Blogs > Cliopatria > Grading Thoughts....

Dec 19, 2005 10:16 pm

Grading Thoughts....

  • Have your deadlines for submitting grades gotten shorter or longer lately? When we went to direct on-line submission of grades, we gained about 36 hours the first semester, then lost them again. We have not quite four days between the last scheduled final exam and the submission deadline.

  • Does the short window for grading affect the kind of tests/assignments you give? Or does it just affect the subtlety with which you grade?

  • Has anyone else noticed Da Vinci Code material creeping into student answers on Da Vinci? If they get the rest of the answer basically right, would using Dan Brown as an historical source affect how you grade the question?

  • If a student does an assignment wrong, but you know they're doing it deliberately to"make a point" how does that affect your grading?

  • How annoying is it to calculate grades, then go to the grade submission page and realize that it was pass/fail and you don't remember what the lowest pass threshold is? Why won't the system just let you enter a grade, and then the computer can do the translation? At least it should be an option.

  • I'm done with directed studies courses (aka"independent study" or"directed reading") for a while.

  • Mid-December is a lousy time for a birthday, if you're an academic. You're either testing or grading or in complete collapse or shopping and packing (or writing, if you're off to a conference) frantically.

  • Incompletes mean that the semester is never really"over."

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Caleb McDaniel - 12/21/2005

Happy birthday, Jonathan, and many happy returns.

Jonathan Dresner - 12/20/2005

It's not so bad, letting it slide by. As a kid, the confluence of holidays (Hanukkah seemed to always coincide) was annoying; now it's actually kind of convenient.

It's not like I don't have other opportunities for annual self-reflection, what with New Year's just around the corner and the High Holy Days in early Fall.

Jonathan Dresner - 12/20/2005

Oddly enough, our students do NOT have immediate access to their grades; in fact, it takes as much as two weeks in some cases (judging by the e-mails I get from them)... I'm not sure what the registrar is doing with the data, but there's obviously some hand-processing still going on.

Allowing students to see grades immediately in a system where they are easily modifiable (or students think they are, anyway) is definitely a design flaw.

Oddly enough, my brother's birthday is usually right at the end of or after Spring finals....

Oscar Chamberlain - 12/20/2005

And may the next year be one of your best!

K Woestman - 12/20/2005

We are highly encouraged to give comprehensive finals but the registrar demands grades by turned in by 10am on Monday after exams finish late Friday. This is after finals have been taking place all week and no one is exactly caught up.

We went to computer entry a few years ago - which ended the hurried trips to campus to turn in your official sheet when the office was open. However, recently, the computer system allows students to access grades as soon as you enter them. And, since we seem to have an increasing number of students who consider grades a negotiated settlement, that becomes problematic.

So, instead of gradually getting grades off the plate, the system ensures that I now wait until a few hours before they are do so that we are all done with the semester at the same time and no last minute meetings about the grade a student doesn't like occurs. I do use Blackboard in all of my courses and they an see what their points tell them their grade is - the only question is any curving up based on final instructor evaluations of consistently improved work during the semester. Grades are more than points, after all.

Happy Birthday!
(BTW the other alternative is having a summer birthday and never getting your locker decorated! ;-) )

Jonathan Dresner - 12/20/2005

Actually Christmas is a lousy time for Christmas

Which is why any hint of summer holiday (Mothers', Fathers', Grandparents', Childrens' days.... National Founding Days, etc.) has been getting heavy treatment from the retail community.

That is indeed a very late end date, but at least you don't have to get your grades in before the holiday. I can remember one year having my grades due the 23rd....

Manan Ahmed - 12/20/2005

Indeed! Many happy tidings.

Rob MacDougall - 12/20/2005

What can I say, but: I feel your pain.

And, it sounds like, happy birthday!

Oscar Chamberlain - 12/20/2005

I think the deadlines have remained roughly the same. However, my finals are diminishing anyway. I can't suck it up and plow through 80 essays times 2 the way I used to.

I haven't had the pass/fail hassle, but teaching on two campuses, I do sometimes wish that the electonic filing systems at each campus bore a faint resmblance to each other.

Actually Christmas is a lousy time for Christmas, much less birthdays. The Wisconsin legislature forces the universities to start classes after labor day. My gang of 80 something students take their finals on Wednesday the 21st. The 22nd is the last day for finals. I suspect this costs wisconsin retailors much lucre, as Sue and I can't be the only ones who compensate by shopping via catalog and web from home in October and November.

However, it may help the bartender trade, as we tend to look at catalogs while sipping a drink or two at a bar before dinner. There are worse ways to gift shop.

However, later this week, my wife and I shall simply abandon our piles of exams and go to the "Cities" (Minneapolis and St. Paul) for a bit of ballet, shopping, and seasonal indulgence. On Christmas day we will lie quiet, and whether it be snow, rain or sun (all have been forecast) we shall look at Rice Lake's lake and count--with the small pleasures that matter--our blessings.

And on the 26th we shall arise and begin grading again.

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