As top grades reach record highs, edtech tools in teacher-led assessment demonstrate a commitment to fairness, says Turnitin

WITH this week’s A-level results showing the proportion of pupils receiving A* or A grades has reached a record high of 44.8%, edtech provider Turnitin has emphasised the importance of fair and accurate assessment for all. This year’s teacher-assessed A-level grades highlight the role of online assessment in supporting objective grading, Turnitin says.

By using edtech tools across the learning journey, tracking student progress and gaining a full picture of academic achievement, students, teachers and administrators can have trust that grades have been correctly awarded.

Aaron Yaverski, Turnitin Regional VP for Europe, commented: “Much of the news we’ve seen this week has focused on the rise in top grades. But this misses an important piece of the puzzle schools and colleges must be confident that the way they are assessing and grading students truly reflects their achievements and capabilities.

“The last two exams seasons have been unlike any other, and education secretary Gavin Williamson is right to say that this is ‘a year we can’t compare to other years.’

“However, even if the UK returns to traditional exam-based assessment next year, the way the education sector has pivoted to teacher-led assessment demonstrates how important it is for us to trust in the grades teachers are awarding.

“This means using the right assessment support system, with the data and insights to inform accurate grading, show a full picture of individual student learning and build trust in the grades awarded by teachers.”

From coursework, mini exams and mock exams, schools and colleges have used a range of evidence to fairly award student grades. Around 15% of institutions had their submitted grades queried by the exam boards, but only 1% of marks were altered following these submissions. With 65% of UK further education colleges using Turnitin tools, the global edtech provider says the role of assessment software in the modern learning environment is clear. 

“The rise in top grades provides a reflective moment for all of us in the education sector,” Yaverski continued. “Features such as grading rubrics and data-driven insights are central to modern assessment tools such as Gradescope. These tools support consistent grading from standardised rubrics, giving students, university admissions officers and employers the confidence that grades have been earned and awarded correctly.”