Minimal Marking / Effective Grading

This workshop offers strategies for minimizing time spent on grading while maximizing the effectiveness of written comments. These strategies not only ease an instructor’s workload but also lead to more comprehensive student learning. We cover a variety of minimal marking techniques that will allow faculty to focus on overall improvements in student writing.

link to presentation (approximately 32 minutes)

Requirements for Completing this Workshop Online:

  • Watch the presentation above.
  • Discussion (respond in a comment of 150 words or more below): What aspects of grading feel the most useful for you and productive for students, and what are the areas of overlap?
  • Portfolio Assignment: Create a grading strategy for one low-stakes and one high-stakes assignment, indicating what kinds of minimal marking techniques you could implement for each. Draft a peer review plan that works for your classes.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Minimal Marking / Effective Grading

  1. This lesson was interesting. I have alway approached grading in this manner, but hadn’t thought about creating one for low and high stakes writing–only research papers.

  2. I found this lesson very effective. I think prioritizing low stakes to high stakes assignments is an excellent way of saving valuable time. As a professor I also feel I would learn to focus on 3 major components of a students writing rather than writing in its entirety. In this, both the professor and student could feel accomplished at the end of the semester without feeling overwhelmed.

    • I also sometimes feel overwhelmed by grading. I found this section on minimal marking very interesting, but when I tried it, I had problems. I really felt I was doing the students a dis-service by not giving all the guidance and suggestions I felt they needed. So for me, the challenge has been to hold back, and like Alyssa, focus on just 3 major points, and remember not to overwhelm the student.

  3. Can you provide examples of low stakes and high stakes matrixes? It would be most helpful for us non ENG faculty.

  4. This was a very helpful workshop. Even though I usually focus on higher order concerns when grading papers, I do spend time correcting grammar, etc. So it’s actually a relief to get the suggestion to prioritize higher order over lower. The example at the end of the workshop in “Types of Feedback” that refers to “technical” is especially relevant. It suggests correcting lower order mistakes in just one paragraph and then referring back to that paragraph in the end comments. These suggestions help the students as well: they aren’t as overwhelmed as they would be with a heavily marked up paper, and they are encouraged to be accountable for the quality of their writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *