Developing a Guiding Protocol for the Moderation of Summative Assessments


  • Willie McGuire University of Glasgow
  • Rille Raaper University of Glasgow



Student Assessment, Assessment Moderation, Social Moderation, Community of Practice, Higher Education


According to literature, assessment moderation is a process for assuring ‘valid, fair and reliable’ assessment outcomes but also consistency of applied marking criteria. While being an important area in assessment, moderation is often referred as an ‘under researched area of higher education’. The School of Education in the University of Glasgow, like many other academic units in the UK and internationally, adopts a range of approaches to moderating assessment within any one programme and across programmes. By drawing on a small-scale study carried out in academic year 2014/2015, this article introduces the ways course leaders and markers from the School of Education experience moderation practices and their own roles within this process. The paper argues that both groups experience assessment moderation as being a diverse and often problematic part of assessment that requires time and collegial support. Furthermore, their detailed suggestions for institutional and practice level improvements will be highlighted. When exploring and analysing the research findings, the paper draws on recent scholarly work on social moderation and the development of communities of practice in assessment.

Author Biographies

Willie McGuire, University of Glasgow

Willie McGuire is a Senior Lecturer, Director of the Scottish Unit for Literacy Assessment Support (SULAS) and Course Leader for the Postgraduate diploma in Education (Secondary) within the School of Education of the University of Glasgow. He has published widely in both subject terms – the teaching of English, and in wider educational fields, both nationally and internationally.

Rille Raaper, University of Glasgow

Rille Raaper is a PhD Candidate in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Her research is focused on assessment policies and practices, as well as neoliberalisation of higher education and academic work. She is also involved in various research projects related to themes of food waste, sustainability education and digital CVs. More information:


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