I've been looking into a new strategy for grading students' work, especially longer-form writing, which tend to be time-consuming to do in predominant practices such as using marking schemas & rubrics.
Adaptive/Dynamic Comparative Judgement is a strategy by which graders are presented with students' submissions, 2 at a time, & then asked to rate which one is better. An algorithm controls which essays are paired for judgement so that they can be ranked in order of quality from highest to lowest. This brings a few advantages over schemas & rubrics:
- Unlike schemas & rubrics, it isn't necessary to comprehensively define criteria & descriptors beforehand;
- Since criteria & descriptors don't have to be strictly defined, graders are free to award higher marks for unexpectedly excellent work, i.e. that doesn't meet the criteria as expected but nonetheless gives an excellent answer, solution, response to the assignment;
- If students practise comparative judgement themselves, it gives them a more concrete & comprehensible impression of what is expected of them in their work (unlike trying to "decode" criteria & descriptors);
- It saves graders a lot of time;
- It's at least as valid & reliable as schemas & rubrics;
- It tends to produce fairer grading outcomes.
It's only in recent years that the necessary supporting IT & software for comparative judgement has become feasible for the wider education community, and it's starting to make an impact in some schools & institutions on a small scale.
Comparative judgement can also be used by students for learning, i.e. getting students to judge each others' submissions, so that they see many versions of an essay or answer & think analytically & critically about why one is better or worse than another, & also translate that to their own essays/answers in order to see how they could improve their own work.
I've searched the Plugins directory & I'm already aware of the Workshop module & similar plugins for peer-review submitting. However, I haven't found anything that closely matches comparative judgement: Despite the research evidence in its favour, it isn't commonly practised.
I believe that if comparative judgement were included in Moodle & more widely adopted, it could save graders a lot of time, produce fairer grading, allow for "unexpected excellence," & be a generally very useful & productive learning & teaching tool.
The Wikipedia entry on adaptive comparative judgement lists some prominent examples of it in action: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_comparative_judgement
What do you think? Would you/your teaching staff like to spend less time on grading & make it fairer? Would this be feasible at your school/institution? How well do you think it would be received by staff & students?
Thanks in advance,
P.S. Here's a bibliography list of research papers on comparative judgement that I've found so far: