Think about why you’re setting the homework

Buckinghamshire physics teacher Mike Metcalfe says, “I think that a lot of homework is set with no particular purpose in mind other than to generate a mark and that usually means teacher marking. It's worth asking the question - what is the purpose of homework? I imagine that most enlightened SLT/SMTs would like teachers to spend time planning, and would be dismayed if the marking load was getting in the way.”

Mike suggests not every piece of homework should generate a marking load: “Homework can be used to reinforce/extend ideas discussed in a lesson, to assess understanding, to carry out research, to carry out activities, to revise. Some of these activities just require a check that pupils engaged with the task.”

Sometimes you do need to set homework to generate a mark, for example, before a parents’ evening when you are still unfamiliar with a particular class. 

But if that is your aim, is it worth you putting in lots of hours of marking? Self and peer-marking are excellent ways to get your marking done whilst ensuring your students engage with the assessment process!

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