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Sample Dissertation Assessment Criteria from Oxford Brookes University

APPENDIX 3

General Criteria for Assessment


The following are general statements and are cumulative i.e. the criteria for lower pass grades will also be met. Note that these are applicable for HL, HO and HM fields only, where no primary research is involved. Students studying for an interdisciplinary project should follow the criteria of their lead (other) field. In any case where circumstances beyond the student's control is believed to have affected performance in relation to the criteria above, the assessors will expect to receive statements and evidence as to the facts from the student and the supervisor(s) and then to make appropriate recommendations. A Grade An outstandingly perceptive and lucid treatment displaying genuine intellectual and independent thought in a cogent and sustained discussion. Evidence of a deep understanding of the subject, the relationships between theory and practice, and the implications for the hospitality or tourism industries. Objective analysis and critical evaluation in relation to extant knowledge and theory. Application and synthesis of innovative ideas including clear recommendations for the industry and future research. Resolution of any contradictions or problems arising from the findings. Acknowledgement, analysis and critical evaluation of weaknesses in the findings and/or approach with suitable proposals for improvements If primary research is used then a thorough justification of the research methods used, a detailed, selective review of the findings and an objective analysis and comparison to findings from secondary sources, resulting in new conclusions that are relevant for industry B+ Grade Ability to construct focused argument which is properly evidenced and attains the main aims of the investigation. A comprehensive treatment, selectively presented and displaying a thorough understanding of the subject and its implications for the hospitality or tourism industries. Evidence of understanding of the relationships between theory and practice and the ability to construct focused argument which is properly evidenced. Objective analysis, evaluation in relation to extant knowledge and theory, and application of concepts to the industry. Evidence of synthesis and innovation in recommendations. Acknowledgement and analysis of weaknesses in the findings and/or approach with proposals for improvements. If primary research is used then a logical justification of the research methods used, a detailed review of the findings and an objective analysis and comparison to findings from secondary sources, resulting in some new conclusions that are relevant for industry Work at this grade will display many of the qualities which apply to the A grade, but they may be demonstrated at a less independent level, or may be outstanding in one characteristic but defective in another.

Sample Dissertation Assessment Criteria from Oxford Brookes University

B Grade

A good detailed treatment from a reasonable body of relevant material from a wide range of sources, structured in a coherent way and related to theory. Display of a good understanding of the subject and its implications for the hospitality or tourism industries. Evidence of attaining some of the aims and objectives and some analysis and evaluation with attempts at synthesis, perhaps in the form of recommendations. If primary research is used then a description of the research methods used, a review of the findings and some comparison to findings from secondary sources. Limiting qualities are likely to be lack of, or weak argument, limited or defective research or understanding of ideas. There may also be limitations such as inadequate interpretation in terms of appropriate theories, collection of primary data (if used) or failure to use appropriate analytical tools.

C Grade

Adequate treatment that demonstrates an understanding and basic grasp of the topic with evidence of a basic ability to plan and gather information. Some evidence of analysis, evaluation and consideration of implications for the industry. Limitations might include weaknesses in the design of the study, limited coverage of the relevant literature, repetition of ideas, insufficient consideration of the relationships between theory and practice, inadequate justification and/or collection of primary data (if used), insufficient evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, completion of only a few of the stated aims.

Resubmission

Although there is evidence of a basic ability to plan and gather information, the work does not demonstrate an adequate grasp of the subject. Mainly descriptive and insufficient analysis or evaluation, or fails to adequately address the aims. Despite the above, with some additional work has the potential to meet the requirements for a pass grade. This would normally be possible by, for example; - rewriting a chapter - clarifying some of the conclusions - developing more explicit recommendations - correcting errors or omissions - improving the presentation. It would not be normal to give this grade where substantial additional literature research was necessary.

Failure

Automatic where there is evidence of plagiarism or inadequate or false evidencing of sources, either secondary or primary. More usually failure is due to insufficient evidence of study; seriously defective knowledge or understanding, failure to address the topic, failure to attend to required modes of presentation, illiterate writing. Failure can also arise from inability to plan and execute the data collection to the minimally acceptable competence level or failure to meet the stated aims of the study.

Sample Dissertation Assessment Criteria from Oxford Brookes University

Undergraduate assessment grid First Order criterion Argument Internal consistency and logical structure Use of information to sustain argument Awareness of strengths and weaknesses 84-100 High A Extremely strong internal consistency making the project a convincing whole which clearly addresses the original research question. The project is very effectively structured. Impressive use of information gathered to support argument. Argument very clearly articulated and well supported. Critical and reflective awareness of strengths and limitations of the project. 70-84 A Strong evidence of internal consistency which relates to original question. The project is well structured. Very good use of information gathered to support argument. Argument clearly articulated and supported. Good evidence of awareness of and reflection on strengths and limitations 60-69 B+ Evidence of internal consistency which relates to original question. The project is carefully structured. Good use of information gathered to support argument. Argument well expressed and supported. Awareness of and reflection on strengths and limitations 50-59 B Evidence of internal consistency which relates to original question but with some weaknesses in the integration of different sections. The project has a coherent structure. Use of information gathered but with some weaknesses in the integration of evidence. Argument expressed in a competent way and well supported. Some awareness of strengths and weaknesses 40-49 C Limited evidence of internal consistency which relates to the original with significant weaknesses in the integration of different sections. The structure of the project lacks clarity in parts. Limited use of information gathered to sustain the argument with significant weaknesses in the integration of evidence. Some limitations in articulation of argument and strength of support. Limited discussion of strengths and weaknesses. C Poorly formulated research question. Aim and/or some objectives lack clarity. Some evidence of subject focus.

