Monthly Archives: September 2019

What to do if your school has a batshit crazy marking policy

I’m glad to say that I don’t have to do this kind of thing any more, as my current school has a sensible marking and feedback policy.

For those of us who are less fortunate, however:

1. Don’t Panic

Refer SLT/HoD to Markopalypse Now or Adam Boxer’s Markageddon.

2. Me and My Class, Tick-boxing

Read (just read) six exercise books at random from your teaching group. Type three ebi’s and www’s and print as a label in the approved format with boxes to tick. Leave a blank space in the www and ebi section to write in the occasional bespoke comment.

Get class to hand in their exercise books held open to the page you intend to mark. If you have been able to prepare the marking labels in advance, get the class to glue them in at this point.

You will find an example label in Word format here.

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 16.40.28.png

Huge time-saving tip: don’t copy and then cut and paste multiple copies of this into the same document file. Instead, just type “1,1,1,1” into the page range…

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 16.43.47.png

…and then select “4 pages per sheet” for 4 crisp, identical copies on 1 one side of A4. (Thanks to Adam Boxer for this tip!)

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 16.44.21.png

3. The Joy of Excel (and Mail Merging)

This system is especially useful when your school’s marking policy demands that students’ target grades and grade awarded for the assessed work is recorded on the feedback form.

Set up an Excel spreadsheet similar to the one below. There is a generic one available here.

Go through the student exercise books and type in comments into the spreadsheet. This sounds onerous but what you will find after marking, say, three books is that many of the comments can be directly re-used by copying and pasting directly into the relevant cell.

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 18.11.49.png

Then, set up a marking feedback form in Word similar to this one:

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 18.17.43.png

Next, use the Mailings menu or the Mail Merge Wizard to (1) identify the spreadsheet as the data source; and (2) transfer the data and comments from the spreadsheet to the Word document.

If you have done this correctly, it will look like this:

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 18.25.53.png

Then Merge the data to produce a document that looks like this:

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 18.35.26.png

Print using the 4 pages per sheet option as above or similar. Then get students to glue into their own books and complete the ebi/DIRT activities.

The other advantage of this is you can print off the Excel spreadsheet and file in your mark book.

And finally…

Hopefully, fewer and fewer teachers will need these tips as understanding of the proper role of marking and feedback permeate through the school system, but I know many schools are still demanding ‘triple marking’ when, in all truth, they shouldn’t be.

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