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Honour thesis assessment: the role of guidelines in achieving inter-rater agreement


Henderson, AD and Guijt, M and Breadmore, MC and Carew, ALJ and Guijt, RM, Honour thesis assessment: the role of guidelines in achieving inter-rater agreement, Proceedings of 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 6-9 December 2009, The University of Adelaide, pp. 185-192. ISBN 1876346604 (2009) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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Copyright 2009 The authors.

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Engineering honours projects are often self selected or negotiated by students to be in areas of their own interest. While this encourages motivation and engagement in a self directed research project, it also considerably increases the diversity of honours project types. Such project diversity raises questions about the most suitable form of guidelines to provide good inter-rater agreement. Project diversity can also result in academics assessing projects outside their primary area of research specialisation. This is particularly true of transdisciplinary projects that cross over conventional discipline boundaries. To investigate these issues, a team of academics from two Schools at the University of Tasmania assessed a collection of engineering theses using a variety of different guidelines. All guidelines were found to produce poor inter-rater agreement, however inter-rater agreement was improved when both assessors were of the same discipline. An account of the academics’ comments on use of the guidelines reveals conflicting opinions of good and bad features. Guidelines that were viewed as easy to use and less subjective were found not to substantially improve inter-rater agreement. The implications of these findings are discussed and suggestions made in relation to improving assessment guidelines for honours theses.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Education assessment and evaluation
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Henderson, AD (Associate Professor Alan Henderson)
UTAS Author:Guijt, M (Mr Marc Guijt)
UTAS Author:Breadmore, MC (Professor Michael Breadmore)
UTAS Author:Carew, ALJ (Dr Anna Carew)
UTAS Author:Guijt, RM (Dr Rosanne Guijt)
ID Code:59954
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Austn Centre for Research in Separation Science
Deposited On:2009-12-23
Last Modified:2014-12-21
Downloads:572 View Download Statistics

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