Students’ perceptions of the usefulness of marking guides, grade descriptors and annotated exemplars
Grade descriptors, marking guides and exemplars are generally accepted to have a positive impact in assisting students? understanding of assessment task requirements and standards, but little is known about how students use such resources. This paper provides insight into the perceptions of first-year students of the usefulness of grade descriptors, marking criteria and annotated exemplars. Of the 119 students who provided their reflections on the resources, 87% found the resources to be useful. Students? responses about the usefulness of the resources revealed two main standpoints: those (1) seeking precise guidance and (2) happy with ?an idea? of standards. A thematic analysis identified 10 subthemes which were related to these standpoints. There was a strong relationship between students seeking precise guidance and requests for even more exemplars, while those happy with only an ?idea? of standards felt the resources largely gave them what they needed and assisted their learning. We discuss some implications of these findings.