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Assigning Grades During an Earthquake - Shaken or Stirred?




In the event of an unanticipated disruption to normal life, universities tend to shift to an online environment in both delivery and assessment. Course instructors still need to assign grades despite not having the full set of planned assessments. This paper examines how grades are disrupted when an increased reliance is placed on online assessments. We find substantial grade disruption and grade inflation as the weighting on online assessments rises relative to invigilated assessments. Grade inflation can be moderated by scaling to an historical distribution of grades; however such scaling can lead to substantial grade disruption where the quality of the cohort is different than the historical average. We also find evidence that time limited online assessments produce lower grade disruptions as weighting on the online component increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Hickson & Stephen Agnew, 2011. "Assigning Grades During an Earthquake - Shaken or Stirred?," Working Papers in Economics 11/40, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:11/40

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    Principles of Economics; Online Assessment; Student Grades; Disruption to Assessment; Earthquake;

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate

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