The big marking deadline was looming! The first thing I did was finish my own marking. Then I sorted out the outstanding cases of suspected academic poor practice. And the odd one of malpractice! And in between that I kept on sending out reminders to my colleagues that they had to make sure they completed their dissertation grades. Dissertations have to be marked by two separate people, so they both have to do the work, then they need to communicate in order to agree on grades, and then the supervisor of the student needs to make sure the first and second marker’s grades, and the agreed grades, are available to the external examiners. And they have to make the agreed grades plus feedback available to the students. And sometimes the first and second marker don't agree, and then it is my task to make sure a third person looks at it. Inevitably, sometimes that third person is me!
We also had a member of staff who went off on sick leave before they could agree marks with everyone. Luckily they were very organised, and all the information I needed to make executive decisions was there. I think that worked out! Unfortunately I don't have the feedback for the students, so that will probably have to wait until they are back from sick leave. Quite a lot of the students will be a lot more interested in the grades than the feedback anyway. And the grades are there! I can imagine that if the students now go into a job, they focus on that now. Not much point in spending a lot of time finding out what you could do better with a dissertation, as they may never write something like that again.
I didn't manage to get all the staff to finish all the dissertation marking. By the end of the day, still a few marks were outstanding! That is not how it should be. But you can't force people.
I also had to have a lot of meetings with students I had had to call out for a lack of paraphrasing. It was the usual blend of upset people, defiant people and apologetic people. And people who were a bit of all three. I suppose the most important case was a student who is unlikely to graduate straight away. This might mean they may have to do supplementary assessment over the summer. I think it is really important they avoid being penalised in that piece (or pieces) of work, as that might really affect whether they can graduate after that or not. I have urged them to come and see me (or their academic tutor, or the Study Skills centre) so we can practice a bit with writing assignments in such a way it is really in their own words from start to finish. I hope they take this up!
Next week my job should look different. And Tuesday we already have the first exam board meeting! We'll see how this cohort has done…