Teaching & Learning


Guided marking

Students review and mark their peers’ assignments from a previous year to understand how they will be marked. 

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1 August 2019

Students read a range of peers’ assignments (anonymised and from a previous year with authors’ permission) at the beginning of the module, rank the assignments, comment on them and agree a grade.

The assignment is similar to the module assignment and helps students understand what they need to do to be successful.

Educational benefits for your students

Students need to know the standard of work the teacher expects them to produce; they need to develop assessment literacy.

This is especially important for some international students starting a programme at UCL, and for students from diverse backgrounds.

Students develop a sense of good quality work by reading, ranking and giving feedback on a range of assignments.  

This helps them benchmark their own work (self-assess). Sharing thoughts with peers and the teacher helps clarify teacher expectations.

How to organise guided marking

Guided marking can be done online (via Moodle) or in a lecture or seminar/tutorial. 

To organise guided marking: 

  1. Select at least three assignments (lab reports, posters, essays, recordings of oral presentations, videos) from a previous year that show a range (satisfactory, good and excellent). Download into a document, e.g. a pdf, anonymise and give each assignment a number. If you have markers’ comments, download these into a separate document.
  2. Contact the authors and obtain permission.
  3. Explain the purpose of guided marking to your group (either online or face-to-face). 
  4. Explain the assignment, distribute and explain assessment criteria. Ask students to read and rank the assignments and justify their rankings. (They can also write feedback comments.) This can be done online or as preparation for a seminar.
  5. Students share their rankings and justify (either online or face-to-face in group discussions). 
  6. The teacher shares his/her rankings, answers questions and provides guidance. This gives the teacher an opportunity to clarify assessment criteria. If available, markers’ comments can also be shared.

After guided marking, students could be asked to work on their assignment, submit a draft and peer review.

They can then use peer reviewer comments to improve the assignment before submitting. They can also self-assess, providing a grade and comments for their own assignments.

This guide has been produced by the UCL Arena Centre for Research-based Education. You are welcome to use this guide if you are from another educational facility, but you must credit the UCL Arena Centre. 

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