Crucially, it should encourage active information processing on the part of pupils.
In their 2007 article ‘The Power of Feedback’ Professor John Hattie and Helen Timperely wrote:
“feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement, but this impact can be either positive or negative”.
But there’s another assessment argument to be made.
In 2016, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) report from the Marking Policy Review Group set out recommendations to reduce the workload burden on teachers. It looked at the role marking plays in teaching and identified the three principles of effective marking: meaningful, manageable and motivating.
Indeed, a common-sense approach to assessment tells us that it should be high quality, constructive, accurate, develop diagnostic feedback — and importantly — work for both teachers and pupils. But in reality, marking is time consuming. The EEF report identified marking as:
“the single biggest contributor to unsustainable workload in the Department for Education’s 2014 Workload Challenge – a consultation which gathered more than 44,000 responses from teachers, support staff and others.”
So how do we achieve a happy balance? How can we reduce teacher workload without diminishing the value of quality written feedback for pupils?
Having spent several years in the classroom these are my tips for getting the best of both worlds in the classroom: