Thoughts on Teaching – 5/7/2012 – A short grading break

It is grading time again.  I have a set of projects due at the end of the semester, and I have essay exams as the final.  So, I am doing a lot of grading.  Luckily, I am a lot more on top of it at this point than I usually am at the end of the semester.  I am generally caught up now and will just be grading exams as they come in from this point forward.  This is all helped by the fact that I do not leave comments on any final projects/exams, so the grading does go faster.  My general philosophy on this is that comments are intended to help the students improve over the course of the semester, and so putting them on at the final project does not help them a whole lot.  Plus, as I well remember myself, few will ever go back to look at comments on things turned in at the end of the semester.  Also, as I apparently had some students who did not realize until the end that I had been leaving comments all along, perhaps the whole commenting thing is overrated anyway.  I always feel like I should leave a lot of comments to justify the grade, and I also use a grading rubric to justify the grade.  However, it does appear that most students are just happy getting a number grade that is not too far off from what they were expecting and going with that.  Makes you think (or not, in their cases).

This has also been my first semester at my community college to experiment with take-home tests.  I was generally pleased with what I got from the students, as I was not sure what I might get at the beginning.  Certainly the effort was mixed all the way around, but I certainly feel that I got a good level of effort overall from the students.  I also do feel that I got a pretty decent level of actual thought from the students as well, which is better than what I see on a lot of other essays.  I think the experiment went pretty well overall.

We also closed on our house last Friday, so we have that to look forward to once we get this semester done.  My wife is graduating with her BA at the end of this week, and then I’ll be done with the semester, and she’ll be done with the first part of her schooling.  We can then turn our attention to the new house and get going on working on it so that we can move in sometime in June.  We are pleased overall with the house and ready to get going.

And, I think that’s it for my short update here.

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About Scott Williams

I am an educator, community-college instructor, thinker, husband, parent of three, student of life, owner of a parrot, player of video games, voracious reader, restless wanderer, and all around guy.

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