Template for Departmental Examination Board Minutes section b – analysis of examination data

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Template for Departmental Examination Board Minutes




Examination Board Chair:

Module and Mark Comparisons
Departments should list all modules examined this Semester and provide a record of any thoughts and discussions on issues such as moderation, module performance analysis over several years, a commentary on any modules with consistently high failure rates, or any modules outside of the norm, eg, any significant changes in mean marks, or where students are consistently under- or over-performing on a module at cohort level, etc.
The following AStRA reports can be used to assist with the data analysis: STR03025 (Module Marks – Summary by Semester/Department) and STR06027 (Marks Scatter).

Module ID

Module Title



% fail



Research Skills




It was pleasing to see the mean for this module increase by 4% over the two previous years. In such a small class this was a result of some excellent performances in the short answer/data response section of the paper in which just over half of the students achieved a first class mark. The marks for the essay component were much lower. Numbers were smaller this year so it is pleasing to see an increase in the standard deviation.


Writing Skills




Although the average mark of 48% is not out of line with last year’s average, nor with other semester 1 modules this year, the performance of students on this unseen examination assessment continues to cause some concern, despite new efforts to enhance delivery of the module content.  Students were required to provide essay answers to two questions from four, one each from each section.  Marks awarded for each section’s questions were similar.

Common reasons for low marks included: Failure to provide detailed information: poor answers were vague waffle, showing no evidence of lecture attendance or reading; failure to cite evidence in support of assertions, even when explicitly required by the question; failure to focus on the question posed; some students provided vague narratives of environmental history, rather than explaining the methods used to analyse data;     Failure to structure essay answers effectively.

Several first class answers show that the module is effective when students make the effort to learn the material delivered in the lectures. Students need to be reminded that learning information is only the first step towards the analytical, critical approach that is required in their exam and coursework assignments at Part 2.


Team Development




The average fell from a 63.79 to a 60.89, while the standard deviation remained roughly equivalent. This module took the place of a long-thin module, and the latter module had averages in line with the 60.89 from this year's module. Taking into account the longer-term trends not included on the mark comparison sheet, this year's decline in the average mark reflects a return to the mean from last year's slight outlier.

CBB/May 2016

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