With a new exam completed and results given out it was an ideal time to request exam scripts back from the exam board to help with further understanding of the course; how it is marked and to inform future teaching to help student progress. It helps to make us into better teachers.
Using these exam scripts in a Faculty meeting is invaluable for several reasons:
- To feel proud of what your students have achieved – yes they did remember to include the key points; scholars; quotes etc. They have structured the essay how you have taught them and it reads really well.
- Where did they pick up the marks – how will this help to teach future cohorts – how to structure an essay; what to include and what not to include; check that you are giving the correct advice.
- Where did they lose marks – how will this help to teach future cohorts – how the structure was not always evident; what they failed to include or what they mentioned but did not do themselves justice.
- Moderating marking – are we the same as the exam board; too lenient or too tough (always prefer to be too tough); are we marking the same in school?
- Have all of the students made the same errors? Why is the case? Is there something that we did not make clear in our teaching? Likewise what did we make explicit that they are confident to use in their writing?
- Using small samples to show your students – how did they begin the essay; how did they manage to write for and against an argument; how did they include links to other sections of the course. Also where could it have been improved; where did the writing become confused or maybe a panic due to a lack of time? There are plenty of ways to use previous essays as examples, both good and those that need some improvements.
An hour well spent on quality discussion and targeted actions points to improve future teaching and student progress.