Top 10 Tips for Marking

1. Manage student expectations. Explain the marking and moderation processes and communicate how, and when, the mark and feedback will be returned

2. Diarise your marking. You should know when your students will be submitting their work so schedule your marking to help you plan your time and ensure that you can return the feedback promptly

3. Documentation. Have the learning outcomes, grading criteria and assessment instructions all easily availabe whilst marking to ensure your feedback relates to the criteria and you can check if the assignment meets the learning outcomes

4. Manage the load. Separate your marking into small batches and identify breaks (and minor rewards e.g. a cup of coffee) for the completion of each batch

5. Check your marking. Having marked a small batch have a conversation with a co-marker, moderator or module leader to check your marks are aligned with their expectations

6. Provide early generic feedback. After marking some of the assignments, provide feedback to indicate common things which were done well and common misconceptions

7. Provide good feedback. Start with a positive comment and when providing constructive comments suggest specific ways to improve the assignment, perhaps identify follow-up reading or references and/or ask questions which encourage reflection about the work. Think carefully about the language you use and the impact it will have on the student’s self esteem

8. Involve research students in marking. Teaching and marking are important skills that our postgraduate research students should develop as many of them will be looking for a career in academia. They will need guidance and support initially but they can really help with the marking burden

9. Organise group marking sessions. Group marking for the module team can ensure consistency of marking and feedback as well as enabling efficient marking and prompt feedback

10. Technology enhanced assessment. Consider how technology can enable efficiencies. For example online submission can reduce the administration of marking through allocation of markers plus internal and external examiner access to assignments