Writing extended answers on the desks

Contact Mike Gordon for further information about this technique

Most students at some point in an exam will have to write an extended answer, and these questions can have a major impact on their final grade. This activity works best if students are in groups of no more than 4, but they should be in groups.

Students will need a desk a whiteboard pen and something to rub out the work. Set an extended question and allow students time to discuss the question and then jot down ideas on the desk. Once students have some ideas on the desk, they then need to write the answer. Allow students the opportunity to rub out and amend the questions.

Once students have written their answer swap groups around and allow students to peer assess the work. Provide students with the mark scheme and different coloured pens then ask students to highlight or underline the different mark bands.

The benefits of this task are that it allows students an opportunity to discuss their answer and also make mistakes without the fear that some have when they do the writing on paper. Students can change the answer and also add, allowing an in-depth answer to be written.