Thursday, May 03, 2007

Random Bullets of Grading

  • Why is it that no matter how much and how carefully I proofread an exam, I often misnumber the questions in one segment?
  • Why, after I've explained the directions (which are printed at the top of each section of the exam with some words in bold) would a student who ought to be able to answer the identification questions with ease neglect to answer the number of them that she was supposed to answer?
  • Why do some students come to an exam that they know will contain essay questions without bringing paper with them? (I don't use blue books, but they know that they need to bring paper.)
  • Why do other students write their essays on paper that to all appearances they've been carrying around in their back pockets since the beginning of the semester, if indeed they're not using heirloom paper carried around by their parents when they were in college? The wrinkles in this stuff makes it about as droopy as an old linen handkerchief.
  • Why do I put the paper of the student whose writing has tortured and wordy syntax at the bottom of the pile? It's not as though the writing is going to get better once I've gone through the rest of them.
  • How does this student manage to write about twice as much as his classmates, which means that I have to work my way through twice as much bad writing?

    Anonymous said...

    You put it at the bottom because that is what your grading rubric says to do. ;-) Grading is a sorting process, and putting the lame ones together does make it easier. You already know what standard the rest of the class set and what you are going to do about each omission or error.

    I was taught a similar approach to grading physics exams (mumble) years ago when I had to grade my two problems on 750 final exams. It is very efficient to grade similar errors at about the same time.

    undine said...

    CCphysicist, this makes me feel better; there actually *is* a logic to this process, then. I hadn't learned to do it this way, but what you say about the efficiency of grading similar papers or similar errors together makes sense. Thanks.