End-of-term grading suggestions

As we approach the end of the term and finals, Learning Innovation has some suggestions for best practices in assessment and grading (and see this post about Wrapping up the Fall Term for more details):

Assessment set-up

  • Provide extremely clear directions for students.
  • Be as flexible as possible with time allotted for the exam, due dates, and test policies to reduce student stress.
  • For projects, papers and presentations, use a grading rubric to increase consistency, and provide the rubric to students ahead of time so they know what to expect.

Assessment administration and grading

  • We highly recommend blind (anonymous) grading to increase equitability in your grading practice, for any assignments and assessments where this is possible. Blind or anonymous grading is where you and other graders in the course do not know the identity of the student who submitted the assignment you are grading, until grading of all students is complete.
  • You now can use anonymous grading with Gradescope, as well as with Sakai Assignments and Tests & Quizzes. If you’re not using any of those tools, there are still ways to anonymize grading – see some examples in this guide from Yale University.
  • Avoid using curves in grading in either individual assignments or on final grades; instead, gauge each student’s performance against your set of criteria for success on the assignment or in the class. Using a grading rubric set up before you begin grading can help you evaluate each student compared to these standard criteria and increase equity and consistency in grading.
  • If giving tests in Sakai, review and mitigate common issues, and share this student recommendations page with your students.
  • When using the assignments tool in Sakai, remind students to choose “Submit” when their assignment is complete, rather than “Save Draft.”

Preparing and posting final grades