sciences


The study shows how experience changes the way examiners assess students ’ essays. Using a large number of written assessments, 192 examiners were followed over a period of five years, and the contents of their assessments were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Multilevel regression analysis revealed that, with experience, examiners tended to make more positive remarks and provide more instructions. Qualitative analysis of the assessments showed that, with experience, some examiners tended to use less menu-marking and write more freely, providing instructions for the students rather than limiting themselves to evaluative text only. The assumption that it would be harder to govern examiners with more experience found no support in our study.

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