University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Moral Content and Assignment Marking: An Exploratory Study

Lipscomb, Martin ORCID: and Snelling, Paul ORCID: (2006) Moral Content and Assignment Marking: An Exploratory Study. Nurse Education Today, 26 (5). pp. 457-464. ISSN 0260-6917

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This small scale exploratory survey investigates the relation between the moral content of student assignments and potential marking behaviour by lecturers. A questionnaire containing a number of deliberately discriminatory statements was sent to a sample of nurse academics, and participants were asked to indicate whether the inclusion of these statements might affect the mark awarded. The sample was too small to undertake tests of statistical significance. However, the results tentatively suggest that a majority of participants would penalise assignments that contain morally questionable statements, and many would cite the code of professional conduct in justification. There appeared to be little difference in the response to statements that offered opinions (normative) or described actions (descriptive). However, differences between responses to statements discriminating against different groups were apparent, with racist statements being penalised more often and with greater severity than other categories. Qualitative data support the quantitative data. Several areas for discussion are identified, including the academic status of nursing, the use of the code of professional conduct, the moral claims made for nurses, a potential ‘hierarchy of wrongness’, student self censorship, and inconsistency in marking. Further research is justified.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: assignment marking, discrimination, Code of Professional Conduct, moral content
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Depositing User: Paul Snelling
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2013 17:20
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:02

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