Friday, November 2, 2012

A way of grading

I've settled on this method for grading weekly undergraduate papers. I write short comments in the body of the paper. For longer comments, I write a circled letter in the margin of the hard copy, and type a comment for that letter in a file of comments on the week's papers (e.g., "a. This sentence is incomprehensible" in the comments file and a circled "a" in the relevant place in the paper). I can copy and paste comments if the same ones are deserved. I also type overall comments and a grade in that file. I then copy and paste the typed comments into email as soon as I've graded each paper, and send to the student. The hard copy, which explains which letters refer to what, is handed back next class.

A nice thing about this method is that students get a grade and some comments faster, though not all comments will be clear without the context of the paper. I also keep the major comments on my computer which is good for letters of recommendation. Another nice thing is that I no longer waste paper printing comments, as I used to. A fully electronic workflow, I suppose, would be a further step, but I am not sure I am ready for it.


The American Daydream Company said...
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The American Daydream Company said...

Professor Pruss,

First thank you for all your hard work and excellent scholarship in Christian philosophy.

I am a graduate student at SFSU and for the World Religions class for which I am a TA, I have developed a fully electronic work flow for grading papers, albeit not as thorough as your own.

I have students use via our schools online "blackboard" system (ours is called iLearn but there are other variations that essentially do the same thing. Thus, students turn in their papers electronically, their papers are scanned for plagiarism, and I have an electronic copy that I access via the web without having to download and deal with my computer folders being bogged down with student papers semester after semester or with MS Word hogging all the RAM on my computer as it tends to do.

Turnitin automatically makes comments on grammatical errors on each students paper. I just add in my own comments regarding the argumentation and organizational flow via comment boxes that I can hover over the relevant portions of the student's paper. I also add my more comments regarding my overall thoughts on the paper in the comment section next to where I enter in the student's grade on iLearn.

Then, I publish the results and email the students to check iLearn and Turnitin for their grades and comments. The whole process is paperless from beginning to end.

Hope that helps,


Dagmara Lizlovs said...

I was reading this post as I was freezing in my treestand. Thank you for taking my mind off of freezing in a tree stand. A buck did come by and he ignored the acorns and the doe scents I had put out, so he didn't give my a good angle. I would have responded Friday, but when I got out of the woods, I was so froze I couldn't speak a coherent sentence let alone write one. Now here is one professor's way of grading many, many years ago at the University of Michigan:

"A" is for Athlete
"B" is for Boy
"C" is for Coed

Kinda nifty. What do you think? :-)

Dagmara Lizlovs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.