Reducing marking workload


A common theme throughout my blog posts is how to make marking more efficient, so that it doesn’t take up almost all of my time. Having just marked 210 KS3 assessments, in addition to KS4 and KS5 exams, I have found some ways to make marking quicker but still maintain it’s usefulness. I obviously use stamps and make my own stickers (details in another post) but these are some other strategies to reduce time spent marking:

  1. During my PGCE year, I used to write extensive comments on what each pupil had done well and what each pupil needed to do in order to improve, however a lot of the time, I would be repeated myself. I have started using marking codes which then requires the pupil to write out the full comment and respond with their next steps. Obviously, the time spent by me writing comments 30 times compared to 30 pupils writing out their own comments reduces a lot of unnecessary repetition! screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-18-34-16
  2. I have started using a tick or a double tick for the best bits of pupils’ work. I know that there is a push to stop the typical tick and flick marking, however I think that it is important for pupils to know when they have done something well, and a tick is a lot quicker than writing ‘well done – this is good’ – or words to that effect.
  3. With the assessments I have just marked, I have marked them and given the pupils a mark, however all WWW and NS comments have been left up to peer assessment. It is important that I get an accurate grade for each pupil, however the NS comments can be added by pupils which will be no less effective. I show them a list of possible comments, which they then can choose the most relevant and add to the work for their partner to respond to. img_4312img_4662
  4. As I teach humanities subjects, there often isn’t one correct answer and therefore peer assessment and corrections can sometimes be tricky. I am always trying to avoid pupils relying too much on me to tell them if their answer is correct or how they can improve it. My goal is for them to work this out themselves. Therefore, for longer answer questions, I sometimes model a perfect answer, highlighting what has been awarded marks within it. This allows pupils to find what they have lost marks on and then set their own next steps to respond to. img_4649
  5. Exam feedback sheets. Rather than writing long comments and giving targets, I have developed generic exam feedback sheets that allow pupils to work out themselves how they can close the gap between their current attainment grade and their target grade. The idea for this came from @Laura_oleary on Twitter 🙂screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-18-37-40



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