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to think that homework that is set by a teacher should be marked by the teacher?

(21 Posts)
foolonthehill Mon 19-Dec-16 19:39:16

Don't get me wrong...I think teachers are overworked and undervalued and coping with the ever changing curriculum must drive them close to madness. However, all 4 of my children are set large amounts homework the vast majority of which seems to be "peer reviewed" or self marked. How can this be fair or useful? They are all very frustrated that they spend hours on "annotated diagram of a motor neuron" or 10 pages of maths questions and when I ask what their teacher thought of their work they don't know. What is the point?

HaveNoSocks Mon 19-Dec-16 19:43:43

I think it depends, if it's a list of short questions for say maths involving practising the same basic skill over and over again I think it's fine to "peer review" then submit the scores to the teacher.

On the other hand when I was volunteering in schools I did see some huge projects getting per reviewed which was largely pointless. As you would expect the other kids (Y7/8) just wrote superficial comments like "very tidy" or something. Some of the kids had no idea how to complete the project and needed detailed help and others had put absolutely loads of effort into it and wanted proper feedback.

echt Mon 19-Dec-16 19:43:59

You need to ask the teacher. Only they will know why they do this, though you'd think it would be part of some wider marking and assessment policy.

Cherrysoup Mon 19-Dec-16 19:44:16

I do it, but rarely, usually in the light of getting the students to better understand the markscheme for the GCSE better or to drill down to look more closely at spellings etc. I used the technique once last week to ask them to really think about certain categories I wanted them to focus on. It can be useful, but as they aren't the expert, I prefer to deep mark their work myself, which lets me see their progress from week to week. I spend ruddy hours marking!

Trouble is, the latest on deep marking is that it's pointless and doesn't help children progress. OFSTED has said something radical about getting rid of deep marking (we're all praying here!)

Caboodle Mon 19-Dec-16 19:45:37

Peer assessment is a valid teaching tool if used appropriately. If used instead of teacher marking on all work then I would be unhappy.

kittymamma Mon 19-Dec-16 19:54:33

10 pages of maths questions

I assume that was supposed to read "10 maths questions"? As a maths teacher I generally find that I have to justify myself to the kids if I give them more than 1 side of A4 of maths questions and never more than 2 sides - we don't have the photocopying budget for one. Secondly, that would take half the lesson to peer assess at a minimum. Thirdly, the vast majority of my lot wouldn't do it if it looked like it would take them more than 15 minutes.

To answer the question though, I think YABU. I have not marked a single piece of homework all year, well, bar the random student (not so random really) who I choose use to show the answers. However, I could tell you which boy in my year 8 class struggles with my homework (I do check his), which of my year 10 boys usually cheat (he thinks I don't know - I'm gathering evidence) and those in my year 7 class who generally find all my homeworks easy so I don't actually need to look at them.

BdumBdummer Mon 19-Dec-16 19:55:46

As a kid I remember what must have been peer marking. I got into trouble for being too harsh. Don't ask me then, was my silent reply. Ok whatever you say was my out loud reply.

IonaNE Mon 19-Dec-16 19:56:39

YABU. It's the student who needs to practise, not the teacher. Maths problems can typically be self-reviewed e.g. against a list of correct answers, i.e. if you know that to the first problem the correct answer is 234.875, and you got something else, then you go back and work on it until you get 234.875. I remember being given homework like this in primary school, way before secondary (not that I was educated in the UK though).

Littleallovertheshop Mon 19-Dec-16 19:58:08

Peer assessment is a useful tool for learning. In Scotland it is integral to what students are taught Re assessment is for learning.

kali110 Mon 19-Dec-16 20:08:14

I remember the teacher getting us to marks each others hw and tests when i was in primary and this was 25 years ago.
I think for marking some things it's good. ( though do remember few people trying to mark others down).
I think if it takes some stress off of teachers then it's a good thing.
Anything that has set answers, maths, spelling could be marked by each other.

KittyVonCatsington Mon 19-Dec-16 20:09:15

Yes and no. Not always would be my answer.

Peer Marking and Self-Review are valid and well researched assessment for learning tools....if used in the correct context.

That, and OFSTED are very much focused on 'Progress' and 'Pupil/Teacher dialogue' currently. This means that the process of marking a set of answers, giving a grade and a comment and then moving on, is very much frowned upon.

What should be happening is that targets in some form or another (verbal, written, peer or self, for example) should be used to inform the next piece of assessment, with the pupil commenting on how they will and how hey have, worked/achieved that target. Teacher reviews this and the cycle begins again.

90% of the time, Peer/Self Assessment is not lazy teaching. It also won't be used all the time as previous posters have said, can take up too much lesson time, of which we have precious little.

I would be checking how much varied marking is going on and if assessments such as Topic Tests and 'marked by the teacher instead'. Maybe having a chat with your DC about why they may Peer or Self assess homework would be more beneficial than simply assuming/joining in with their view that it is 'pointless'.

