Marking and Feedback

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Awarding a mark to students' work and provision of feedback to improve performance are inextricably linked and this step considers both of these activities.

In order for marking and feedback to be efficient and effective, all other steps of the assessment cycle must be thoughtfully planned and implemented.

Once you are clear about the
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
[Step 1: Specifying] and the
evidence you expect from students to
show they have met these ILOs 
[Step 2: Setting], it is much
easier to construct clear
assessment criteria.


Marking must be both clear and fair.  Staff and students need to know how any given mark is reached and should feel confident that equivalent assessment performance attracts the same mark.

Ways in which clarity and fairness are achieved will depend on the assessment type but include:

  1. provision of clear instructions eg for a multiple choice test
  2. detailed marking scheme eg indicating numbers of marks for each question for a workbook or series of short answer questions
  3. a rubric identifying the assessment criteria and the differentiated achievement of these criteria eg for most other assessment types

For advice on Stepped Marking, please see the links below.

Adoption of a marking scheme enables feedback to be aligned to that mark scheme - feedback explains the mark awarded (feedback) and indicates areas for improvement/ways of achieving a higher mark (feedforward). Using a rubric where possible enhances the clarity of marking for students and offers staff a starting point for framing the feedback .

Further advice on giving feedback is available via the links below.


    This report on Marking and Production of Feedback, produced by JISC, provides more information and links to additional resources.

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