7-trins-skalaen: En analyse af information og diskurs

Helle Bjørnstrup

Student thesis: Master thesis


The 7-point grading scale – An analysis of information and discourse The main objectives of this thesis are to investigate the degree of which Danish universities have achieved to communicate and inform students about the 7-point grading scale, which was implemented in the Danish higher educational system in September 2007. In addition, the thesis will provide an analysis of the discourse existing within the target group towards the grading scale based on an opinion poll carried out during 2008. The target group consists of students enrolled at five of Denmark’s largest universities. An illustration of the target group’s evaluation of the respective five universities’ informative skills is provided followed by a theoretical analysis of two polarised universities’ information campaigns mainly using Preben Sepstrups (1999) 6-step model. The two polarised universities refer to the universities whose students’ evaluations of the information materials differ most from one another. To define the discourse existing within the target group an opinion poll performed among 1,119 university students from five of Denmark’s largest universities was carried out. Furthermore, two newspaper articles from the two polarised universities were analysed to investigate what possible discourses the text theoretically might produce. The theoretical framework of this analysis is provided by Norman Fairclough (1992) through the critical discourse analysis. As a supplement to the discourse analysis a theoretical approach mainly within the field of linguistic pragmatics has been used to analyse the textual part of the research objective, which is used to analyse any hidden messages in the texts along with determining the ir functions. The articles published by the two polarised universities express opposite discourses, which is believed to be sender-related; one sender is representing the view of the target group, a student, whereas the other represents the view of the Danish government as it is written by an employee from the respective university. Furthermore, the analyses and research carried out have illustrated great differences in the target group’s evaluations of the five universities’ informative skills, and it is evident that some universities has solved this informational task more better than others. The differences between the two polarised universities are, however, not mainly due to the content and form of the information material. Instead the distributional differences between the two universities have been found to be the determining factor; one information material has been distributed through e-mails thus contemplating an active approach, whereas the other information material has been posted on the university’s website, hence expecting the target group to collect information themselves. Secondly, the analysis has revealed that there exists a negative outlook on the newly implemented 7-point grading scale within the target group thus a strong anti-7-point grading scale discourse is present in the Danish university environment. This is, however, not so much caused by the change of the grading scale. Rather it is due to the specific type of grading scale the government has implemented, which is regarded non- flexible and ambiguous in its translation of grades from the old scale to the new scale.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages133