Codes and Pro-formas Templates

What is it?

Codes or pro-forma templates save time marking but give concise, targeted feedback for students. This can be done in a variety of ways and is consistent with Turnitin feedback studio and other methods of giving formal feedback. It can be used in formative and summative assessment and adapted in different ways to suit different disciplines.

Why would I use it?

  • It is time saving for teachers and avoids repeating the same thing many times across a cohort.
  • It is particularly useful when using model answers in exam situations, as aspects of the answer can be assigned a code, which is then applied to the students’ answer.
  • The frequency of codes on a student’s work provides information to teachers about particular areas of weakness.
  • Students can be encouraged to use the codes as part of directing their own learning because THEY have to deduce their mistakes from codes rather than being ‘told’ by the teacher. They can be encouraged to write a short reflection or plan for a tutorial on their main strengths and weaknesses.

Known Issues

  • It can still be time consuming initially to assign codes. With more complex assignments, codes might not be determined until after several are marked.
  • Codes must be consistent across markers, otherwise this can exacerbate student complaints about parity.
  • Codes must be transparent to the student. This might involve using a key, which can be attached to the assignment or put on KEATS after the assignments are marked but before they are released to the student.
  • Codes can encourage focus on minutia, which is less useful for students. Ensure that codes refer to content and skills as well as technical things like referencing and language (unless this is a simple way of focusing on these things only, in which case it should not replace other feedback techniques).

How can I codes and pro-formas?