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AbstractIt is commonly believed that the standard of student performance in coursework tends to be higher than that achieved in formal examinations. This view was tested by analysing undergraduate performances in six subjects at four UK universities. Two measures of relative coursework performance were employed. The first is the difference between the mean coursework and examination marks for each module. The second considers the proportion of students in each module who achieve a higher mark in the coursework than in the examination. The measures showed that in English and History coursework performances are slightly higher, equivalent to one-third of one honours class (or division) while, in Biology, Business Studies, Computer Studies and Law, coursework performances are higher by as much as two-thirds of one honours class (or division). The differences observed in the latter subjects are very significant and have serious implications for parity of treatment in degree programmes where students may choose modules with contrasting modes of assessment.
CitationAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 2002, 27(1): 35-48