Tag Archives: grading

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Collecting Student Work with Google Forms

File folders organized in a file boxA good number of us here at ProfHacker prefer to avoid paper whenever possible. When I teach my writing course each fall, I have my students use Google Documents so that it’s easy to see an essay’s development over time.

For classes where it’s not essential that I see a student’s revisions, I prefer that essays be submitted in PDF format, so that I can comment on essays using my iPad. (My current favorite app for this purpose is PDFExpert; Jason and Erin have both made use of iAnnotate.)

What I…

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From the Archives: Closing Out the Fall Semester

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Because of the ways academic calendars are constructed, the dates for the end of fall term classes, exam period, and final grade entry at different colleges can be spread out from late November to late January. Regardless of where you are in that sequence of events, this can be a hectic time of year, particularly if you have travel or holiday plans coming up. So here are a few tips from the ProfHacker archives to help you close out this semester or academic quarter. (You might also want to look…

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How I Learned to Stop Resenting Blackboard and Start Using BB Grader

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I’ve never been a fan of Blackboard, the monolithic learning management system that’s the standard at so many schools. I’ve always found it slow, poorly designed, and very awkward to use. Recently, however, my attitude changed (slightly) when a colleague introduced me to BB Grader, a free iPad app for Blackboard designed to make the grading process in Blackboard mobile-friendly.

As an English professor, most of what my students produce for me are essays. I long ago switched to a mostly paper-fr…

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5 Ways to Make End-of-Semester Grading More Enjoyable

I know I know. Enjoyment isn’t usually something we think we should be seeking about grading… Right? I had originally titled this post “how to make grading fun” but thought no one would take me seriously.

Let’s backtrack a minute. Don’t most of us do research about our field and sub-specialty because we value and enjoy it? Hopefully yes. Don’t most of us teach a particular subject because we care about it? Hopefully yes. The next logical step for me is that we should be able to enjoy assessing …

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Experimenting with Specifications Grading

Noted media scholar and friend-of-ProfHacker Jason Mittell has been experimenting with a new way of grading, called “specifications grading,” on the grounds that “figuring out a way to rethink the culture of grades would be the most effective and impactful reform” available at a school such as Middlebury.

Mittell borrows specifications grading from Linda Nilson (also see her book), and in Mittell’s description at least, it sounds very like what many of us know as contract grading (see also), ex…

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5 Tips for Handling Grading in Large Online Classes

I’ve been chronicling my experiences this semester adapting my approach to teaching from my previous experience with small courses to a new challenge of large-scale classes, and particularly to the needs of a large online course. The most overwhelming aspect for me so far has been the challenge of grading and providing meaningful feedback. This is unsurprising, given grading has been one of our most debated subjects here at ProfHacker. Taking grading to new scales has definitely required me to …

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Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation

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[This is a guest post by Dan Royles, a visiting assistant professor of history at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He’s previously written for ProfHacker on “Researching the Recent Past Online” and “Digital Workflows for the Archives.”You can follow him on Twitter at @danroyles.–@JBJ

Much digital ink has been spilled on ProfHacker about using Twitter in academia, and Mark Sample has offered prac…

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From the Archives: On Grading (II)

A stack of papers

Grading student assignments is a significant feature of many academics’ workload, especially as the end of semester nears. In the years since our first round up post, From the Archives: On Grading we’ve written quite a few useful posts about grading philosopies, tools, and approaches:

Philosophies and Methods

In Cross-Disciplinary Grading Techniques, Heather wrote about adopting humanities methods for grading open-ended assignments to her physics courses.

Ryan writes about how he can Avoid ‘Gra…

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Quick grading with Flubaroo

Exam stack

Grading takes up a lot of time in an academic’s life; there’s a reason we’ve written a lot about it in this space over the past few years. It’s no one’s favorite thing to do, but knowing that our students need feedback on their work, we all realize its necessity.

Still, it would be nice, when possible, to streamline the grading process. Finding ways to streamline is certainly nothing new; Scantron has been around for quite a while.

But dealing with machine-readable answer sheets isn’t always wo…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Grading Workflow Edition

 Yesterday, I shared a key ingredient in my grading workflow: “Using iAnnotate as a Grading Tool.” Before I went digital, a “magic pencil” was an essential part of my grading process. Other ProfHackers have previously posited about other important grading tools: Amy wrote about Google Docs, for example, and Natalie wrote about “Grademark.” We have also featured several posts about how we grade. Last year, Brian wrote about his experiment in “Grading Differently” and Billie wrote an early post on