One of my goals this term has been to streamline my assessment and reporting processes.
In terms of assessment, I had to really challenge the way I was thinking.
I have always operated with the metaphorical “inbox” idea, wherein I would not finish my working day until my inbox was empty. My inbox already included the usual: behavioural follow-up, photocopying, emails, parent contact, printing and planning. As of week 2, I decided to also include assessments in this approach.
Yes, this means staying late even after long days to mark assessments the day they are handed in. I know this may seem like a big change, as each essay takes 15-20 minutes to mark, but it has actually made me more efficient. I spend less time thinking about marking and more time actually marking. I also feel pretty awesome when I get to go home and lounge on the couch, guilt-free.
Work submitted late will always be the exception. On the plus side, these students are always disappointed when they don’t get their tasks back the next day with all the other students.
Most importantly, students receive their feedback while it is still relevant and can be directly related to their recent efforts.
The times I defer from this approach:
- when assessments are to be moderated,
- when it has concerned essays in exam conditions and some students are still to sit the essay, or
- when I have collected more than one class set of assessments, and am not teaching one of those classes the following day.
(The last reason is simply to give myself a break.)
When it comes to reporting, my approach is a simple idea that I’m sure many of you are already doing.
Rather than writing on hard copies of rubrics, I set up one document on word and copy and paste a class set, so there is one on each page.
By having one file with a class set I avoid having to tediously open each file and print them individually and I also avoid accidentally overwriting student results by renaming files, which can get very confusing.
I then copy and paste the comments I write on the rubrics into each student’s “feedback” page in Evernote. You could always use a word document or other platform, such as GoogleDocs or OneNore for this. It’s up to you if you want to give students and/or parents a link to access this feedback. I personally would love to do this, but do not want to set my feedback process apart from my colleagues’.
Yes, there is some setup required, but the rewards are worth it.
Now, when it comes to report time this is my process:
- Open Evernote
- Find the student’s feedback page
- Identify areas of progression and areas still in need of improvement in: comprehension, writing (essay and creative) and oral presentations
- Also identify any tasks where the student particularly shone, and/or tasks that were challenging for them
- Rephrase into “report language”
- Include comments about their application and effort, organisation and general involvement in lessons
- Return a week later and/or before they are to be finalised, to proof read and add any extra comments
This means my comments are personalised, relevant and relatively easy to write.
As always, make sure you back up these files regularly and it will be a failsafe process.
Thank you to the more than 10,000 people who have taken the time to visit my blog. I hope it has been useful to you all in some way.
My apologies for the hiatus, with reports and a major life event (which was ambitious decision to have in term 4), unfortunately the blog slipped down to the bottom of the priority list for a while.