Session 140: How to reduce the mark-load and still give quality, valued feedback?

Thursday 28th February 2013


Session Title: How to reduce to the mark-load and still give quality, valued feedback?
Date: Thursday 28th February 2013

This week’s chat was focused around the ever-pertinent issue of marking and mark-load. The full dicussion title being, ‘how to reduce your marking load and still give quality feedback?’

The chat began with looking at a range of other strategies used to assess pupil work, other than written feedback. There were a range of interesting replies and creative suggestions. Ideas discussed were focused around peer assessment and editing. It was unanimously agreed that all pupils needed clear focuses and marking criteria such as: vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation (VCOP). Other ideas considered and used regularly were: paired pupils peer assessment with the use of a ‘progress paparazzi and also the use specific success criteria, with clear colour coding for criteria not yet met.

Other strategies were discussed: the use of general assessment banks with statements of common advice, linked to a specific Key Stage. Also, only give comment based marking; allowing pupils to engage with clear targets and not just focus on the level or grade of an essay or written task.

The chat moved on to considering how teachers’ can move their marking into the 21st century by using new technologies. Websites such as Edmodo were praised as being a way of minimising marking load. Although there was some discussion that this would benefit smaller classes more. Inspirational videos were also a strategy to engage and motivate pupils to improve on their work and reflect on how they can progress. @Pekabelo introduced the app Explain Everything, which he found very helpful in supporting high quality marking, assessment and feedback to pupils, as well as screen casts. Video as feedback was looked at also with the use of Mozilla Popcorn, iDoceo and You Tube for using visual annotations. Using video on MLE/Edmodo to provide feedback also proved very popular. Ipads were also considered in supporting the feedback; allowing more immediate feedback.

Blogs were also seen as a way of supporting the attainment and development of pupil work @mrpeel showed an example of the type of feedback he uses via blogging, which provides a way of general discussion with pupil peer groups for improvement. Screen cast was also advocated again.

The last five minutes of the chat was dedicated to NQTs and PGCE students who often find marking and feedback one of the most difficult things to juggle with. Ideas to support included a book Rota, give formative comments only to students; setting clear criteria for assignments, mark in batches of nine at a time. A good tip was to ask, ‘who am I marking this for?’ and be realistic.

It was a very interesting chat, especially considering the new and exciting opportunities for high quality manageable marking and feedback using new technologies.

Tweet of the Week:
@urban_teacher: Reduce Workload and Improve Impact: Student engagement with written feedback! #ukedchat #edchat

About me:
Debbie Ferrer @Debsgf is a secondary English teacher in London with eleven years experience. Learning about new teaching pedagogy and dynamic exciting teaching is something of an ongoing passion. She loves Twitter and linking up with other members of the teaching profession, as well as a bit of cheesecake. .

Archive Session 140 by Martin Burrett

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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