Teaching a large section (90 students), inexperienced need advice!

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Quote from: systeme_d_ on February 04, 2013,  9:50:29 pm

If you have good TAs, you can even use writing assignments in the large class.  Just make sure you have a strong, detailed rubric that your TAs can use for grading.  And as always, check up on your TAs by reading over a few graded assignments, chosen at random from each TA.

I take my turn at a 100-student lecture every second year (it generally shrinks to 80 by midterm, since it's a required course for the major, which means it's required of prospective high school teachers who must have a full A&S major in the subject they're certified to teach). There's some sort of written assignment every week -- three are actual shortish essays, the others are various sorts of short answer or paragraph or paraphrase or scansion or something that requires actual paper and pen work. Now to the point. There are two TAs; we each mark one-third of the papers every week AND WE ROTATE THE GROUPS so that every student has one-third of the assignments marked by me, one-third by TA #1, and one-third by TA#2. That way I don't worry much about any small variation in standards on one assignment.

Indeed, we do the final exam the same way: it has three sections, and we pass them around so that one person grades all the section #1 questions, one person all the section #2, etc. And I bring something good to nibble on and we finish all the grading within 3-4 hours.

(My favorite TA was the 6'4" African-American male who was fond of pacing up and down the lecture-room aisles standing and staring at students using their cell-phones, cruising the internet on laptops, etc. I was sad when he finished his dissertation and went off to a good faculty job.)


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