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Become a Teacher• 3 Min read

19th March 2021

A Beginners’ Guide to Marking

Marking is a substantial part of the job when it comes to teaching. It cultivates an interaction between the Teacher and Student, providing feedback on the work they have done and guidance as to what the next step is. It is always a great idea to elude the panic of a Sunday night’s hassle, or taking a week’s worth of marking home during school holidays when you could be enjoying your holiday break as well.  

What is the Objective of Marking Student’s work?

The concept of marking a Student’s work is to ensure that they understand the task, and to provide them with useful feedback on their completed tasks; to always motivate and engage with Students.

Here are several ways you can minimise your marking time, improve the effectiveness of your feedback and have the students contribute to ‘bridging the gap’ between where they are and where they ought to be.

How To Minimise Your Marking Time:

Practice using symbols –  Do this to show certain points that you may be marking. For example: 

  1. Use a plus sign when a Student needs to give more information.
  2. Use a code to show the most prevalent comments (praise, indicators, improvement suggestions) you use for Student’s work.
  3. Have the guide stuck in the front of their books for them to refer and use. 

Have a clear-cut focusWhen you’re marking, inform Students beforehand on what you will be marking, whether you will be looking at their understanding of the new verbs or new sums learned in class. Make it clear to the Students on what you want them to demonstrate in their answers. You are guiding them on what you will be looking out for in their work. 

Merit students I am sure we can all agree, it always felt good to open your book and see a colourful sticker beside your work. It is a great way to reassure your Students too, that they are doing a good job.  

Explore using different coloured pens By doing this, you will  show the level of work the Student has produced e.g. pink for well done, orange for needs work and red for needs to be redone.

Peer review Students can mark each other’s work using evaluation criteria. To make certain that work marked by Students is clearly noted and signed by the Student. It is also a good idea to have the Student’s work checked by 3 sources before it gets to the Teacher. This is usually most effective if more than one Student checks the work.

Peer feedbackEncourage Students to look for missing details, to ask questions about parts that are confusing, and praise what they enjoyed. You can also implement the ‘kind, specific, helpful’ mantra for Students to provide feedback to others.

Use self-assessment For example:

  1. Explicitly teach Students to assess their own work and provide opportunities for them to do so before they hand work to you.
  2. The Teacher assesses the work after the Student has made comments and adjustments.
  3. Teach Students how to effectively proofread and edit their own work.

Exchange and markWhere relevant, have Students mark each other’s work in class, minimising the amount of time you need to spend on each task and also it has the advantage of immediacy which increases effectiveness.

Use shared technology spacesFor example: Use Google docs where Students can post assignments giving the Teacher access to work in progress. The feedback given during the progress task prevents Students going down a completely wrong path and guides them in the right direction. Making it more likely that their work will be of a higher quality with the final submission. 

Examine draftsFor example:

  1. Ensure Students submit their drafts of their work during the process rather than submitting the final product. When you do this, you can provide feedback while they are busy working on the task, minimising the amount of work you will do once the task is completed. 
  2. Provide Students with templates to follow that showcase their thinking during the process of completing the task.
  3. Make sure that the process is about  improvement, not about perfection or grade. 

It is always good to be mindful when you provide feedback to your Students, you are helping them become more cognisant of enriching their own learning and to take accountability for that enrichment. This is a great principle for them to acquire throughout their education. 

Happy marking! We hope these tips are helpful to you. 🙂

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