Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Online Examiners Meeting Worked Well

Greetings from the project examiners meeting of the Computer School at the Australian National University in Canberra. Due to COVID-19 this is being conducted online, via video conference. The format is much the same as a face to face examiners meeting. The meeting works its way through a spreadsheet (displayed on screen), where each line shows the proposed grades for a student from reviewers, a proposed final grade and color code to indicate if the academic in charge thinks there is consensus. Most are coded green, indicating there is a consensus and these are generally accepted with little discussion. Those coded amber need more discussion, while the red ones have vigorous debate.

In past years the discussion has got quite heated for a few projects, but not today. There were quite a few comments about the difficulty students had due to COVID-19, with some overseas and unable to meet in person with their supervisor. This can also be difficult where students are working on a project with human subjects, but unable to see them in person. However, I was impressed how, despite the difficulties, staff and students were still able to undertake valuable work.

An observer might think there is not much to such a meeting. But behind this are years of work establishing standards. With that all done, the final decisions can be made smoothly.

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