Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grading Week

 Ah, finals week.

The stress level on campus is high, the coffee flows freely, and students are dressed in pajamas for class (even more than usual). For me this means the beginning of the grading marathon. Papers, tests, calculating, oh my! The tough part about grading is that a) it always takes ten times longer than you think it will, and b) it can be very monotonous. For my Museum Studies class it wasn't too bad- they researched, curated, and designed mock exhibitions on a variety of topics. So, it took more than a full workday to complete marking  binders of labels, annotated bibliographies, and layouts, but it was pretty enjoyable. For my other class it's a bit more draining- over 60 student exams.

So what does this mean? Well, it means about 3,000 i.d. answers (10 questions with 5 parts each =50 answers per paper x 60= 3,000). Yikes. Checking for spelling/exact titles/dates for 3,000 items takes a while. Then there are six short answers at about 5 sentences a piece- so 360 of those. Finally, two long essays at about a page or more, 120 of those. And, don't forget these are handwritten. Usually I read through them, add comments, pencil in grades, and then re-read once sorted by high->low marks to ensure consistency. Perhaps you can see where this takes about a week to complete? At least I have afternoons at the neighborhood coffee shop, where the mochas are beautifully crafted, and the windows sunny and bright.


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