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Comments on: Satisficing & grading http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/ "A man needn't go far to find a subject, if he's ready with his salt-box."--Uncle Pumblechook Wed, 14 May 2014 19:32:14 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 By: dance http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/comment-page-1/#comment-27226 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 13:31:54 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/#comment-27226 I binge grade, which makes me feel a lot more (probably falsely) confident about consistency across the essays, although it’s also a fairly nightmarish experience that involves missing sleep.

It is possible to use Track Changes but tell it not to track formatting….(again, this is where scribbling wins—much easier to scribble about formatting). I don’t think you need to, myself—formatting *is* where I have several AutoTexts set up to explain the rules in the overall comments.

I do a lot of underlining the important arguments and topic sentences, largely an easy way of saying “hey, look, I read and understand”.

I also do a handout with shared issues and specific student examples (good and bad). So then I might extensively rewrite a paragraph or a few sentences from various paragraphs, but I don’t feel I have to do it for every paper. In fact, students probably see the lesson better on someone else’s work—I know I do.

Mike, I also have honors students—I wonder, if you first have them do individual peer review seconded by your review, you can establish that their peers are right (because when I do that, my comments often consist of “I agree with everything your peer said. I’m adding this small thing”.) Doing that on the first assignment might set up your groups more strongly?

By: Mike Duvall http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/comment-page-1/#comment-27223 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 12:33:42 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/#comment-27223 Nice post. For years now I’ve had the same set of problems with my grading practices (stack of grad midterms staring at me right now and I’m staring back wondering if I’ll fall down an over-commenting hole).

Here’s how I tried to cut down on comments from me: last semester I put students in groups (in honors comp, but i’ll try it in standard comp, too)and in 30 minute or so workshops we talked about each paper and the shared issues (which were many). I thought this worked. The honors students, just as full disclosure, appeared to think this was a scam, like I wasn’t really working in doing that… (they are *so* about authority, I think, that they don’t see how they might be getting something from each other and from their own experiences of reading student writing).

Thanks, too, to JWW for the Gopen suggestion: just ordered it through state-wide inter-library loan system (which is threatened by state budget cuts, but that’s a different story).

By: jww http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/comment-page-1/#comment-27216 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 08:29:20 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/#comment-27216 In one bout of standard exhaustion during a marathon grading last term, I pulled down George Gopen’s _Expectations_. It was one of those books I’d received for free and never really paid any attention to. I discovered that he had some good ideas about grading papers in a comp class, some that were highly practical and would, if applied as he describes, make the task of grading much faster, easier, and more beneficial than I had previously practiced. The down side, of course because there must be a down side, was that the technique he described was specific to the curriculum he was describing in his book.

The real key to Gopen’s grading is to set the students up to expect (and to learn from) papers with minimal mark-up. I’m still trying to figure out how I’ll implement that in my own teaching, but there’s something in that.

By: Brian http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/comment-page-1/#comment-27206 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 03:15:50 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/16/satisficing-grading/#comment-27206 You’ve hit the nail on the head for how I work. Especially in my writing classes, I feel that it’s important to give very specific feedback as a way of helping the students learn how to improve their writing. But taking a half hour to grade a 6-page paper isn’t really working out that well.

What’s even harder is when I notice that I’ve graded a certain swath of papers lower than another. I start to think: was I in a bad mood that day? Was it because I was in the beginning/middle/end of the grading for this assignment? Do I need to go back and re-examine the scores that I’ve given to make sure I’m fair? It’s a zero-sum game, most of the time.