Trifleorbust Mon 19-Dec-16 20:22:53

It is considered highly effective practice. Students gain a secure understanding of what is required to produce a good piece of work and are able to articulate what makes an individual piece effective. If they can identify weaknesses in a piece of work this helps them to fine tune their own work. It isn't lazy teaching at all.

BdumBdummer Tue 20-Dec-16 06:16:17

My Y5 dd has it for Maths. Unsurprisingly, the kids bump up/mark down each other and I don't know what supervision or feedback they get from the teacher. If there is a useful learning experience going on, my dd appears to have missed it.

NotYoda Tue 20-Dec-16 06:25:41

Children don't go to school to please the teacher, OP. They go to learn. Fine, if you don't believe her homework or the way it is marked fulfils that aim ( I think it can) but if she's got the message that learning is all about impressing the teacher then she's not understood that learning is a process (or you haven't)

NotYoda Tue 20-Dec-16 06:26:41

I agree that peer review needs to be carefully set up and monitored.

Wonderflonium Tue 20-Dec-16 06:45:42

If the teacher marks the work, the teacher will have an insight into what students get and don't get about a topic and will be able to use this to plan the next lesson. They may even have an insight into how individuals are doing with given topics (but given the number of data points that weekly homework of several classes of 30ish, plus classwork, plus tests generate; they might only have a vague idea even when looking at their mark book)

When the teacher marks, the students often just look to see how many they got right and then ask their buddies what THEY got but not really look at "what do I need to work on to improve?"

If the student marks the work, the student will see patterns in what they are getting wrong and have more insight into how to make progress.
The student might not have the right level of reflection/meta-cognition to make those connections and just be going through the motions to generate a mark out of 10.

If the student marks another's work, the student will understand more about what was being assessed, which will be helpful next time they have similar questions.
If the work is more complicated than right/wrong, the nuances can be quite hard for students to make any sense out of their peer's project, and then they just focus on trivial aspects (such as neatness), or give inaccurate feedback based on their own level of understanding.

So, it's a balancing act.

I think as long as the teacher is grading big assessments themselves (so they have an idea how the individuals in the class are doing), it's ok for the students to assess the little bits and pieces like homeworks or pop quizzes. It might even be more helpful, educationally than just getting their work back with loads of red ink all over it.

Given how long it takes to grade maths homework, it's a much better use of the teacher's time to have them all graded at once over 15 minutes at the start of a lesson, so the teacher can use their non-contact time for lesson planning.

(I'm a science teacher who taught maths for one term and was shocked at the amount of time marking takes in that subject!)

NotYoda Tue 20-Dec-16 06:50:31

Good post Wonderflorium

MumW Tue 20-Dec-16 09:00:32

We're currently in dispute with our DD's Secondary school on this very matter.
English teacher not looked at DD's h/w and not even peer marked.

This is top set too. How they think they'll get the 8 & 9 grades they need next year is beyond me.

What they will be finding out soon enough is that they will be losing one of their top students.

foolonthehill Tue 20-Dec-16 11:23:51

thank you. That is all very interesting: some thoughts...

I have 4 children in years 6,7,9 and 10 all academically mid range in a good school. Different strengths and weaknesses. They do their homework independently but I know what they are doing. I only help if they have done their best to get it done but are struggling either with the mechanics of presenting it or concept.

10 pages of maths questions is actually 10 pages neither school now use their own paper they set h/w on "show my homework" and use my overstretched resources to print out. A whole other problem.

Yes I point out to my children that it is the learning that is important not the teacher's approval...never the less DC3 especially is now very down and is regretting the effort she puts into projects that her (mean) friend then marks down and the teacher does not look at.
DC1 is losing motivation because she has just so much HW and little proper feedback (in first year GCSE prep)so feels she is probably making the same mistakes over and over.....end of term tests seem tobare this out.
DC2 couldn't care less....he does exactly what he has to and no more.
DC4 has not done her project this half term as even the teacher seemed uninspired and she's never yet done anything other than put them on the "project table" at the back of the room.

I don't mind if the Dc are learning as they are doing, and correcting mistakes oneself can be a very valuable learning process but at this point in term we are all exhausted and H/w just keeps coming and I am wondering where the learning value is.

foolonthehill Tue 20-Dec-16 11:38:54

Yes my initial question was a bit goady! (it's AIBU) and of course I don't just join in with the "it's not fair"

...but as the curriculum is changing so rapidly it is very hard to guide my children to the correct depth of answer and to know what they need to do when set a question or essay. Under the old system I would guess my children would be B/C students with potential A's with lots of work in their top subjects (DC1 Tech/PE, DC2 Maths/sciences, DC3 English/History, Dc4...a bit early to say!).I think either the teacher could include general guidelines as to length/structure and scope or a marking plan to guide the work even if marking is now passe.

MrsWhiteWash Tue 20-Dec-16 12:29:54

I can see it has a place especially if there are yes or no or very short correct answers.

However It's not great when my very poor spellers spelling which is correct for once is wrongly incorrectly corrected by another child.

I have seen it used with very subjective pieces of work where TBH I think the teachers experience is needed.

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