How to cut down the time you spend marking without compromising

Any teacher knows the feeling of being faced with a mountain of work to mark. It can feel like an impossible task and pile on the pressure when you’re already struggling to keep up with lesson planning, creating engaging ideas, and getting to know your students. If it’s an area that you want to spend less time on, we’ve got five tips to cut the chore down without your pupils suffering.

One-on-one marking

Sometimes referred to as live marking, this is a technique that’s increasingly being used by teachers working across all ages and it can add extra value to the students. It involves calling up students one by one, while the rest of the class is working through an exercise, and going through their results verbally. It’s a great marking option for work that’s more subjective, such as extended writing pieces.

Use online testing

Creating and using existing online tests can eliminate a portion of your marking altogether. An online test can give your students instant results once completed, whether it’s set as part of classwork or you’re using an online tool for homework. With the tech taking care of the marking, you can simply pick up the results and see where extra work needs to be done to get your students comfortable with the topic.

Mark and grade a handful of pieces

Rather than going through every piece of work, marking and grading a cross-section of your class can still provide you with insights. It will give you a clear overview of how your class has picked up a given topic and their grasp on the challenges set. Add to this method by going through the marking process with the class, giving them the information they need to make improvements and understand what they should be looking for without the need to mark a full class’ work every time.

Gallery critique

Using gallery critique as part of your lessons can be really helpful to pupils. It’s a method where multiple peers will review a piece of work, with students receiving a variety of useful feedback as a result. There are some flaws in the technique and it will take some practice to get your pupils used to the method, but it can save you time and presents a learning opportunity both when the feedback is received and when the student critique work themselves.

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