Reduce your marking workload and give meaningful feedback to your students. We share our tried and tested strategies to help training teachers, NQTs and experienced teachers.

by Teachit's editorial team
17th August 2020



  1. Colour coded marking. Agree shared marking criteria for all pieces of work. Students should be aware of what you are looking for in every homework task. For example, if it is a ‘green’ homework, it is focused on effective use of key terms, ‘orange’ is exam practice, and ‘pink’ might be written accuracy, etc. 

  2. Spot the error. Ask students to read through their homework in class just before handing it in, to check for any errors (or peer mark for errors). Give out a checklist to students with common errors or issues so that they can check their work effectively.

  3. Flipped homework. Set homework which involves students giving verbal feedback or undertaking research that will feed into an activity in the next or subsequent lessons.

  4. Create and share a marking key. Create and share a marking key with students so that students understand your marks, i.e. p for punctuation, etc. 

  5. Live marking. Mark work in class each lesson with individuals or a small group of students, working your way down the register over the weeks to ensure that all students benefit from your 1:1 time. This is sometimes known as ‘live’ marking.

  6. Mark selectively. Only mark what is meaningful or directly contributes to students making progress.

  7. Dialogue marking. Write a question which students have to answer so that they directly engage with your comments. For example, ‘Which examples could you have used to improve this answer?’.

  8. Peer marking and self-marking. This works particularly well when you agree outcomes, or can use exemplars, marking schemes or answer sheets.

  9. Coach marking. Ask students who are willing and able (or are fast at finishing tasks) to take on the role of coach markers, checking other students’ work. Agree your marking criteria before starting, or provide checklists!

  10. Try to find marking habits which work for you. Some teachers prefer to keep class sets of homework at school/college, and always mark on site, whereas others would prefer to spend Sunday marking at home. Find a system that works and stick to it where possible.

Download all 20 tips for managing marking below: 






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