“There is remarkably little high-quality, relevant research evidence to suggest that detailed or extensive marking has any significant impact on pupils’ learning.” (Sean Harford, 2016).
Since Hattie’s (2009) review of effect sizes on student outcomes, with feedback (0.73) in the top 10, marking has begun to receive greater attention from teachers and policymakers. However, written marking is only one form of feedback and possibly not the most time efficient one. In this diagram, from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF, 2016, p. 6), the place of written marking is shown within a wider context of feedback along two dimensions.
Notwithstanding, marking continues to dominate teachers’ lives. More than two thirds (68%) of UK teachers said the amount of time they spent marking negatively affected classroom time with pupils (TES, 2016). The DfE Marking Policy Review Group (2016) found that providing written feedback on pupils’ work had become 'unnecessarily burdensome for teachers' and suggested that school leaders 'challenge emerging fads', which lead to excessive marking (TES, 2016). With this in mind, can research help to identify effective practice and cut down on workload?
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