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‘To do marking and feedback right takes three days for every fortnight of teaching.

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Applewhaite

    Applewhaite New commenter

    I agree with you. Marking may show progress but does not mean these students will perform better in exams. The analysis on this rigorous method of formative marking is inconclusive on final grades. Focused marking is better based on a core of the curriculum to assess where students really are. Levels of marking should be planned in line with keys skills and knowledge in any curriculum. Everyone will have a viewpoint that differs and agrees. Progress should always be measured on breadth of knowledge, understanding, interpretation, expression and synthesis.
  2. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Too frequent formative feedback is not helpful either.

    How would you like it if every other lesson someone came, watched you and started giving you similar feedback about what you could do to improve your teaching. And worse. Asked you to write a response to their feedback setting out what you need to do. And then even worse. Came back and gave you more feedback on your feedback. Go forth and multiply you would say.

    Sometimes, a nice gap to let you consolidate, reflect, get on with it, make changes, be creative, reshape and then after a decent gap someone then comes and has a chat and engages with you is a better approach.

    Can you imagine, Usain Bolt's coach saying as he runs the 100m, pick your feet up. Now, give me three reasons why I say pick your feet up. Bolt's stink eye would sum up frequent formative assessment perfectly.
    veneris, indusant and guinnesspuss like this.
  4. drek

    drek Star commenter

    When they introduced the marking regimes they did not have to be accountable to the workforce regarding the drastic change in their working conditions.
    The people who did the 'trials' were those who were likely promised promotions or were removed from full time-tables, so the 'effectiveness' of implementing the changes were done under a false premise, using fake data and analysis. Or used groups of students where evidence of progress is easy to provide, with or without the 'marking to death'.
    They expect full time teachers to spend whole week ends and half terms marking to some fascist perfectionist ideals, which in no way improves student progress anymore than it did before the new systems.
    A student whose reading age should be 14 but is actually 8, is not going to read comments, let alone be impressed by colouring pens.
    They love smiley faces and always provide feedback on hand drawn ones, which can be used to 'effectively' start a refelctive activity on how to earn another one!
    No wasted ink to further pollute our environment.
    schoolsout4summer and Compassman like this.
  5. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Exactly Drek, but that's like many educational initiatives which are trialled in ideal conditions.

    I've never understood why teachers just go along with the latest fad so easily especially when it takes so much more time?

    If something is introduced, even if it is shown to have positive benefits, if it takes more time then the teacher should he given more time to do it. The working time should not be added to the working day. Teaching should be like any job, you do a certain number of hours, you get paid. If you do more hours you get paid more or you employ someone else to do the extra. That is the nature of a job.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  6. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I think this is a really important point, and one we should be making as a way of challenging how things are now done without throwing out the whole idea.

    School policy requires me to set each pupil a task (draw a box in highlighter for them to answer in), every time I mark pupils's books (which is supposed to be every 2-3 weeks though I never manage to achieve that for all classes).

    Sometimes I can set a meaningful task and I think the process is worth doing. I've just been marking Y10 controlled assessments and many of them will be doing a resit to improve their grade. It's a big piece of work which (for most pupils) a lot of time and effort has gone into. Setting them tasks to either make corrections where there are errors, or improve/redraft/extend one of their paragraphs makes sense to me.

    I also have a pile of Y8 books sitting next to me. They don't have anything of such substance in there (low ability French group) and some have not completed homework tasks. Most of their work consists of listening and reading tasks (where answers have been checked in class), notes, and simple sentences which again, have often been checked in class. I really feel I'm clutching at straws in order to come up with something for them to do in DIRT time, and then its a battle to get them all to do it.

    I think a sensible way forward would be for this style of marking to be used roughly once per term (full term, not half term!) on significant pieces of work. That way workload would be reduced compared to doing it every 2-3 weeks, pupils would hopefully take it more seriously, and because of the gap in between major formatively marked pieces of work they would have time (and a bit of breathing space) to improve.
  7. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Let us all be honest. It's time to ditch exercise books. Students can bring their own folders with foolscap in (I'm sure the charter schools make them provide their own resources) which they can use for all non-assessed writing. Assessed writing, on the other hand, should be quantified in advance, built into the SOW and fully mapped on the calendar for students and staff to see. Marking time should be allocated per student per piece and thus a teacher's yearly time spent on assessment could be quantified and agreed with SLT. Then it can be outsourced to cheaper non-qualified people working in some call centre type place once it is done online. Sorted! No longer do teachers need to do death by annotation.
  8. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Mind you, class sizes will probably go up to pay for it all. And teachers' pay decrease.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Marking, compared to immediate, positive, supportive, relevant verbal feedback given to an individual or to a small group, is hardly worth the effort.

