How does your school promote live marking?
The dialogue on marking and feedback has shifted dramatically over the last decade. Yet, marking is still a burden for many teachers …
It is well-reported that teachers across England work 50 hours per week (on average) during term time, with half of this time spent on administrative tasks such as marking and data entry.
I ‘live-marked’ students’ exercise books throughout my teaching career. You probably do it too without realising it. However, it’s a technique that is hard taught and hard-earned.
‘Live’ means ‘there and then in the lesson’ rather than two or three weeks later, or worse, when it is too late to adjust decision-making during the learning process.
Live marking permits the teacher to give students concise, regular feedback that can be acted on immediately. An effective technique that works in most classroom settings is zonal (written) feedback – or yellow box marking.
The challenge is how, not what technique you choose.
Live marking should do 3 things
Assessing students’ work can be verbal, and there is the benefit of feedback being ‘there and then’ in the classroom. Read my verbal feedback report, which suggests that ‘speaking with students’ can add value.
1) Live marking can help discourage teachers from providing students with the answers or correcting every single error in a piece of work.
Instead, promoting metacognition and self-regulation.
2) Try verbal feedback that is scripted and targeted to help students improve their work. This means that students can instantly act upon feedback, significantly reducing written marking for the teacher.
3) The frequency and speed of using live marking builds in regular opportunities for students to recap on work as part of your curriculum design.
However, live marking (feedback) is just one form of assessment.
It’s worth noting …
Almost every teacher defaults to the words ‘marking’ and ‘feedback’. We all need to offer a little more nuance and definition to our work.
To date, I have 9 variations of ‘marking’ per se, with examples of students’ work in this resource. Consider feed-up and feed-forward for a moment. Do you know what they are and look like in the classroom?
Many influences determine the success of our assessment, but we’ll return to this another day.
Marking choices are a question of the context behind your school’s needs, the subject and students being taught, what they know (or not), and your school leadership’s choices. Sometimes (apparent) preferences from parents and inspectors influence our decisions too, but teachers are the experts.
- Download the above sketchnote, plus x30 other Mark Plan Teach PDFs.
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