Cultural Equivalence in the Assessment of Home and International Business Management Students: A UK exploratory study

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This article explores the cultural equivalence properties of commonly adopted assessment methods by first subjecting multiple-choice tests, coursework assignments and essay response examinations to critical scrutiny for evidence of bias. Then, using data from a large cohort enrolled on a first-year business studies programme in a UK university, a comparative analysis of the academic performance of home and international students reveals considerable differences, with the marks of the latter being substantially lower than those of the former. In order to establish whether a particular assessment method is culturally biased compared to others, following ordinary least squares estimation of regressions on each assessment method for the home and international student subsamples of the cohort, a Chow test is employed. The main finding indicates that assessment by examination penalises international students beyond differences in ability levels, as measured by multiple-choice test and coursework assignment scores. On the basis of this evidence, it is suggested that, in culturally mixed classes, the exclusive adoption of the end-of-course examination be avoided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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