University of Murcia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Page: 3908 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The final examination which has traditionally determined students’ grades has lost weight in the new EHEA. Now the grades students obtain are increasingly dependent on periodical assessments made during the course. This paper seeks to analyze the relation between grades obtained by students under continuous assessment and those obtained in a final examination.

The grades obtained by first year degree students taking a subject of Finance are analyzed. The final grade in this subject is awarded on the basis of the mark obtained in a global examination taken at the end of the year and that obtained in continuous assessment tests. Three of the latter were set unannounced during the course and only the two highest grades obtained were used in the calculation of the final mark.

The marks of the students have been categorized in two groups: the marks of those who passed the final examination and those who did not. The mean mark obtained in the continuous assessment was calculated for each group. The sample comprises the marks of 45 students.

The results show that the students who did not pass the final examination had obtained an average mark of 4.83 in the continuous assessment, versus the 7.90 obtained by those who did pass the final examination. The value of the t statistic for the means difference test, 4.20, shows that the mean marks obtained by both groups are significantly different.

Furthermore, an analysis of the group of students who passed the final examination reveals that the mean mark in that examination was 7.12. A comparison of this mean mark with that obtained by the same students in the continuous assessment (7.90) shows that continuous assessment allowed the students, in our sample, to improve their final mark. However, the effect is not very big, with the t statistic means difference test taking a value of 1.78. So there would only be a statistically significant difference at the 10% significance level.

In conclusion, and in line with expectations, students with better marks in continuous assessment were those who in general passed the final examination. It was also observed that continuous assessment helped to improve the final grades obtained by students, although the effect was not very pronounced.