Saturday, August 14, 2010
Well, I am done grading papers. I feel sick every time I grade papers. The problem with grading papers is that to some degree I am obviously unqualified to grade papers. I mean, I am really good at grading “A” papers and “F” papers (the really good ones and the really bad ones), but as far as the rest of the papers I have a tough time figuring out what to do. The easy answer is to come up with some type of grading rubric, but to me that seems arbitrary. Why should I give 5 points for clarity and only 10 points for reasoning? I once served as a teaching assistant for a professor who believed that there were three grades – A, C, and F papers. “A papers” were either perfect or close to perfect. “C papers” were those papers that were overall readable, but lacked some important element of an “A paper” like clarity. And “F papers” were those papers that were unreadable. I would use this grading scheme, but I would feel terrible about giving so many papers Cs. Plus, really it just hides the problem in brutal, but simple grading rubic. So, for now, I continue to try my best to discern Bs from Cs and Cs from Ds. Oh, and not to mention the fact that at the school where I am currently teaching we also have the notorious “+” and “-“. At least this task is over for now.