I have been trying out some new assessment methods with my classes in the last couple of terms. This is partly a result of changes in the way I have taught some things, and partly due to wanting my feedback to be more focused and more interactive for my pupils.
Firstly, I adjusted the way I am teaching Crime and Punishment Through Time to my year 10s this year. Inspired by Colin Sheppard’s feedback meeting I attended in November, I am teaching the course thematically instead of chronologically: Crime, then Punishment, then Policing/Courts, and finally Protest. I’ve always taught Protest as a separate unit at the end, it works best; and I am finding the rest of it works better, too. I am convinced they have a better handle on the chronology of the whole period.
Jumping back and forth between time periods meant I chose folders for them to work in for this unit. They quite like it. I remember being a GCSE student at school: acquiring myself a new folder, painstakingly adorned with pictures I had cut out of magazines, and then feeling a bit let down when I had no notes to put in it. I think my students now might feel similar: they have certainly responded well to the change.
It’s a bit harder to mark a folder, though. The feedback might be squeezed on a piece of file paper which doesn’t come at the end of the work. It’s difficult to look back at targets and so on.
So, I have started doing this instead:
I complete one of these for each student, each new term. I go through the folder, reading the notes and initialling each page as I do. I am a speedy typist and the above would take me less than five minutes once I had read all the new notes. As well as this I give them more specific feedback on assessment tasks, using a student-friendly version of the markscheme, which they also keep in their folder; so the exam technique section of this sheet is a recap of the targets from those.
This has gone down well. I have had some good feedback from students on the bottom of the sheet, and some positive comments about the new way of doing things.
More adventures in feedback tomorrow. I am newly committed to regular blogging but my time is up for today! I also have five more folders to get through….