UAW Teaching & Learning Bulletin

Issue 1 - Peer Marking / Assessment


The idea behind these bulletins is to share and provide ideas to aid progression and achievement in lessons. A bulletin will be shared each half term / term. The aim is to use at least one of the strategies in lessons and evaluate how successful you found it.

This first issue will look at a few ideas how to incorporate peer assessment into lessons and help make it meaningful, and most importantly, useful to both pupils and staff.

Below are a few ideas you could try in lessons.

Mid-lesson peer assessment during questioning

The idea is to allow instant feedback on pupils' work whilst ensuring pupils' self reflect upon their own work following completion of a task. Green Pen's would be useful here to evidence.

  1. Following completion of an outcome pupils swap books with person next to them.
  2. Pupils then write 'peer assessment by Name' to make sure they are responsible with their comments.
  3. Pupils are directed to read through their peer's work without marking or writing anything.
  4. Questioning is then used to share / model good answers.
  5. Pupils then add a target / targets to their peers work that would improve it following the class discussion. The books are then passed back.

Depending on time these targets could then be actioned immediately, at the end of the lesson or as a starter and will clearly show diagnostic marking.

When training pupils with this technique it could be useful to ask them to read out the targets they have provided and ask the class to evaluate whether it is a good target.

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Post-it notes

Pretty similar to the above really but it is quicker. The downside is that it isn't as easy to evidence as post-its will usually be thrown away after use.

Pupils have a limited time to move around and read other pupils' work. They are to write one good thing about the work and at least one target that would make it even better. It is important to stress that the feedback cannot be based on appearance or 'neatness'. A good way is to remind pupils of how staff feedback in their books.

A good thing is that pupils' feel safer when writing on post-its and not their peers books and it also facilitates sharing of ideas between pupils who can then go back to improve their own work.

Once the time has run out, targets and good things can be shared with the class and then actioned upon.

Anonymous pupil work

This is useful to build pupils skill in peer assessment.

Pupils can be provided with a sample question (quite useful with exam style questions) and asked to mark the question.

Pupils could be directed to identify good points and ways to improve to demonstrate their understanding of what 'good looks like' or they could mark and then rewrite the answer underneath the original.

Level Ladders

Using level ladders will require a bit more preparation time but can identify areas that need improvement. They can be especially useful following an assessment or extended piece of work.

Pupils are to be provided with a level ladder which they use to tick off outcomes that their peer has achieved. This could be coupled with a writing frame to target literacy and targets provided to pupils based on what they have not achieved.

The major benefit of this technique is that it clearly directs pupils to the success criteria.

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Peer assessment based on lesson objectives and outcomes

Most useful at the end of a lesson.
Pupils are shown the objective and outcomes as well as a writing frame that can be used to assess what pupils have achieved and how it could be improved.
An additional 'Peer assessed by....' could be added to increase responsibility.
Feedback and targets can be shared and then actioned upon either at the end or another lesson.

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Visualiser & Peer assessment discussion

This strategy works really well for tasks involving diagrams, graphs, calculations or results tables. A pupil's work is shown on the board and pupils discuss how it could be improved.

This could be done individually or in pairs to encourage working relationships between pupils.

Again it is important that pupils are trained in assessing their peers work and are clear on what makes a piece of work successful.

Major benefit is that this can quickly be used to show progression verbally at any point and can be used to stretch higher ability pupils by asking how it could be improved further.

Also it can improve pupils oral literacy as key subject specific words will be needed to communicate their feedback.

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