I’ve done a book trawl this week and it really made me think about what great marking looks like. During the process we had a discussion about why we mark and it felt like there were two big reasons, we mark for content and we mark for progression. All the books we saw fell somewhere on a scale between these two points so after a long walk home I produced the following:

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It proved very popular on Twitter so I thought I’d share it here too with a few thoughts. I suppose the question is where do I think the perfect book marking lies on this scale? Well, to sit on the fence, I’d say somewhere in the middle. Good marking in books needs a bit of both. Too much of either, in my humble opinion, can lead to problems. Just ‘content’ comments and your students won’t really know how to improve. Just ‘progress’ comments and your students could feel under appreciated and miss common mistakes. So, and as a historian I hate saying this, but it’s a bit of both.