I have written about using marking codes to reduce workload before here. I have talked about using codes to speed up marking but these prepared for generic feedback in MFL. Whilst I have found these very useful, sometimes I still find myself resorting to giving written feedback (particularly for KS4 work) as the feedback I want to give is a bit more complex.
There are two ways around this. The first is to simply read through all of the assignments that you wish to mark and make a list of common targets on a PowerPoint (the second is using a VLookup command on a spreadsheet but I will blog about this in a separate article). This way, you can make them much more specific to the task as well as more detailed, below (see fig.1) is an example for a year 11 written assignment I am marking at the time of writing.
The PowerPoint is not particularly flashy and yes it will need to be made a bit easier for students to read but in many ways, the words are all you need otherwise you fall back into the trap of increasing that workload again.
I think it is important to ensure that the target includes a question for reflection or guidance to improve both the work and the student’s knowledge of the wider topic. Mini activities such as ‘list the key verbs’ and ‘what would support you with this?’ are designed to elicit reflection and response from the student to improve the work and their skills/knowledge in the context of the subject.
I have previously asked students to write the target from the board in green and the use it to improve their work but recently I am questioning the need to actually get them to write it, as long as you can clearly see that they are carrying out the task/reflection/improvement in their work.
As ever, please feel free to use, loose or abuse or share ways in which your improving the feedback you give your students.