‘Critical lack of evidence’ on effective marking, EEF warns

There is a ‘critical lack of evidence’ on the most effective marking strategies for teachers, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has warned.

The EEF’s new report, entitled ‘A Marked Improvement’, saw researches at the Department for Education at the University of Oxford review existing research to find out how teachers can use their time more effectively to improve pupils’ learning.

The research found a ‘significant disparity’ between the enormous amount of effort teachers invest in marking and a lack of evidence on ways to improve the marking process.

Following the report, the EEF has said that there is an ‘urgent need’ for more studies on written marking, to provide teachers with more comprehensive information about the most effective approaches.

The EEF identified a number of areas that it believes require more in depth research, including: testing the impact of marking policies which are primarily based on formative comments and which rarely award grades; investigating the most effective ways to use class time for pupils to respond to marking; comparing the effectiveness of selective marking that focuses on a particular aspect of a piece of work to thorough approaches that focus on spelling and grammar, in addition to subject-specific content; and testing the impact of dialogic and triple marking approaches to determine whether the benefits of such approaches justify the time invested.

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