The two most time-consuming, and thus stressful, aspects of grading can be finding ways to make grading a more efficient process and then communicating grades in such a way to encourage reflection and further learning by the student. Below are hints for both.
Making Grading More Time-Efficient
- Separate commenting from grading, and use them singly or in combination according to your purpose.
- Don't give all students what only some need.
- Use only as many grade levels as you need. Frame comments to your students' use.
- Do not waste time on careless student work.
- Use what the student knows.
- Ask students to organize their work for your efficiency.
- Delegate the work.
- Use technology to save time and enhance results.
Communication with Students about Their Grades
- Assume students want to learn.
- Embed grading in a course that sets high expectations and helps students meet them.
- Use the syllabus to show students how tests and assignments serve course goals.
- Inquire, reinforce, and remind students about course goals.
- Discuss the role of grades.
- Discuss fairness.
- Explain what each grade represents.
- Speak to the learning, not the error.
- Save your comments for the teachable moment.
- Communicate priorities.
- Avoid surprises.