2022.第50卷第2期(Vol. 50 No. 2).pp. 27–50



Reflections on the Impacts of Grading Judgment Toward the Transition From Norm-referenced Assessment to Criterion-referenced Assessment

廖梁(Liang LIAO)





Since 2015, student assessment has been transferred from norm-referencing to criterion-referencing in all public universities of Hong Kong. During the transitional period, teachers have to face lots of challenges such as adapting to the new assessment and changing the previous grading habits. This study revealed two characteristics of grading behavior existing in the transitional period. On the one hand, grading has been greatly affected by the pattern of norm-referencing; on the other hand, demands for grading autonomy have increased comparing to the time when norm-referenced assessment was used. Whether teachers would go back to seek for the guide of norm-referencing is primarily depended on how the institution supervises the results of grades as well as whether adequate communications are created between department and teachers. Meanwhile, demands of grading autonomy are inspired by the spirit of criterion-referenced assessment as well as the desire for defending academic freedom from teachers. The study suggested that to facilitate the change of assessment and to better implement criterion-referenced assessment, supports, cooperation and reflections from different spheres of organizations and agencies (including the administration) are necessary, as well as its considerations on the grade accountability, resources and grading communication opportunities provided by departments, and the deep understanding of academic freedom from individual teachers.

Keywords: criterion-referenced assessment; accountability; grading process; grading autonomy; academic freedom