Scientists sought to help shape future of awarding

29 January 2008

Cambridge Assessment and OCR are recruiting professional biologists and sociologists to help them shape the future of grading examinations.

Up to 400 teachers, university lecturers and other professionals working in these fields are being recruited to look at AS Biology or AS Sociology scripts with the aim of finding a potential new way of setting grade boundaries. Each participant will be given scripts in sets of three and will rank them according to their quality. Each set will contain scripts drawn from two examinations with marks removed. The exercise will be done at home and is expected to take around two hours, for which participants will be paid.

Nicholas Raikes, of Cambridge Assessment's research division, who is undertaking the study in conjunction with OCR, said: "Cambridge Assessment and OCR are researching new ways of grading examinations and we are keen to involve more teachers and subject specialists in this crucial activity. As experts in their fields they are ideally placed to ensure we continue to offer the highest standards in the way we set our grade boundaries. This is our 150th year and we hope this will once again show us leading the way in the development of examinations. ”

The exercise will take place between 24 May and 8 June 2008, with participants able to choose the timing. Anyone interested in taking part should email our Research division for further information.

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