Do you want to make marking easier? I am sure the answer to that question is yes and I have just the answer for you. This blog is for people who use Microsoft Teams and set assignments for their students.
There are a few different learning platforms out there, and Microsoft Teams is something that become hugely useful during the lockdown. You may be using Google Classroom, Teams or something similar. For this blog I am going to be looking at setting assignments in Teams and also the Rubric facility within an assignment. I want to help you make marking easier.
Teams has the ability to not only share work, but also set work for students to complete. An assignment allows you to give them work to do, attach documents and mark their work with feedback. You can set an assignment immediately, or put a time that you want it to be set. This allows you to plan ahead and set work for students that doesn’t arrive in their teams inbox until a specific time. Teams is great and I really enjoy using it. I won’t go in to any more detail on Teams itself, lets get back to how we can make marking easier.
Assignments in Teams
If you use Teams then I would imagine you know how to set an assignment. It is fairly easy and you will be familiar with this screen
As you can see you can give a title, instructions and attach documents, links and other files to the assignment. You can say how many points it is worth, who it is assigned to and when you would like it to be completed. You can set an assignment for a whole class or you can specify students. It is a great way to set work and then give feedback. But when it comes to marking the assignment you set, this is where I want to land in this blog. So lets look at how we can make marking easier by adding a Rubric.
What is a Rubric?
A rubric is basically an assessment tool that shows success criteria for a piece of work. A rubric would show what is needed to reach a certain level, get into a mark band or receive a specific grade. Using a rubric is the process of assessing work using clear criteria that you can then refer to quickly and easily. It is a way of showing students why they have received a mark for a piece of work.
Teams allows you to create your now rubric for a piece of work. Once made, it can then be added to future pieces of work. Most GCSE & A-Level courses will have marking criteria for work and these can be used to form a rubric, and they are easy to make in teams.
Creating a Rubric in Teams
On the image above you should be able to see “Add rubric” just under the points section. Click on this to start creating your first one.
Here is the rubric template screen and you can see that you can add a title, description and decide if you want your rubric to have points attached. Underneath this you can then see the marking criteria section. Here you can add criteria and then add marks for each band. You can have multiple layers of criteria depending on your mark scheme. Teams will automatically work out the scores when you come to mark. Don’t worry, I didn’t actually set this for my students.
Once you have completed the rubric it will be added to the assignment.
Here is an example of one I have created for GCSE Music Composition:
You can obviously copy and paste the marking criteria from your exam board. Once a rubric has been made, you can reuse it on future assignments. It takes a bit of time to get them set up but then you have them for life!
How does this mark marking easier?
Now that you have a rubric attached to an assignment the hard work is done. The students will complete the work and submit it to you on teams. When you come to mark it, the rubric allows you to select the relevant boxes and then give some summary feedback. Teams works out a mark and you can then send this back to students! It is quick and easy and the students have clear feedback based on marking criteria.
Here is an example of some work that has been submitted using word. It is attached to the assignment and I can mark it on the right hand side using the rubric. I just click on the relevant box and the feedback is given!
The great thing, and the thing that makes it easy, is that students now have clear feedback, plus anything additional you wish to say. They don’t have to use word of course, they can submit anything and you will get the criteria on the side in the same way. As an aside, if they use word then you can open it in teams as shown above, and also add comments to specific moments in the document. This is then saved for the student, so you don’t even need a red, I mean green, I mean purple pen!
Mark Marking Easier
If you use Teams then you can make marking easier by using rubrics. Setting an assignemtn and adding a rubric is quick and easy. I have all mine made now, so I can just add them to future assignments that I create. You will need to work out how to lay out the rubric for your subject and how to allocate points. But I think it is pretty user friendly and it really does help students get the feedback they need. You still have to read the work, but it is all in once place on teams! The marks and feedback are then saved and can be see in the grade book on teams. I really enjoy using rubrics and I think that they help me to mark quickly but also help the students with good clear feedback.
If you start doing this and get stuck, then please just get in touch and I am sure I can help! All the best and I hope this makes your life a little easier!
I have added this video just in case it is of use