Monday, April 6, 2009

Grumble grumble...

The only thing worse than having a stack of grading is having a stack of grading leftover from last quarter.

Ever do this? And think it is a brilliant idea? You know, where you tell students that if they want their final papers they will need to make an appointment the following quarter to come pick it up? Yes, it is a wonderful way to ease the grading load at the end of the term --- make a few cryptic pencil marks, leave a few post-its, and stack it in a pile with papers of similar quality, and you have saved yourself the time and effort of writing up extensive end comments on something that no one will ever look at again.

Except that then you do get a pile of requests to get papers and questions from students who want to know "how you liked it." Not the whole class, but enough of 'em. I seem to be getting more of them these days. Smack in the middle of beginning-quarter craziness. But you know you have to do this now, because if you hold it off until the first stack of this quarter's papers come in, you will be screwed and want only to die.

Grumble grumble grumble grah. Remind me to bring last quarter's reader back in so I can check up on a few things in this paper. Spring break is not long enough. Right here, this is what makes the quarter system suck. Pththhththtptp!


dance said...

I once told students they could give me a stamped envelope, and then by the next fall I still hadn't added comments or mailed it. I don't make that offer anymore.

Tell them they have to come in in person. You can probably skim the paper really fast while they sit there and come up with some commentary, and if they miss the appointment, you never have to worry about it. (Rule developed after I prepped comments and student did not show.)

Alternatively, even though I don't usually use a rubric, I will sometimes return final papers with a loose one---eg, A for research, B+ for writing, etc---more feedback than nothing, but, IFF if matches your grading system, relatively easy for you to do.

dr four eyes said...

I hear ya. I did this after fall quarter and regretted it mightily. For winter quarter, I typed up sketchy notes as I read papers--both to figure out grades and to have a rough draft of comments. I did more formal comment drafts for my upper level class b/c most of those students will pick up papers (required for the major), but less so for the intro level class (which I'm handling on an as-requested basis).

Nevertheless, it sucks mightily to be dealing with so much stuff from last quarter even as I'm scrambling to get a hold on this quarter.