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Subject-specific Calibration Course

Focused on promoting calibration within subject communities.

External examining is a key feature of the UK higher education system. This course has been developed following the Degree Standards project on external examining that ran from 2016 to 2021.

Assessment is rooted in disciplinary practice and it is important to bring together peers to calibrate their standards. Calibration can be seen as a form of social moderation. The course activities are designed in conjunction with subject associations, specialists or professional, statutory and regulatory bodies. The continued use of the journal will help track and record their development through an on-going process beyond this initiative.

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If you would like to know more about the course, please complete the form by clicking below and we will send you an information sheet with further details. One of our team will be in touch shortly to discuss your requirements.

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It was very useful to demonstrate how differently everyone marks and how important clear marking criteria are to ensure quality assurance. The main change was an emphasis on the specific marking criteria. We ensured consistent terminology when giving feedback amongst academic staff, and also ensured that feedback related to each criteria listed. This has made me much more confident. I am also the examinations officer for the department so I deal with the External Examiners. I feel very well placed for this role and the project gave me confidence for this.”

Calibration event participant in 2018-19 with no experience of external examining

Who should attend?

The course is offered to all academics who have completed the Professional Development Course for External Examiners who are external examiners. This will includes academics who are, or have experience of being, external examiners or who aspire to become one.

How we work with you
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Our approach

Each calibration activity is designed with input from the relevant disciplinary community. Each is therefore unique. The course is structured in four parts, which enables the learning outcomes to be met while limiting the requirement for workshop participation to two half-day workshops (1 day in total).

Diverse group meeting around the table
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Delivering the course in-house

This course can be delivered for a single institution in-house or across institutions. Institutions may wish to organise calibration exercises for departments where there is evidence of a significant variation in the academic standards being applied to student work. Cognate disciplines could be brought together to tackle similar issues. Professional bodies or subject communities or institutional consortia can organise cross-institutional activities.