Tips for Teachers: 11. Feedback and marking

Jul 4, 2023 | Blogs

Tips for Teachers: 11. Feedback and marking

Jul 4, 2023 | Blogs

‘Feedback is one of the most powerful tools in the teacher’s kit in terms of improving learning’ (Hattie 2009).

Marking and feedback is an important form of communication between the teacher and pupil. Through it we are able to:

  • recognise, encourage and reward effort and achievement and celebrate success;
  • provide appropriate feedback about strengths and areas to improve in their work;
  • improve a child’s confidence in reviewing their own work and setting future targets;
  • identify pupils who need additional support / more challenging work;
  • inform curriculum planning, teaching and learning.

We all know that many of us struggle with the workload involved at times though!

In her forward to Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking  – the DfE report of the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group, Dawn Copping, the chair wrote:

‘What was very clear from the start was the shared view that marking had become a burden that simply must be addressed, not only for those currently in the profession but for those about to enter it.’

There are a number of practical ideas that can reduce our workload on feedback and marking, here are a few tips you could consider:

  • Pupil review closed exercises may be reviewed by going through them together while children indicate success and correct errors, mistakes or incorrect answers;
  • Pupil marking pupils mark their own work, or peers work using pupil friendly marking schemes;
  • Focused Feedback where written feedback is provided, time will be built into lessons for children to reflect on the feedback and to respond to it. This may be the whole or a section of the work – if a section has written feedback provided this could be indicated by drawing a ‘box’ around the section to be marked – see Ross Morrison McGill @TeacherToolkit;
  • Find and fix adults inform pupils they have several answers incorrect and provide time for them to find and correct their mistakes;
  • Highlighting pupils use coloured pens to highlight their work where they have shown evidence of skills according to the requirements of the lesson;
  • Traffic lights pupils are given a red, amber, green for a piece of work based on how far they have met the learning objective / success criteria;
  • Margin Improvements annotation in the margin for non-negotiables using codes;
  • Live verbal feedback immediate feedback which is diagnostic, identifying specific areas to improve;
  • Whole class feedback grid when the teacher reads pupils work, notes are made using a grid to highlight excellent work, problems and misconceptions

‘If the feedback isn’t helping the student to do a better job the next time they are doing a similar task, then it is probably going to be ineffective.’ (Dylan Wiliam)

This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer. 

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