The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Staff Assessment Handbook
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Guidelines for Developing Marking Criteria and Schemes

Marking criteria are most beneficial when they are seen as part of the total design of a paper. When planning a paper, there should be a clear and explicit congruence between learning outcomes, assessment tasks and marking criteria.

Marking criteria should be:

  • Clear;
  • Explicit;
  • Transparent;
  • Discussed with students;
  • Written in language that is readily understood; and
  • Clearly linked to paper learning outcomes.

Lecturers should provide well defined marking criteria for every assessment task. For example, in a mathematics assessment, criteria could indicate that reasoning and process is as important as the final answer. Marking criteria should indicate the standard of performance required to pass the assessment task and to receive different grades. Usually these should accompany each assessment task. It is good practice for a lecturer to invite students to discuss the criteria before they undertake the task or even to invite them to participate in developing the criteria. Students should be encouraged to check back with the lecturer before beginning the assessment task if they are uncertain about any criteria.

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