How can you grade essays effectively and efficiently?
Essay grading is difficult and time consuming. What is the most efficient way to grade? Any tips or suggestions?
I would say you should make a rubric, like they do for standardized tests. Write down which points you are looking for in the paper and go through and search for each important point in the essay. That obviously isn't the whole grading process, but it can help!
I find it best to evaluate essays when you are fresh, perhaps after you first wake up in the morning. Don't do all of them at once; if you can space them out over a period of a few days, it is less likely to feel like a never-ending activity. Depending on the class level, a rubric does help! Sometimes I go to the public library and sit for 2 hours and do as many as I can. I am forced to focus and only do this one activity and nothing else. It helps me to do them more quickly. Definitely reward yourself when you are finished--I tend to choose a nice glass of red wine!
Decide what criteria you're grading them on. Apportion points between those criteria based on relative importance. Provide a scale for each criterion and a description of the quality each end of the scale corresponds to. Grade the essays.
That's what essay is all about. If you want something quick and accurate multiple choice with barcode should do it.
Essay is not just about the answer. It's about the composition and depending on the subject, sometimes it's about the character of the one answering as the opinion flows. My understanding is.. there should be NO right answer for an essay question. It's a dialog. A discussion.
One can start by dividing their "grading" in to two categories: form and content.
FORM is whether or not the piece is written with adequate language (vocabulary), syntax, punctuation and structure THAT IT CAN BE READ, AND ITS MEANING DECIPHERED!!!!! It's amazing how much "writing" I see, each day, which has no sentences (just rambling words), no punctuation, no capital letters.... no paragraphs (dividing thoughts).... and no logical progression.....
CONTENT is the MEANING of the thought(s) described within the text.....
Some people may write atrociously (form)... but have great content.....
Others, may write beautifully - eloquently - but have NOT A DARN THING TO "SAY!!!"
P.S. NO FAIR "grading" this submittal, by those of you who read it!!!!!!!
Yes, rubrics are the way to go. I designed the rubric and had it ready for the students while they were writing their paper. They knew exactly what the criteria were in their writing assignment.There were no surprises and I could grade the essays pretty quickly.
When I taught 8th grade language arts, rubrics saved my life. It allowed students to have creative license while giving me a concrete guideline. Rubrics are also great from a student standpoint because it allows students to know precisely how they are graded.
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