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Action Research: Implementing a Strategy to Improve Post-Graduate Student Dissertation Evaluation & Feedback

Naren D. Selvaratnam

Executive Summary

The following action research introduces deficits associated with dissertation evaluation of a masters in psychology program at a higher education institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was identified that the chosen institute does not provide proper instructions and training for the academic staff to effectively assess post-graduate student dissertations. This has resulted in multiple score disputes and concerns over the dissertation moderation processes. Thus, the author has proposed a comprehensive strategy outlining an effective training program to support the academics of the institute to adopt a holistic assessment criteria against the existing rigid analytic criteria to help promote impartial and reason-based grades for students justifiable at external verification. This research may be of significance as it demonstrates the mechanisms involved in improving academic processes in a university. Further, this paper can be used as a guiding document to conduct future action research at university settings in Sri Lanka.

 

Keywords: Dissertations, Holistic Assessment Criteria, Action Research

References

Balla, J., Boyle, P. (1994). Assessment of student performance: a framework for improving practice. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 19(1), 17-28. https://doi.org/10.1080/0260293940190102

 

Hands, L., Clews, D. (2000). Marking the difference: an investigation of the criteria used for assessing undergraduate dissertations in a business school. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 25, 5-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/713611416

 

Pathirage, C.P., Haigh, R., Amaratunga, R, D, G., Baldry, D., Green, C. (2005). Improving quality and consistency of dissertation assessment: A case study, Quality Assurance in Education, 15(3), 271-286.

 

Rowntree, D. (1987). Assessing students: how shall we know them? London:Kogan-Page.

 

Webster, F., Pepper, D., Jenkins, A. (2000). Assessing the undergraduate dissertations, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 25(1), 71-80. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602930050025042

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