How technology can change the way you mark

Richard Endacott

Friday, 28 December 2018

Opogo Editorial lead Jane Wood Chambers wrote a very thought-provoking article on marking recently.

For those of us facing a mountain of Mock (PPE’s in some schools) examination marking, her intervention was both timely and insightful.

However, faced with such a mountain across Years 11, 12 and 13, I took to Twitter to ask for advice from fellow history teachers across the Edutwitter sphere. The response I received both online and directly was astonishing!

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One respondent @historywaters suggested using code marking for the scripts. Now this is not something I had tried before and decided to complete some further research.

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In her Geography lesson, another Edutwitter regular @mrshumanities has produced a code marking template, instead of using time-consuming words in marking she has developed a series of codes which the student can refer to. An example taken from her blog can be seen below.

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I have therefore set myself a challenge to produce my own set of marking codes to help with the marking mountain and speed the process up. Marking codes can help ensure that the feedback is precise and linked to advise on how to improve (next steps).

The codes can be linked to common areas where students lose marks in the exam. For example QF (Question Focus), ND (explanation Not Developed), NC (lacks Clarity), NS (argument Not Supported).

They also save teacher time - how often do we write the same comment on a number of essays?

The marking codes not only help me to identify strengths and weaknesses within a piece of written work, but they also provide advice on how to improve (i.e – next steps).

I would recommend recording the codes in your mark book and over time you can intervene on the common issues or highlighting where an individual student is constantly losing marks.

Alternatively, the class can be grouped according to areas they find problematic or indeed a real strength to help others.

It is the power of social media which is really impacting change, the ability to ask a targeted community for advice, which is really empowering the next generation of teachers. In a previous blog, I have highlighted the impact Twitter has had on my development as a teacher and it is this identification and sharing of ideas which is so developmental.

Twitter allows me to follow teachers on a worldwide level, I can see classroom ideas and communicate with teachers in real time. Through that communication, I can learn new practices to implement in the classroom.

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Opogo’s #teachdigital strategy is the first steps towards harnessing the power of technology in the classroom and around us, that feeling of isolation and fear of trying new ideas. What I learn via social media is having a real positive impact on my students own development, picking best practice from a global resource base.

In the meantime, armed with my new codes and other strategies gleaned from articles by the likes of Jane Wood Chambers, I am as ready as I can be to face the marking onslaught, at least I know I am not alone. Wish me luck!

Happy New Year all!



About our Community Expert


Richard Endacott

Career Development Lead

Richard is a history Teacher by Training and for the last few years been head of sixth form. His specialism is leadership and career development in the classroom.

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