[Rasch] Marking to the normal distribution curve

Vahid Aryadoust vahidaryadoust at gmail.com
Mon Oct 14 23:52:26 EST 2013

Dear Colleagues,

I am seeking your advice regarding marking/scoring in educational programs.
It is not closely related to Rasch measurement, but I thought to ask
whether you have encountered such a case. I would appreciate your advice.

Some educational programs assume that students' test performance scores
should be normally distributed. For example, an exit test of math
administered to 400 students should be able to spread students on the
chosen scale with a bigger mass around the mean score and gradually fewer
people near the tails of the distribution. Whereas there might be no
problem inherent in this approach, I wonder whether teachers/raters should
be advised to keep in mind a normal distribution while marking; that is,
should they mark to curve?

My understanding is that this procedure is unfair and jeopardises the
validity of scoring procedures... The rater might deliberately attempt to
underestimate or overestimate people at both tails of the curve...
Is there any research conducted on this or similar questions?
Thanks for your help in advance.

Best regards,
Vahid Aryadoust



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