This summer I was tasked with the job of editing and improving the Department Handbook I had inherited. One of my key focuses was going to be on creating consistency in marking and feedback within the department.
In order to this I looked at what we already had in place and how we could become collectively more efficient whilst maintaining high quality assessment and feedback for our students.
Using the work I’d done at my former school in researching and putting into practice assessment and feedback strategies, I looked at what we were already doing individually and as a department and took it from there.
First things first we had the job of deciding what should be marked. In a department meeting we identified pieces of work that would be assessed, marked and feedforward could take place on. Assessment pieces were the first to be included, we tend not to assess by test due to our approach to the Middle Years Programme and instead our students produce pieces of work that will be assessed according to specific MYP criteria. Next we decided on one or two pieces of class work and/or homework per topic that would demonstrate student progress in particular skills or MYP criteria.
Below is an example for September to December for one year group. You can see we decided on particular skills and/or MYP criteria to assess and the work that would be associated with that.
Our second job was to decide what type of assessment would take place and by whom; would it be assessed by the teacher, peers or by either.
In inadvertently we came up with a few guidance rules
- If the task was to be assessed for the Humanities faculty then this would be assessed by the teacher only, however ACE or SpACE peer assessment could be carried out throughout the process to help students to make improvements before submitting their final piece.
- After feedback of any kind, the teacher would assess the piece of work that has undergone Feedback-Feedforward.
- If there were quantitative or definitive answers e.g. grid references, country names, numbers etc. then it could be peer or teacher assessed so long as mark scheme was provided.
- Any work could be peer assessed part way through the task, providing time was given for students to continue and make suggested improvements before submission. Also know as time to Stop. Peer Assess. Progress. in my classroom.
Each piece of assessed work was then colour coded to identify who should be marking it.
Thirdly I looked at the best practice taking place in the department and my own research into marking and feedback strategies to create a departmental toolkit to reduce workload and to develop effective Feedback-Feedfoward cycles.
In the end it ended up looking something like this…
And frequency of marking? Well… “There is no strict rule on how frequently our student books should be marked and assessed.”
The only rule we have is… “Students must receive feedback in some form on a regular basis – this can be through verbal or written feedback, whole class or individual”.
If you’re looking for ideas for marking and feedback, there are plenty more on my site. Here are a few to get you started
- 3 Pillars of Effective Marking (& Feedback)
- My Marking and Feedback Toolkit
- First steps towards #feedbackNOTmarking
- Less is More – Marking with a Purpose
- Updated: Marking, Feedback and DIRT ideas
If you’d like a copy of the departmental feedback and marking document to give you a starting point with your own department, please feel free to get in contact.
Hope the post is of use.