What’s Your Paper-Grading Practice?

Hofstra University fine arts professor Laurie Fendrich outlines how she tackles a stack of student essays in “4 days, 40 papers.” Team-teaching a large lecture course, Fendrich assigned one small essay, wrote all over it (too much IMHO), asked for a revision, and then awarded checks with plus or minus.  This assignment, however, she’s grading. It’s a 2-3 page essay.

In brief, she skims first, mostly intros and conclusions.  Then she reads a few papers carefully.

She reads 10 essays a day, three at a time before a break.  She allots 10 minutes per page for reading and commenting.  She puts them in piles: best, middle, worst.  She vets best and worst again, then divides the huge middle pile into its own best/middle/worst based most only her comments.

Finally, she assigns grades by pile.

How does her process compare to yours?


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