How to deal with marking?

Paul at Nue-Thinking is dealing with marking. I’m marking some work from my first batch of adult students and I like his suggestion:

The week that was
For the comments I stuck to the rule of:

Specific Positive Remark +Improvement Point = Good Feedback

So they were something like this:

“Some excellent comments about the copyright of the logos. To improve this explain whether you think they are good logos, and why.”

This took quite a long time, but seeing as I was marking 3 consecutive weeks of homework, I was able to complete each group in 2 hours. Then I printed the comments on coloured paper and attached to the homeworks. This was a long winded process, and I am not sure I could sustain it for a large number of classes.

I like the idea of 1 positive + one improvement, for my adult group I might add one target as well. Still, Paul has a point it could be quite a time consuming process.
Dave suggested automating the comments:

create a bank of them in excel, then use drop down lists to select ones for each pupil. A quick mail merge takes care of the formatting, print them onto coloured paper, or stickers and you’re away (make sure you set the merge to pull in the pupils name as well. Made that mistake once, never again!)

I’m less thrilled with this idea.I’ve been on the receiving end of the cut and paste comments method & I have to say once student start comparing them it severely damages the tutor’s credibility! I suppose it might be more sustainable but if you are going to do it that way be honest with them from the outset and then they won’t feel cheated. I was deeply shocked when someone shared their feedback and what I had assumed was a well thought out reaction to something I’d worked hard on turned out to be a generic reply. Not good 😦

On the other hand, how do you deal with lots and lots of marking? Suggestions welcome!

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