The Young Teacher\\\'s Guide To Marking Traditional Examinations And W
Mar 8, 2012 Teaching 2778 Views
Preamble: Marking traditional pen on paper examinations and written assignments can be first and foremost, time consuming. Secondly, they require you to create consistency so that each student gains a fair mark. Thirdly, since much of the marking of assessment is done after school hours, teachers enter a period of time where tiredness can lead accidentally to errors in the marking of students' work. This article is designed to eliminate these issues and to make the whole marking procedure easier, more efficient and less time consuming.
Below are a number of strategies that I developed over the many years of my career. These strategies meant that I was always able to complete my marking well within the marking time allowed by the school administration. This allowed me time to correct mistakes in marking or remark when a new acceptable approach was found.
These strategies also meant that where a group of teachers marked sections of every student's examination paper, no teacher was waiting for me to finish my marking. This is crucial in creating a good working relationship with other teachers in the stressful time around examinations.
1. Do the test item/s yourself before the test instrument is administered. This ensures the questions/items test what you want, the time is valid and you find any typing mistakes before printing. It is also important to have someone else proofread the instrument as well.
2. Create a master/specimen answer for each part/question. Leave space to add any different solutions or approaches to the task. Include a detailed marking scheme/criteria.
3. Mark a number of the best students' work first. Do this a task or question at a time. This will help confirm your answers as correct or otherwise and offer different but acceptable ways of answering the tasks.
4. Now, make any alterations/additions to your answers or marking scheme/criteria. Step 3 will also help you to decide the appropriateness of the tasks and whether you need to revise your marking scheme and the standards you have set for A, B, C and so on.
5. Mark a number of the poorer students' work to help consolidate ideas you formed in Step 3 above.
6. Now the preliminaries are complete, mark one question/task or page at a time for all of your students. This will allow you to:
(a) create consistency of marking;
(b) discover any other valid answers and allow you to remark previous papers using these answers, if necessary;
(c) discover any other marking errors you have made and correct if necessary;
(d) find consistent learning problems within your class that you need to reteach;
(e) find questions/tasks that need to be reworded for future use;
(f) find common 'exam' errors that students make so you can discuss how to avoid them in future assessment with your students;
(g) find errors in exam technique that you can address later.
What you will find as a result of these strategies is that you require less marking time. This is simply because you need to remember less when marking or you need to check the answer sheet less often.
For further information on this topic (see "the Exam Book") and other publications aimed at the young and beginning teacher, visit the website http://www.realteachingsolutions.com