Home > Education policy, University Education, University Quality > It’s that time of year again: exam-grading (and here’s a study suggesting that using red ink means lower scores!)

It’s that time of year again: exam-grading (and here’s a study suggesting that using red ink means lower scores!)

Interesting review from Tom Jacobs of a paper which suggests that ‘New research suggests the use of red ink by teachers to correct students’ work may result in harsher evaluations’

Remember those gut-wrenching high-school moments when a teacher handed you back a test or assignment, having corrected your mistakes and rendered a harsh verdict in bold red ink? It may be small consolation now, but newly published research suggests your grades may have been higher if that ink had been blue.

A study in the European Journal of Social Psychology suggests the use of red pens may make teachers more likely to spot errors on tests and to be more critical when grading essays. “Despite teachers’ efforts to free themselves from extraneous influences while grading,” write California State University Northridge psychologist Abraham Rutchick, Tufts University psychologist Michael Slepian and Bennett Ferris of Phillips Exeter Academy, “the very act of picking up a red pen can bias their evaluations.”

Is this the cure for grade inflation?

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  1. September 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

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