APPENDIX 4 25-39 Fail Lack of internal consistency. Poorly structured. Very limited use of information gathered to sustain the argument with serious weaknesses in the integration of evidence. Poor expression of ideas and weak support offered for argument. Little or no awareness of limitation of the dissertation. 0-24 Fail Evidence of some knowledge but with serious omissions and/or use of ideas marginal to the question. Incoherent structure. Inadequate understanding with significant errors and omissions. Inadequate application of theoretical ideas or concepts to concrete examples.

Second Order criteria Research problem Aim and objectives Focus Rationale

High A Very clearly formulated research question with explicit and achievable aim and clear appropriate objectives. Very clear subject based focus. Excellent and convincing rationale.

A Clearly formulated research problem with well thought through aim and objectives. Clear subject based focus. Rationale clear and well justified.

B+ Well formulated research problem with a clear stated aim and relevant objectives. Subject based focus.

B Competently formulated research problem with a suitable aim and some reasonable objectives. More limited evidence of subject focus.

Fail Poorly formulated research question. Aim unclear and/or objectives poorly related. Little evidence of subject focus.

Fail Inadequate formulation of the research question with inappropriate or inadequate aim and objectives. Lacks focus.

Sample Dissertation Assessment Criteria from Oxford Brookes University

Literature review Range of reading Relation to research question Independent research

Extensive reading which has been thoroughly critically evaluated and explicitly related to the research question. Excellent evidence of independent research for sources. Flawless referencing and bibliography, adhering to Department guidelines.

Very wide reading with critical evaluation and clearly related to the research question. Very good evidence of independent research for sources. Flawless referencing and bibliography, adhering to Department guidelines.

Wide reading with critical evaluation and clearly related to the research question. Good evidence of independent research for sources. Almost flawless referencing and bibliography, adhering to Department guidelines.

Methodology (if primary) Appreciation of methodologic al issues Rationale for approach Information gathering and analysis. Awareness of strengths and weaknesses.

Very clear appreciation of relevant methodological issues. Excellent rationale for research approach adopted and the data collection methods used. Extremely systematic and appropriate information gathering and analysis. Critical awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach taken.

Very good appreciation of relevant methodological issues. Clearly presented rationale for research approach adopted and the data collection methods used. Very competent and appropriate information gathering and analysis. Some awareness of strengths and weakness of approach taken.

Over reliance on Reliance on limited Appropriate restricted range of sources, lack of reading with some sources. Not limited evaluation. evaluation. Poorly related directly to related to research Not consistently research question. question. Little clearly related to Very little evidence evidence of the research independent research of independent question. Some research for for sources. evidence of sources. Poorly Competent independent referencing but some referenced with research for significant inconsistencies in sources. inaccuracies. adherence to Referencing and guidelines. bibliography, adheres to Department guidelines. Limited awareness Familiarity with a Familiarity with Familiarity with of methodological key methodological key methodological few key issues. Defensible issues. Reasonable methodological issues. Competent rationale presented issues. Limited rationale for rationale for rationale for research for research research approach research approach approach adopted and approach adopted adopted and the adopted and the and the data the data collection data collection data collection collection method methods used. methods used. methods used. used. Weak Limited information Reasonable Competent information gathering and information information gathering and analysis. Minimal gathering and gathering and analysis but awareness of the analysis. Limited analysis. Some sufficient strengths and awareness of the awareness of the information weaknesses of the strengths and strengths and gathered to allow approach taken. weaknesses of the weaknesses of the for a possible approach taken. approach taken. reworking of data. Little awareness of strengths and weaknesses of approach taken.

Little or no evidence of reading, or superficial reading of mainly inappropriate sources. Little of no referencing, inadequate bibliography.

Little awareness of methodologica l issues. Inappropriate or non-existent rationale presented for the research approach and the data collection methods used. Poor and inappropriate information gathering and analysis, not capable of being reworked.

Sample Dissertation Assessment Criteria from Oxford Brookes University

Analysis and evaluation Identification of theme and/or issues Critical evaluation Synthesis

Excellent evidence of ability to identify relevant themes. Very strong evidence of critical evaluation of wide range of material. Demonstrates impressive ability to synthesise information to show a full grasp of the material and to generate appropriate applications to the industry where relevant.

Very good evidence of ability to identify relevant themes. Strong evidence of critical evaluation of wide range of material. Demonstrates ability to synthesise information to show a full grasp of the material and to generate appropriate applications to the industry where relevant.

Evidence of ability to identify relevant themes. Evidence of critical evaluation of material. Ability to synthesise generalisations from the material and formulate applications to the industry where appropriate.

Satisfactory evidence of ability to identify some relevant themes. Limited evidence of evaluation of material. Some ability to synthesise generalisations from the material. Reasonable attempt to generate applications to the industry where appropriate.

Limited ability to identify themes or issues. Material presented uncritically. Limited evidence of an ability to draw relevant conclusions or to identify links between issues.

Little ability to identify themes or issues. Material presented uncritically without analysis or interpretation. Inadequate attempt to draw conclusions or generalisations.

No evidence of attempt to identify themes or issues. Material reproduced uncritically without analysis or interpretation. No attempt to draw conclusions or generalisations .

Sample Dissertation Assessment Criteria from Oxford Brookes University

Dissertation assessment criteria Student name


First order criterion Argument Internal consistency and logical structure Use of information to sustain argument Awareness of strengths and weaknesses Second Order criteria Research problem Aim and objectives Focus Rationale Comments please insert grade for each criteria Comments (Please insert grade)

Tutor:

Second marker:

Literature review Range of reading Relation to research question Independent research Analysis and evaluation Identification of theme and/or issues Critical evaluation Synthesis