    With verbal feedback, the teacher gets to assess just how much the pupil understands and the pupil can communicate if there is anything they are unsure about or would like more help with. The assistance needed can be pitched at the right level for the individual (s) etc.

    Marking and written feedback seems to be almost solely for the benefit of someone other than the teacher or learner. I suspect much more effort goes into checking whether a teacher does it or not, than whether or not the written feedback given is remotely useful.
    whitestag likes this.
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    The most silly thing is those that promote the use of the 'verbal feedback given' stamp. Bonkers!

    It's all about evidencing everything that teachers do. So much time is wasted on evidence and I am convinced that it is affecting the outcome. Teacher's are too busy collecting evidence to be planning effective lessons.

    Also, a lot of money is spent on employing senior staff to check that evidence is being collated. I've said before that in my last school the number of senior teachers went from 4 to 15 in a very short time.

    Let's say that each of them was on £45k for the 11 staff........that's £495k spent on that do little teaching and but spend their time going around making sure spreadsheets go yellow and green. Now what if you spent the money on teachers doing....er....teaching..... (not that many of these senior staff would want to be teaching!)
    whitestag likes this.
  11. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    A deputy once said to me, after proudly extolling the virtues of their new marking policy (which must have driven their staff to despair):

    'We took the decision to take me out of the classroom in order to raise standards'

    Delicious irony! :D
    TCSC47, nomad and Compassman like this.
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Whilst I would not exactly promote the use of such a stamp, @Compassman I can certainly appreciate why it has gained such popularity.

    When quizzed by a member of SLT or an Ofsted inspector as to 'evidence of feedback', a rubber stamped indication accompanied by the initials of the pupil concerned cannot really be argued against.

    I should be quite happy to accept such an indication and would actually prefer a teacher to give feedback verbally during the lesson rather than in writing a couple of days later when marking a set of books.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    But isn't it silly to want all of this evidence? it doesn't improve the learning of the students.
  14. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Yes, it certainly is. (Silly, that is)

    However, requiring evidence did not originate within schools. It originated within inspection frameworks.
  15. ricjamclick

    ricjamclick New commenter

    There is a simple answer to that: change the inspection structure. o_O
    TCSC47 likes this.
  16. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    Or just get rid of it :)
    TCSC47 and Compassman like this.
  17. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    But is it the inspection, or schools response to it. Report says little evidence of teacher verbal feedback in the lessons observed (which is really unlikely to reflect everything that happens) . School's solution - a stamp 9or who ever the school consulted for advice.

    often many of the things that schools do are not requested by OFSTED.
    DYNAMO67 and Compassman like this.
  18. smartledore123

    smartledore123 New commenter

    Hi Wanet,

    This is out of the topic, but I fail to find any online members who can help! What exam board/subject do you deliver? Could help with my current dilemma.

  19. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    But Ofsted in its current form is what creates this fear.

    Why do Ofsted need to grade schools? The label 'requires improvement' is a ridiculous concept - can't every school improve on something? And what is so wrong with being satisfactory?

    If I go and see my doctor with a sore shoulder, if he provides me with an effective service and helps me to get better, I couldn't give a monkeys whether it was satisfactory, good or outstanding. Effective is all I expect.

    In my opinion they shouldn't grade so brutally. They should be there as a critical friend and offer the school some good, sound professional suggestions, based on their years of experience teaching or leading schools. If a school is obviously struggling they should offer professional advice and support, rather than disappearing into their office, writing a damning report and having the headteacher sacked and countless careers ruined.

    It's the blind terror of being given the labels 'requires improvement' or 'inadequate' and being publically flogged that drives schools to respond in a way that puts ridiculous, stressful and time-wasting demands on their teachers.
    TCSC47, Compassman and ricjamclick like this.
  20. ricjamclick

    ricjamclick New commenter

    Much as we might not want anyone looking over our shoulders, just getting rid of it probably isn't the way forward. Changing it and making what is assessed relevant is a way forward.

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