Session 169: Effective feedback – How do you make your marking count?

-Date: Thursday 19th September 2013

Host: @dailydenouement

Effective feedback – How do you make your marking count?

Summary of Discussion

This week’s #ukedchat Thursday discussion was about making marking and feedback count.

[pullquote]Separate out praise and feedback, feedback first then praise when improvement made[/pullquote]

At the start of every new school year, marking is always high up on my list of resolutions. I always want to be better at it: more efficient, more effective. I want to make my marking count. At the end of the discussion, I had found several ideas to try. Maybe this is the year my resolution will be achieved!

Throughout the discussion I tried to pose a variety of questions and in my summary I will try and share the answers and debates which some of those questions prompted.

How do we make marking & feedback meaningful?

Various contributors discussed the need to ensure pupils engaged with the feedback. @MrAColley offered the suggestion that pupils mark the feedback with a tick if they agree, a cross and a reason if they don’t and a question mark if they haven’t understood. @westylish believes that time needs to be planned for pupils to respond to feedback (see the scoop-it links for a blog on this subject.)

How do you check that your feedback has been acted on? What methods do you have for checking that improvements are made?

@Jivespin and others discussed using a variety of feedback stamps. I particularly liked @Jivespin’s idea of getting pupils to write down what their verbal feedback had been. Or @mrpeel’s suggestion that they spider-diagram the conversation around the stamp. Simple, quick and, if used to reflect and act on, then no doubt effective.

How do you manage your marking to avoid it becoming an overwhelming task?

@sgrobinson13 offered the solution of taking ten books home at the weekend and ten books on a Monday. @misstiggr suggested marking every day as students appreciate the frequency and little and often works. @MsKateRyan offered some sage advice (which I would do well to take myself at the moment!) when she suggested: Spread out deadlines between classes and try to mark within 24-48 hours of submission. Stops mountains piling up. I’m also going to go and do some reading about @kevbartle’s ‘Taxonomy of Errors’ thanks to @TeacherTweaks’ tweet: When marking I create numbered targets using Taxonomy of Errors (idea from @kevbartle) to stop writing same points endlessly!

There were so many excellent ideas and advice shared during the hour-long discussion. I’ve tried to pull out as many interesting tweets as I could but I would encourage you to read the archive and check out the scoop-it weblinks.

Hopefully you enjoyed the discussion and will be joining us again next Thursday. I think @westylish really summed it up for me with this tweet though: Really good conversation on #ukedchat tonight regarding feedback. Twitter is brilliant #cpd.

Remember, you can see all links shared here:

Notable Tweets
@MrAColley: #ukedchat Pupils ‘mark the feedback’. Tickfor understood, x for disagree (w reason), ? for don’tunderstand”

@shornymorgan: During ‘MAD’ time, I get them to redraft one / write new para of the writing they did which received the feedback

@poachermullen: we give banks of targets 4 improvement & write no. of relevant target on work.Then look up, engage & correct wk

@jivespin: Give your TA a stamp and a target for selected studentsso their feedback is valued too and evidence of their work

@JamesJMatthews: #ukedchat Two stars and a wish works well…..providing the next lesson is personalised to all those wishes!

@MissDCox: as much as this is painful, if you don’t markfor the next lesson (or at a push the one after that) youmight as well not bother

@mrandmrsteach: Use highlighters to identify areas of strength/improvement. Makes your marking visual

@rpd1972: #ukedchat Pink/green marking is a great tool: pink for think, green for great. Chn can instantly see their successes &what needs improving.

@Smithie_S: #UkEdChat using alphanumeric marking code for WWWEBI that children have to decipher then act on, now developed next step think questions

@WhiteDebs: #ukedchat how about giving work back to pupils withfeedback on post it notes – pupils have to match work tofeedback – groups of 4

@syded06: the ‘ideal’ feedback is a 1:1conversation. We can get very close to this withtechnology at our disposal

@mrpeel: I bought a verbalfeedback stamp from Amazon- I stamp: they spider the feedback

@rpd1972: #ukedchat pink/green works well in maths too. We are trialling chn only writing on 1page, to give space for marking & responses to marking

@mrpeel: key is to give enough time to read the feedback and structure their attitude to receiving and responding from y7 onwards

@eylanezekiel: #ukedchat Try to give up on marking and move towards’critique’ / peer and self assessment …From the great Ron Berger

@daviderogers: remember that not all feedback needs to be written in books. Plan oral feedback, speak to children in lessons

@piersyoung: Wonder sometimes if exercise books are where feedback goes to die. Publicly visible systems (blogs/wikis et al) much more alive.

@TeacherTweaks: Using ABC (add, build upon, challenge) model of critique to get students familiar with process of drafting, reviewing & editing.

@urban_teacher: One form of feedback never works! You need to use arange of feedback techniques so students understandhow to progress

@davidErogers: #ukedchat use social media and other outlets to provide opportunities for feedback from outside the school on work

@MsKateRyan: Spread out deadlines between classes and try to mark within 24-48 hours of submission. Stops mountains piling up.

@TeacherTweaks: When marking I create numbered targetsusing Taxonomy of Errors (idea from @kevbartle) to stopwriting same points endlessly!

Tweets of the Week
It was difficult to choose just one tweet of the week:

This first one is a definite take-away for me as KS5 is a big focus for our department at the moment. This seems such a simple but brillinat idea:

@mrtpolitics: Make 6th form keep all essays with feedback on in a plastic wallet at front of folder. Start revision by rewriting earlier essays.

I also liked the simplicity of this idea:

@Class_Leading: #ukedchat Separate out praise and feedback, feedback first then praise when improvement made – courtesy of @ebtnetwork

And this made me wish I could do this for all of my classes. It seems like the absolute holy grail of marking… I’m still trying to figure out how I can make this work:

@MrPPritchard: I do some focused marking with the child beside me. I explain my thinking, they get immediate feedback…But it takes lots of time.

About your Host
@dailydenouement: I’m a newly appointed Head of Year, having previously been a 2nd in English for several years. After a brief stint as Acting Head of Department, I’m enjoying the move into all things pastoral. I teach at a Catholic comprehensive in Liverpool. Love teaching, dislike all the politics that surrounds it.

Subsequent Responses:


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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

1 Comment

  1. Have just started following and am already up for this. Feedback and marking taking centre stage at my school- the right move – so keen to refine and this all helped.

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