EDU Hacks: Save time on grading with these secrets

Save Time on Grading with These Secrets

Try these EDU Hacks today and see how they can transform your grading experience!

If you’re an educator, you know how time-consuming and tedious grading can be. You want to give your students meaningful feedback, but you also have other responsibilities and tasks to balance. How can you save time on grading without compromising the quality of your assessment?

Are you looking for ways to save time on grading? Check out the EDU Hacks in this EDU Blog!

Why does grading take time?

Grading is an essential part of teaching, but it can also be time-consuming and boring. Why does grading take so much time? One reason is that grading involves not only assessing the quality of students’ work, but also providing feedback and guidance for improvement.

Another reason is that grading often requires careful attention to details like spelling, grammar, formatting, citations, etc. These tasks can be challenging and exhausting, especially when dealing with large numbers of assignments or complex criteria.

How to save time on grading?

How can educators save time on grading without compromising the quality of their feedback? Here are some EDU Hacks to consider:

Hack 1: Use rubrics  

Rubrics are a great way to communicate your expectations and criteria for grading your students. They also make your grading more consistent and objective, as you can refer to the rubric to justify your scores and comments.

Rubrics can also help you grade faster because you don’t have to write lengthy explanations for each aspect of the assignment. You can simply check off the level of performance that matches the student’s work and add a brief comment if needed.

To create a rubric, you need to identify the main components or dimensions of the assignment, such as content, organization, grammar, creativity, etc. Then, you need to define the performance levels for each component, such as excellent, good, satisfactory, or poor. You can use numerical values or descriptive words to label the levels.

Finally, you need to describe what each level looks like in terms of quality and quantity. For example, an excellent level of content means that the student has covered all the relevant points with sufficient detail and evidence. Meanwhile, a poor level implies the student must catch up on some key points or provide adequate or appropriate information.

You can create your own rubrics from scratch or use online tools like RubiStar or iRubric to generate them. You can share rubrics with students before they submit assignments to clarify your grading criteria.

Hack 2: Use online tools  

Technology can be a great ally when it comes to grading. Numerous online tools and platforms can automate grading, enhancing convenience and accessibility. For example, you can use:

  • Google Forms or Quizizz to create online quizzes that can be graded automatically and provide instant feedback to your students.

  • Turnitin or Grammarly to check for plagiarism and grammar errors in your students’ written work.

  • Google Classroom or Canvas to manage your assignments and grades online and provide feedback to your students in one place.

  • ScreenPal or Loom to record video feedback for your students’ projects or presentations.

  • Peergrade or PeerScholar to facilitate peer feedback among your students and reduce your grading workload.

These tools can help you save time on grading in two ways. First, they reduce the amount of manual work you have to do. Second, they provide you with useful data and insights on your students’ performance. They can also enhance your feedback by making it more timely, personalized, and interactive.

Hack 3: Use a timer  

One of the biggest challenges of grading is staying focused and avoiding distractions. It’s easy to get sidetracked by other tasks or notifications, or to spend too much time on one assignment or student.

To avoid this, you can use a timer to set a limit for how long you will spend on each assignment or batch of assignments. This will help you stay on track and avoid procrastination.

You can use any timer app or device that works for you. The idea is to divide your grading time into short intervals of focused work followed by short breaks. For example, you can work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. This will help you maintain your concentration and motivation throughout your grading session.

You can also use the timer to set a deadline for when you want to finish your grading. For instance, if you have 20 essays to grade in two hours, set a timer for 120 minutes and divide it by 20. This means that you have six minutes per essay. This will help you prioritize your tasks and avoid spending too much time on minor details.

Of course, these are just suggestions and you can adjust the time limits according to your preferences and needs. The important thing is to stick to them and respect them as much as possible.

Hack 4: Use a checklist  

Another way to save time on grading is to use a checklist to guide your evaluation and feedback. A checklist is a list of items or criteria that you want to check or comment on for each assignment.

To create these checklists, employ word processors or spreadsheets. List your evaluation criteria and use symbols or colors to signify performance levels (e.g., green check for meeting expectations, yellow star for exceeding, red cross for falling short). Include sections for overall scores and comments.

Additionally, sharing these checklists with students alongside your feedback allows them to comprehend their grades better and areas in need of improvement.

Hack 5: Use templates  

Templates are pre-written texts that you can use to provide feedback to your students. They can be general or specific, positive or negative, depending on the type and purpose of the feedback.

Templates can help you save time on grading. As they reduce the amount of writing you have to do and provide you with ready-made phrases and sentences that you can customize and adapt to each student.

To create templates, you can use a word processor or a spreadsheet and write some common feedback statements that you frequently use or that apply to many students. For example, you can write:

  • “You have done a great job of …”

  • “You need to work on …”

  • “One way to improve your …”

  • “A common mistake that you made was …”

  • “A good example of … is …”

You can also use online tools like FeedbackFruits or FeedbackPanda to create and store your templates. You can also categorize them by topic, level, type, etc. for easier access and organization.

To use templates, you can copy and paste them into your feedback document or platform and modify them as needed. You can also combine them with other feedback strategies, such as rubrics, checklists, or video feedback, to make your feedback more comprehensive and personalized.

Get started with these EDU Hacks today!

Grading is an essential part of teaching and learning, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. By using these hacks, you can save time on grading and make it more efficient and effective. You can also improve your feedback quality and impact by making it more consistent, objective, timely, personalized, and interactive.

Try these EDU Hacks today and see how they can transform your grading experience! Don’t forget to join EDU Passport’s community of educators who are using our EDU Hacks to transform their teaching experience!

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    Save Time on Grading with These Secrets