Are assessment environments gendered? An analysis of the learning responses of male and female students to different assessment environments

  • Turner G
  • Gibbs G
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There is considerable variation between male and female Bachelor degree performance at Oxford and Cambridge (Oxbridge) where male students attain more First and Third Class degrees and female students attain more Second Class degrees. Various hypotheses have been put forward to explain this phenomenon including the possibility that the distinctive Oxbridge assessment environment, very different from those at both pre- and post-92 universities, might account for the difference. Data from the Assessment Experience Questionnaire (AEQ; Oxbridge, pre- and post-92 universities, one science, one humanities and one applied social science subject from each) were analysed to determine gendered perceptions of the assessment environment. Significant gender differences were found on five AEQ scales (Quantity of effort, Coverage of syllabus, Quantity and quality of feedback, Use of feedback and Appropriate assessment) but there was no significant interaction between gender and university. Consequently, there were few clues in students' responses to confirm that the Oxbridge assessment environment explains gendered differences in degree performance. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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  • Gill Turner

  • Graham Gibbs

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