Across UTS, research students’ work is double, and sometimes even triple, marked. This safeguards academic standards and ensures our students really do know their stuff. But the process has been laborious and stressful for those tasked with making it happen. Thankfully, we’ve made life a lot easier by adding Moderated Grading to Canvas.

What is Moderated Grading?

Moderated Grading is a feature of Canvas Assignments that allows multiple assessors to mark a student’s work, provide them with feedback and record a provisional grade. In a thesis-based subject, for example, you may need to have two markers for each assignment submission. Moderated Grading facilitates this process and allows you to review these provisional marks before finalising and releasing the final grade.

You could also use Moderated Grading to create a sample of student submissions that tutors and other markers in a subject can look at, mark and discuss prior to the end of session to ensure grading is consistent and impartial.

How does it work?

In the past, organising multiple markers has been a nightmare for Faculty admin staff and Subject Coordinators. Multiple emails had to be sent and multiple versions of documents had to be created, distributed, checked, consolidated and saved. Now, however, you’ll notice that on the Canvas assignment settings page, there’s a new tick-box, ‘Moderated Grading’.

You’re able to specify how many assessors you would like to mark each submission and assign a ‘final grader’ who is responsible for reviewing feedback and approving a final grade. The graders can be set to be anonymous to reduce the chances of unconscious bias and peer pressure from creeping into the marking process.

Any other benefits?

Aside from simplifying the organisation and implementation of moderated marking, using this new feature can help to improve assessment reliability and validity, and to increase impartiality in assessment. Even though our judgement of student work is founded upon professional, social, cultural and discipline knowledge, we vary in our, understandings and expectations of student learning. However, if different markers, working independently and using identical task descriptors, agree on a mark, we can be more confident that the assessment outcome represents an accurate measure of student knowledge, skills and achievement. The moderation process also encourages the development of reflexive teaching practices and can be used to inform future subject and assessment design.

Need a hand setting it up?

If you’re interested in implementing Moderated Grading in your Canvas subject, you can take a look at the LX.lab’s Assignment resources, or book a consultation with one of our Learning Design and Technology Specialists via Service Connect.

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