Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Final's that time of year

The day has come when I can start to enter my final grades.  Since it's my 14th round, I've gleaned a few tips over the years that I can share with you:

1. Online programs, while fancy and cool don't necessarily save you time.  I used to use Google Spreadsheets but now I just go old-school with pen and paper.  My uni makes me submit a paper form filled out with attendance and all the grades, so it seems pointless to do my work twice and use some computer based thing.

BUT, if you do this style: be careful!  After you enter a grade, make sure you photocopy your papers and then store it in a separate location.  I keep one copy in my attendance folder in my "work-bag" and then one copy in my desk in my office.  If I lose my bag, or the building burns down, all is not lost.

2. Make your life simple.  If the final exam is worth 25%, grade it out of 25 points.  Homework is 10 points?  Yep, mark it out of 10 points.

3. Make your grading system simple enough that even the weakest student in the class understands it.  And then explain the system ( probably did in the first class already) in one of the final classes.  That way, the students can roughly calculate their own grades and you won't have so many questions to answer.

4. Tell the students that the only time you will change a grade is because of calculation error.  Parents being angry or not getting a scholarship will never result in me changing a grade and sending the email is a waste of time. 

5. Don't procrastinate!  It's annoying, but just be done with it and then enjoy your vacation.

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