Teaching and Learning Bulletin

Issue 8

This bulletin begins a new focus on making marking more meaningful. In the next few bulletins, we'll be looking at ways to encourage teacher, self and peer assessment that actually contribute to improving student attainment. Hopefully you'll pick up a couple of strategies to try out and see if they work for you.

Marking is as easy as ABC!

Do you have that nagging feeling that the peer assessment your students do isn't really that good? Are the comments for WWW/EBI fairly shallow? If so, you might want to try out ABC Peer Critique.

ABC stands for: Add something new that's missing; Build on an idea that's too general; Correct or challenge something you think is not right.

The important thing is students must redo their work after their peer's additional comments in order to 'master' what they are doing.

For information and examples of how this approach has improved students' work, take a look at my prezi for #TMEaling earlier this week.

The double tick and the underline - can you tell me why?

Next time you take in students' work, don't write any comments; instead, double tick the parts of the work that you think meets the criteria really well and underline any parts which need work. Peers have to look at where their partner has received double ticks and underlined parts. They use this to formulate a peer review of the work.

For more great ideas about encouraging more in-depth engagement with feedback, take a look at @davidfawcett27's blog:

Encouraging Public Critique - Let's be 'Kind, Helpful and Specific'

Tell students in advance that you will be doing public critique with their work; this should make students up their game if they know it's going to be on show. Students leave their work on their desk and next to it is a plain piece of A3 paper. Each student is allocated several students to public critique. The criteria in student-friendly language is displayed on each desk with clear instructions on what you want them to look for in the work. Students spend at least five minutes at one desk critiquing the work, sticking to the rule that the critique is:

Kind - 'The best part of your work is... because...'

Helpful - 'You should change/add/... so that you ...'

Precise - 'The most important thing you need to do next is...'

For more information on the benefits of public critique, take a look at David Didau's post on his @LearningSpy blog:

Finally, if you're interested in really getting to grips with how peer critique helps students to understand the concept of 'mastery', you should read this brilliant book.