Whole Class Feedback

This process with my current teaching groups started when I was strongly reflecting on my practice and particularly the time I was investing in repeated tasks. I wrote a blog earlier in the year which was looking at Lean working and making my practices as effective as possible. My biggest time demands were planning, marking and feedback. Feedback has become a bit of a beast it seems in the last five years which I think has partially been driven by the EEF toolkits findings that had the largest impact of 8+ months and it doesn’t cost much!

Biggest Impact and Lowest cost – no brainer!

Looking at the time taken to mark a homework or an assessment the area that keep getting to me was i found myself writing down the same corrective comment on 10+ pieces of work, my anger levels rose as i saw the same misconception arise time and again – I knew i’d not taught it well enough and was repeatedly getting a smack in the face marking each paper! I have also found that students generally get their marks back and then emotively respond to this and i’d then have a challenge making them respond to the feedback given on their work.

QLA breakdown for each student

The image above shows the second stage of my evolved marking process. Firstly I mark all the homework/assessments then input the individual questions marks into a similar sheet above, there are no written comments put down on any students work just each question marked. Circled if fully correct, crossed if wrong and crossed with mark if some marks gained.

Marking method

1st question needs one mark to find

2nd question has got full marks

3rd question no marks

Once all the papers have been marked I then as shown above type into the spreadsheet. Now whilst this adds another layer to the traditional mark and comment approach if saved significant time by just marking without putting comments/scaffolding. A numpad is a must for this part – the speed on input you can get is very quick.

Numpad on most larger keyboards – get a USB as it saves hours with QLA

Once the input is done then I take an average on the final row. This is really useful as whilst visually scanning I put questions into 3 categories

  • Nailed it – Vast majority have got it – no teaching needed
  • Some right, some wrong – Needs feedback explaining the misconceptions seen when marking
  • Disaster – Very few marks – Need to model to all students on the board
Question 4b – Need to cover that with everyone!

You might be reading this blog and thinking well there’s nothing particularly new here and you’d be right. The big change to my practice has been the feedback sheet the students receive. The top of the sheet gives them the average mark of the class and the average effort grade so they get an idea of where they sit within the group.

Underneath this then there are corrective steps for each question which I found myself previously writing 10 times repeatedly on the same sheets. As its done once the students get better feedback and by the time this is done I’ve picked up trends of mistakes and some questions i’ll decide need modelling by me.

  • 1st column – Question number
  • 2nd column – Shows the number of marks for the question
  • 3rd column – Class average score (copied and pasted from spreadsheet using transpose option on paste)
  • 4th column – Feedback on that question
  • 5th column – Correct answer so the student knows if they have made the right correction

Improvement Time

So the students got their work back and this feedback sheet, they all then went onto correct everything and achieved full marks, afraid not initially! After the couple of rounds with this I felt I needed to add something in which made all students accountable for their improvement so at the bottom of the sheet I added the following

These had a positive impact as I found groups then worked for around 15 minutes on improvement and drove for full marks, ideally on some assessments though I wanted 20-30 minutes out of them so I developed a check-in point. Students would add up the marks gained from the corrections and i’d call them out in turn and give great encouragement when big improvements were made. The students then went again for another 10-15 minutes with students regrouped based on progress made if appropriate.

The final Improvement column is calculated when the improved score (DIRT) has been shared

This process does work well for larger assessments particularly past papers as when there are 80 marks available they are so many different gaps for each students to improve upon which is a near on impossibility for a single teacher in a classroom to take on effectively in one lesson.


  1. Thanks for this post. This sounds like a brilliant way to do feedback and I plan on trying it after assessments with my classes next year. I just had a couple questions based on your experience doing this. For the 1 mark questions, if they have the answers on the feedback sheet, do they just put down the new answer based on that? Are they thinking about what they did wrong or do they just write down the new answer? Do they add up their own totals at the end of the DIRT time? If so, how do they know how to mark the 3 marks and higher questions as far as if their working out is appropriate? Thanks for any feedback or advice. I really appreciate you sharing your experience and am really excited about trying this.


    • I had similar concerns with students just copying answers straight out particularly on the one markers but not many did from my experience of doing it with four different groups. Where this did happen I asked the group to summarise the new maths they had learnt and that stage forced them to think harder about what they had changed. Getting groups to do this well took time and needs around three cycles to get them routines enough, also took photos of great corrective work and used a visualiser to celebrate great focus immediately in the classroom. Students do add up their own scores and very much give themselves full or no marks per question. You could perhaps in the corrective steps detail the process for each mark but you have to balance over scaffolding as seeing them struggle then succeed does give them great satisfaction when it pays off. Glad you found this useful would be great to know how you get on and whether it’s evolved further.


      • Thanks for the thoughtful and quick reply. Our school year is finishing in a couple weeks but will definitely be using this next school year.

        Liked by 1 person

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