Grading Asynchronous Student Class Work – P1
Part 1: It takes more time
I work with Moodle 1.9 and courses that were designed by Open School.What appears in the next few posts will be about how I have learned to work with the system I have been given. It isn’t what I always agree with though.
- Accept the philosophical difference: Courses that are inherited are not always easy to grade. They will have issues that I disagree with. Sometimes the assignments seem archaic.
- LONG ASSIGNMENTS are a dilemma: The assignments seem to account for x number of hours of “work” but in terms of grading, they are onerous. Some can take up to an hour to grade. This type of design is just not scalable. So we find ourselves in the dilemma of not having enough time to contact students as frequently as we want or provide enough feedback. Teachers in B.C. Distributed Learning schools do not have class size limits. Sometimes the justification is that not all of the students are ‘active’. Class size is another post. Sometimes the assignments are designed to be so long so students see a limited number to complete and when they have the course outlines, it seems doable. These make assessment FOR learning nearly impossible to do. Currently, our Moodle report can only accept 30 items so assignments are bulky. Again, a philosophical difference.
- Mentally Shift between online response and paper based response: The quality of the answer will differ due to tools like grammar check and spell check. Paper students often will only write in the space provided which often is not adequate for a full paragraph response.
- Mental shift between for assignments: In face-to-face, I would spread out assignments on a long folding table and roll my chair around my assignments marking the same question. I kept the answer in my head. The rubric was mentally accessible. I could mark 60 essays in a few hours and give the class feedback or refer them to lessons. In asynchronous, most assignments waiting to be marked (paper or digital) are not the same one. That means I need to mentally shift my rubric and the expectation and sometimes read the lesson again. The Ministry standards provide examples for students in “April”. Well a student may do a 100 hours of course work but in two months, never demonstrating the cognitive development expected in April.
Read or at least skim the whole thing first without using your pen. Understand the student’s voice, IEP, and style first. It is too easy to get in there and slash away at the errors. Focus on key errors that you think should be mastered at this stage. For students below grade level expectations, consider the basics. For those that are operating above, have a few suggestions that a student can incorporate in the next assignment. Sometimes I have come across comments like “I am mailing it in” or “see the voice mail I am sending later” or “ I will come in and show you”. For paper assignments, papers can be out of order or incomplete.