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Many teachers complain about their marking workload, but new research finds there is little evidence to show whether many of the approaches currently adopted are a good use of teachers' time.

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The report, A Marked Improvement?,  by the University of Oxford and the charity, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), says there needs to be more research into which marking strategies really work, but it also identifies some approaches that do make a difference.

The findings are largely based on a review of existing British and international academic literature. The researchers also analysed responses from nearly 1,400 teachers in over 1,000 primary and secondary schools for a survey commissioned by the EEF on 10 different marking strategies.

The report says previous research shows that teachers spend around nine hours a week on marking. Yet, it adds, time-intensive approaches such as triple impact marking , in which pupils respond in some way to the marking and the teacher then checks their later work, have not been properly tested. It also suggests that more research needs to compare the effects of ‘selective’ marking with the thorough approach – where teachers focus on spelling and grammar, as well as the content.

 Read more on the University website (opens new window)