Marking by Co-ordinates

This guest post was written by Callum Jackson @CJackson_PE.

The following method of marking was adapted from the concept ‘marking by numbers’. This method has proved very effective for BTEC marking. It is a very quick and easy way to give detailed feedback to students that they are able to act on.

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Grid Explained


Green – This is a positive comment that you do not need to act on.

Yellow – These are areas of your work that require improvement.

Pink – These are areas of your work that you may not of started.


Student Response: Once you have responded to your feedback you must get your teacher to sign them.


Raising the profile & effectiveness of marking contributes to a continuous drive to improve assessment for learning across the school.


The thought underpinning the idea:

I aimed to highlight those elements of marking that have greatest impact on learning, namely:
• Sharing the key marking points with students before they begin the assignment (Success Criteria). A student is much more likely to be successful if s/he knows what they are trying to achieve. You may choose to use a “spoof assessment” to help learners understand what the key marking points are. You can give learners two model answers of different quality and get them to use the ‘marking by co-ordinates grid’ to assess grade / level the work and give reasons why.
• This method gives every student a personalised action plan. Not only do they get specific and detailed feedback, but crucially it makes sure they respond to your marking by correcting their work or re-doing it, using your comments to guide them to a higher standard.
• Is there a gap between the learning you wanted and what actually happened when you looked at the work submitted by the learners? You can use this method to identify common errors. It happens to all of us but the important thing is to spot the “gap” in learning and then go back and address it again. Plan the re-teach: What, When, How & Why?
Peer/Self Assessment Opportunities: Learners need to develop these skills and it’s worth investing time in doing so. Try to get to the point where the ‘marking grid’ has gone “self, peer, self” in terms of assessment & improvements before you look at it.

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You can also download a flyer that Callum has put together explaining the process from here.

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