Coming up for air

Hi folks – it’s been a bit quiet here on the blog, I know.
All I can say is … omg MARKING!

I have always had an interest in assessment, but this semester has made really clear to me how dire the situation is with our current practices.

I don’t want to ‘buy out’ my marking ( someone else to do it for me) but I feel like I am wasting so much of my time at the grindstone, like a machine, writing the same lines over and over in delightful pink pen in the margins of my students’ work.

“Check the APA style guide for rules about how to format this”
“Formal essays require shorter paragraphs than this”
“Avoid rhetorical questions – make strong statements instead”
“Use your introduction to tell me what your main points will actually be, not to explain the structure of your work”
“Don’t use a quote as a sentence on it’s own – introduce it i.e. ‘Sawyer (year) explains that…'”
“You have not included reference to any unit readings in this rationale”

I worry about RSI. I worry about carpal tunnel! Marking more tasks electronically next semester will hopefully fix the hand ache, but what about the mind ache??

I’m not alone – every teacher reading this knows what I mean.

What are we going to do about it?

Portland Oregon & VA exam 46 – CC-BY-2.0 Flickr image by Parker Knight


  1. #1 by mandylupton on November 27, 2012 - 7:11 pm

    Mandy Lupton I feel your pain girlfriend. My suggestion is to incorporate formative feedback. For instance, have a tutorial where everyone brings one paragraph to class with no identification (i.e. anonymous). Put them in a hat, then each person draws one out. Given them a few minutes to analyse the para individually, then make groups of three where the group critiques each of the paras and have to say what is good/bad about them, plus nominate the best one. You roam around the groups to spot examples of each of the problems you have identified in your blog post and model a critique for the class (but only after students have had a go). Read some of the best ones out and have the class vote on the best.

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