How to make marking more efficient

Writing in The Guardian, English teacher Andrew Tharby suggests that bringing feedback to the forefront of everything that is done in the classroom can reduce the time spent marking and improve the quality of feedback for students. He gives three examples.

The five-minute flick. Check through a cross-section of books to assess how students across a range of abilities performed in the previous lesson. If they have produced a piece of writing, begin the next class by showing an example from one student and critique it together. Guide the class through the editing process to model an improvement together. Individuals then edit their own work with this example in mind.

Gallery critique. Students move around the classroom critiquing one another’s work using Berger’s “kind, specific, helpful” mantra, along with a plentiful supply of post-it notes. Not only do students receive detailed feedback from a number of peers, they also learn from reading each other’s work.

Live marking. As the students are working, call them up one-by-one to discuss their work and feedback both verbally and with symbols.