Dear all

I'm becoming increasingly interested in perceptions of assignment criteria from the students' viewpoint. I seem to be spending increasingly amounts of time each year I work as an academic skills adviser (aka LD! ) helping students to unpack criteria thus leaving precious little time left for other important elements. I'm beginning to agree with lighthearted comments 'you need a degree to understand the criteria' and wonder what the motivation and rationale is behind making the criteria so complex? Is this something others experience?

A recent example is asking students to ' critically critique... ' and then there are the criteria points that seem to embed 3 points in one ( reminds me of those poorly thought out job interview questions!) and the sentences that leave you confused as to the subject, the object and so on.

There are mixed responses to students to raise the issue, from helpful further guidance to the other extreme of ' we are not here to spoon feed you'.

I'd be interested to hear of others' experiences of this and any signposts to further reading as I suspect this has come before! On a wider issue I find it fascinating how 'we' construct meaning depending on various factors and am looking for literature on this if anyone can point me in the right direction.

Thanks for reading.


Academic Skills Centre Co ordinator
Kingston University