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Equality in legal assessment: a scoping study

By Melanie Crofts and Simon Sneddon

Abstract

This paper analyses the performance of students taking compulsory LL.B modules at the University of Northampton between 2002-3 and 2006-7. The grades for each student in each element of assessment on each compulsory module are compared and analysed on the basis of the student’s ethnicity, gender, age at enrolment and declared disability. The results of these analyses are then taken on a longitudinal basis and any emerging trends are investigated. The results suggest that there is little significant statistical difference between students on the basis of gender, age at enrolment or declared disability, although clearly there is a range of ability across the various cohorts. The results further suggest that there is a difference in attainment when the ethnicity of students is used as the comparator, and that this difference occurs in many different types of assessment.\ud The paper further analyses the results of a series of student focus groups and on-line written contributions, which were encouraged with the aim of attaining a cross section of views across the equality variables analysed in the quantitative data. Results from the qualitative data seemed to demonstrate that some students, for example mature students, employ differing strategies which seem to give them an advantage over younger, school-leaver students.\ud Tentative conclusions are drawn as to possible reasons for these differences, although considerable further work would be required in order to draw any deeper conclusions. \u

Topics: K100, LB2366
Publisher: Office of Educational Partnerships & Lifelong Learning, University of Northampton
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:nectar.northampton.ac.uk:1894
Provided by: NECTAR
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