Grading Challenges

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See some quick tips for resolving common grading issues that can arise during your asynchronous online course delivery.

How do I encourage students to submit assignments on time?

  • Send a class email that clarifies your expectations about the due dates and consequences for not submitting
  • Email students who are not submitting to understand the situation
  • Provide a class-wide extension, which can help alleviate stress and give students more time
  • Make suggestions for appropriate student supports
  • Apply appropriate penalties, as indicated in your Program Handbook or Instructional Plan

How do I manage my marking time more effectively?

  • Calculate the time to grade each assignment, then multiply by the number of assignments: set aside chunks of time in a grading schedule
  • Use the course rubric, annotation tools, and other multimedia tools (audio/video) to provide feedback in a way that may be more time effective, given the assignment
  • Keep a copy of the Course Outline with you during marking, and focus on comments that align with relevant course outcomes
  • Form a checklist (related to the rubric), and use it to grade key elements
  • Provide feedback only on the most important or significant aspects of the work
  • Use a bank of pre-formed responses, and adjust to personalize as necessary
  • Provide automatic feedback using the Quiz tool
  • Provide a modified feedback sandwich:
    • Positive feedback/praise (observational) – a key strength
    • Constructive feedback (evaluative) – a key weakness or limitation
    • Next time feedback (prescriptive) – ideas or suggestions for the next assignment
  • Provide class-wide comments to implement in the next assignemtn

Elan Paulson

Elan Paulson, PhD, has been an educator in Ontario's higher education system since 2004. Before joining Conestoga as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, Elan was on the executive team at eCampusOntario. She previously served as Program Director and as an instructor in professional education programs at Western University's Faculty of Education. With a Master's in Educational Technology, Elan specializes in technology-enabled and collaborative learning to support diverse learners. She has also conducted research on faculty participation in communities of practice for professional learning and self-care.

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