Using feedback comments to develop a rating scale for a written coursework assessment

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article introduces the use of tutor-to-student summative feedback comments to support rating scale development. The application of this method in a large-scale English for academic purposes course is presented, with the hope that it may prove useful for other practitioners. When assessing written coursework, it is common for educational programmes to produce summative feedback comments, to be reported to students alongside their grades. Many institutions have records of such comments extending back several years. These feedback comments represent the thoughts of a range of raters while rating a range of performance samples - the type of data that can be used in rating scaledevelopment. In this study, a sample of 150 comments was analysed to create newdescriptors for one rating scale category. The sampled comments were coded into evaluative statements, and evaluative statements showing rater consensus within each band were used to write new scale descriptors. The resultant scale was compared against the existing scale in interviews, with raters expressing general preference for the former. Thus "feedback content analysis" offers another tool for performance data-based scale development, capturing experienced raters' opinions on a large number of performances, with practical advantages over the typical "rater workshop" method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Assessment
  • English for academic purposes
  • Feedback
  • Language testing
  • Rating scale development
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Using feedback comments to develop a rating scale for a written coursework assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this