Certain about CBM

Are you certain? Are you confident? Are you both? Or, are you either confident or certain? I checked up the meanings of these two words a while ago – and it seemed to me that there was a ‘certain’ overlap in meaning.

Why then, is Confidence-based Marking (CBM) now often referred to as Certainty-based Marking? According to the LAPT (London Agreed Protocol for Teaching) page at UCL:

The word “certainty” seems to carry much less baggage then “confidence”. The term “Confidence-based marking” has sometimes suggested to people that confident personalities are being rewarded. This is not so. Those who are rewarded are those who can distinguish between reliable and unreliable answers. In the context of “How certain are you that this is right?” or “How confident are you that this is right?” they are equivalent. But “Certainty-Based Marking” is perhaps less open to misinterpretation.

While the use of a word is more of an interpretation issue, the system is very rewarding as it makes a learner ensure that they are clearly stating their premise of their choice of an answer. It may not eliminate guesswork altogether (and I don’t think that is CBM’s purpose either), I’d guess it allows the learner to pay just that little more attention to a ‘guessed answer’ before going to the next question.

The basic ‘poster’ from UCL is the simplest, if you would like to understand CBM (PDF File)

If your interest gains momentum, visit the LAPT page at UCL for more technical papers and links.

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2 thoughts on “Certain about CBM

  1. I wanted to say hi. I am interested in Instructional Design, Im not really sure how much information this site can offer me yet, as I just found it, but I will be back to devour it!

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