Sunday, May 04, 2014

Day 9: A Quick Note About the End of the Marking Period

I have a comic for today, but I still wanted to have a blog update, if only to comment for the 30-day challenge.

Crunch time arrives again as the marking period ended Friday and grades are due. I have a pile of stuff that needs to be graded (I've plowed through the homework and a lot of the classwork) and I spent a good part of the weekend grading tests. I hate tests on Friday and I hate last day of the marking period tests. For one thing, one about the absent students and the make-up tests? When can I grade those? Probably never. Okay, not never. But this stuff takes time. And I didn't have a choice in the matter: if I wanted to have a test, the Math department had to have their tests on Friday this time around. So that's what I did. I don't want to be the teacher who slices through with a red pen and says, WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! -- despite what my students might think. As it is, I hate multiple-choice tests with their all-or-nothing component.

On the other hand, if I spend two minutes per test, that's well over 200 minutes, close to four hours, just going over the exams. And that's not even recording them online.

But the fact is that it takes more than two minutes if I look at their work to find their mistake. It's too minutes in itself just to write the comments down to guide them to get it right the next time. Except that they don't read the comments because they don't believe that there is a next time. After all, we just did that already. It's not like there's another test on the stuff where we'll use it again. Or a final exam.

So a lot of time was spent, but it had to be done.

Oddly, what shouldn't have to be done (but does) is grading the homework and all the little assignments that will count for perhaps one-fifteenth of ten percent. At the valuation, does it make much difference grading it as Satisfactory or Good? Does that extra 10% of 1/15 of 10% really matter much? As long as it isn't a zero, it won't have a big effect on their grade. And the zero doesn't have much of a negative either.

But the system is online and there's no faking it. So back to grading.

And I'll save the blogging -- and the new comics -- for another day.

No comments: