Friday, January 15, 2016


Grading Made Easier

All teachers grade. It is an inevitable part of life. In some ways technology has made things MUCH easier. 

When it comes to assessments, I really believe that the sooner students get feedback, the better.

Somehow online grading has REALLY helped me with this. My school uses Haiku and students turn things in there. In the past  I'd often take grading on "field trips," you know the drill...I'd pack it up, drive it home, take it inside, and do nothing. In the end, I'd end up taking the papers back to work with one (if at all) graded.

Electronically I am able to take my laptop almost anywhere and grade with downtime. Many of the places I accept work have built in rubrics. TurnItIn, Haiku and even Goobric works for those of you who use Google documents.

With the rubrics right there I find I can grade them faster plus make notes as needed and then send it back. Since there is no physical "handing back" once I have made my notes I am done. I don't need to make the time to pass things back in class.

Not handing back is already a HUGE time saver (no alphabetizing, no putting things in students' folders, just send!). 

It's also important to consider what the purpose of the grade is. Is it a draft where lots of feedback will help? A homework assignment we will discuss in class and I just want to see that they've done some preparation? Sometimes I can "cheat" when grading. Give a credit or no credit grade. 10/10 if they did everything right. 7/10 if they did most of it right 5/10 if they didn't follow directions or it is incomplete 0/10 for cheating or nothing. I leave notes as well, but this basic "rubric" keeps things streamlined.

Finally, and students know this. I rarely assign "answer questions 1-10 from the textbook" But when I do...I don't grade them all. I randomly pick two questions I'll grade. If they explained those two questions completely (which is more important to me than right or wrong), and the rest seem completed they get full points. If not, I actually go through and read the rest to determine. 

They could get lucky and have those two be the only ones they did well, but mostly it is an easy way for me to see if they have the right idea without reading every answer. We always take time to go over answers in class, so really I am just checking that they are coming to class prepared.

What grading tips do you have?

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