I began this post by googling “grading meme’s” and was not prepared (at all) for the plethora of other folks who are much wittier than I who were populating the interwebs with countless meme’s that made me giggle.
It’s finals season and while the sarcastic jerk in me really wants to sing, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” the faculty in me who will be grading really wants to crawl in a hole and die. I have to admit, I like grading less than I like almost any other responsibility that I have related to my job. I hate grading more than I hate paying my “adult” bills in real life. I loathe grading more than the sight of the toilet paper roll going in what I deem the “wrong” way. Grading is the bane of my existence but giving feedback is one of the most important aspects of my job as a teacher. See? The struggle is real.
I don’t see multiple choice tests as a good form of assessment in general for the course I’m thinking of, particularly on a final that is cumulative and the masochist in me could NOT give a multiple choice final so it chose essay’s for the final. Four of them from each student. I will be the biggest offender to my own undoing at the end of next week, but as I contemplated how I wanted to assess my students, I could not deliver a multiple choice test. Multiple choice is great for quick assessments, weekly check in’s and other things, but sometimes reading how a student weaves all of the content together is the best form of learning. With 60 students in one of my classes, I have given myself an assignment of epic proportions and I’m aware of this.
My graduate students have literature reviews due about their potential research for their thesis and the undergrad researchers have had several incremental deliverables due over the course of the semester that have included: extensive literature review, survey that is currently being piloted, draft of academic poster, press release for the public on the same topic, and a ‘zine for a middle school audience. I’ve really been pounding hard on the “know your audience” aspect the last few weeks to wrap this up.
Grading and assessing student learning can be both formative and summative for me as a teacher. While I can joke about my disdain for grading, I do understand that it is 100% necessary for me to do in order to help my students foster their own learning and move forward. If you need me over the next two weeks, please bring wine. Or melted cheese. Happy grading folks!