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Striking a balance in the grading system
September 4, 2016, 10:17 am

Grading is a task which not only impacts the expectations of a student, but is also very challenging for instructors themselves. Not only is it a tedious and time consuming task, it is also responsibility of the evaluator to be fair and not have an inconsistent or biased judgment. Moreover there are different kinds of assignments like presentations, essays, exams, creative activities and more which require grading techniques that are slightly different from each other.

This is also accompanied by the task of making the student focus on exploring the subject and acknowledging its importance and not just concentrating on getting ‘good grades’. The process of grading is not as easy as a couple of ticks and crosses and a final score. It involves judgment, fairness, establishing standards, making decisions and deciding what comments would be most useful in guiding a student’s learning. Instructors generally feel grading to be a tedious task but there are a few tips that can be used by them to simplify the process and maintain the quality.

Highlight the errors of the student and explain how to correct it. If it is a subsequent error, it should be highlighted and underlined so that the student pays special attention to it. This method saves time for both the instructor and the student.  

Keep the comments simple and understandable so that the student does not repeat the mistake.

The attitude and approach while grading is very important. Students’ involvement in learning should be the main criterion for grading and assignments. The grading pattern should be such that it can communicate the student’s engagement and practical knowledge of the subject. 

Teachers should ensure while grading that their comments have use and are still important. Giving comments on an assignment which cannot further help in future assignments or help improve grades becomes a futile activity and only increases the time and work involved in the process.

Grading is only effective if the student has prepared well and given their hundred percent effort. This is possible if the student has been notified in advance about the due date, type of content needed and objectives of the assignment. If the information is not provided well in advance, then the evaluation is titled unfair.

Teachers should refrain from responding to everything that requires adjustment and correction. The students may not be able to apply the significant changes if he is crowded by a large number of changes to be made. Many struggling students have key areas they need to focus on, and this becomes difficult when instructors ask for changes in all areas of their assignment. 

The more conscious and careful an instructor is about giving advice, the better the feedback tends to be. The instructors are usually in the dilemma between increasing efficiency or effectiveness of their grading techniques. However, it is important to strike a balance as effective and efficient grading can have a considerably positive impact on the students. 

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