Smart Marking

Smart Marking: –

Are you a teacher spending tons of time marking? Was that a stupid question?

Although this blog isn’t a technical blog it talks about how you can save yourself sometime with your marking. I’m hoping that it will give you some quick wins in the pitfalls of WWW and EBI. Yes, we’ve all been there and we’ve seen how little impact they can be. Particularly when your student responds to your marking with ‘ok I will do this next time’.

If there is something I can teach you about in this blog it is to work smarter and not harder.

 Success Criteria: –

This is particularly use for key stage 3 and particularly useful because of the ‘assessment’ of levels going out of the window. Finger’s in the air please…. The idea of this assessment method is that you start you lesson and deliver your content. When you’ve finished your content, either come up with the success criteria and show it on the board… OR get your students to come up with it.

Now… when you mark their work, in the WWW (What went well) box, you write the number of the success criteria that was the best in one box. In the EBI (Even better if) box, you write down the number that they need to improve on.

There is a very good example of how it can work here: –

I have also attached a picture below.


Resources banking: –

If you’re lucky, you will get to deliver some of your content for at least two years. I suggest when you mark this piece of work, you keep a log of the common mistakes that are made. This will save you time for the next time you teach this unit of work. Then all you do is print out the common mistakes with numbers by them. Give back your students their work with the sheet and the numbers on them. They need to write down their improvements. They’re taking more ownership of the marking and it saves you writing a paragraph that they might never read.

One Note: –

Have you ever tried to use One-Note with your class? If your students are completing work for you on the computer, you might want to save yourself time hand writing all of your feedback. Did you know that you can press the ‘record’ button at the top of one-note and you can record feedback straight into their work? Save those one-to-one chats you have and have a record of every progress chat with your students. One-Note is a Microsoft product and it comes free with Office-365. Once your students are set up, they can share their work with you and all you need to do is access it from home and use your built in Microphone! Job’s done! 

record audio

Self Marking Quiz Papers….  

This quick win comes courtesy of my friend ‘David English’ a Maths/Computing teacher at my school. He has been looking at ways of speeding up his marking in his lessons. When you take on two subjects it’s never easy. His maintenance marking has sped up and he is able to do some multiple choice quiz’s with some of his students and this allows him to monitor the progress. Over time, you’re able to check the results of their tests.

How it works?

On the right, is an answer sheet. You will need to write a test for your class but fill in all of the correct answers. This is scanned on your phone so that you have all of the correct answers. You scan in the sheet and the phone reads it!

Next step, each student is given their quiz (or you do this via powerpoint) and students must colour in the questions from A to E. They will then pick the correct answer.

At the end of your lesson, you scan in each test and it is marked instantly and it tells you which question they have answer incorrectly. Not only have you checked their progress quickly but you have their marks. You can then review your most common mistakes as a class!

Now warning, I’m not saying ZipGrade will give your students instant feedback, but it will give you an instant clue to how your students work! I’m going to be using it but I will also be getting the students to acknowledge their mistakes, thus demonstrating their progress.

To find out more about zipgrade visit: 

I have a few more tricks up my sleeve but I’m just trying to help make things slightly easier for your work load! Have funny giving the students the time to write down the success criteria in their books instead of YOU!

About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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