A Two-Stage Method for Classroom Assessments of Essay Writing

Stephen Mark Humphry, Sandy Heldsinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


To capitalize on professional expertise in educational assessment, it is desirable to develop and test methods of rater-mediated assessment that enable classroom teachers to make reliable and informative judgments. Accordingly, this article investigates the reliability of a two-stage method used by classroom teachers to assess primary school students’ persuasive writing. Stage 1 involves pairwise comparisons and stage 2 involves rating against calibrated exemplars from stage 1 plus performance descriptors. A high level of interrater reliability among teachers was obtained. This is consistent with previous evidence that the two-stage method is a viable classroom assessment method without extensive training and moderation. Implications for assessment practices in education are discussed with a focus on the widely expressed desire to value professional expertise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-520
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational Measurement
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


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