With this semester quickly coming to a close, it’s important to remember to take care of ourselves. This week all of the contributors will take part in a Q and A session about self-care and maintaining a work-life balance.
Continuing from Ciara’s post on Monday, here are four strategies Jen and Karly have used in the past to make grading more tolerable and efficient.
Setting a time limit
In previous semesters when we had too many essays to grade and not enough time, we found it useful to set a time limit for each paper. For example, Jen used an old egg timer (Karly used an app on her phone) to set strict time limits for grading each paper. The goal is to make the time limit long enough that you can be thoughtful in assigning points, but short enough that it prevents you from giving lengthy feedback. This time limit will help you focus on the paper as a whole, and not get caught up in one section or paragraph of a particular paper.
The semester has hit crunch time, we have about three weeks left in the semester and students’ and professors alike are slammed with work. Students are turning in papers, projects, and presentations left and right, this means the grading is piling up. If you are anything like me, it can be overwhelming, and a daunting task to know where to begin and how to get it all done.
When I was setting my strategy for end-of-the-semester grading, I thought about the things we tell our students to do to balance their coursework, jobs, and social time and realize that we should be telling ourselves the same things about grading.
Keeping students motivated has been an issue of the ages. I stumbled across this great article from The Converstaion by Dr. Vassilis Dalakas suggesting a fairly simple way to increase student motivation throughout the length of a course. In his class, he gave pop-quizzes, which weren’t required, on the assigned readings. However, each quiz answered correctly would earn the student a point, and each quiz answered incorrectly would lose the student a point. If five points were accrued throughout the semester, then the student no longer had to take the final exam. Dr. Dalakas implemented this across two different sections of the same course and found there was a difference in performance across the two sections. Why might this be?
Here at the Novice Professor, we have a variety of resources we turn to regularly. As such, we are putting together a resources page, to share all the blogs, websites, and tools we use during the semester. Below, we have highlighted a few of the resources we plan to feature on our new page. Keep a look out for our resources page, which will be launched later this week!
With May 4th approaching, we at The Novice Professor are interested to know if any of our readers use Star Wars in their psychology courses (or other courses if the techniques can be generally applied). If so, how do you do it? We’re especially interested to know how you incorporate Star Wars in your courses to explain content or for other teaching related things. We are looking for tweets, comments, books, articles, etc. If you would like to submit any contributions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us at #TheNoviceProfessor. Stay tuned for our post in early May detailing the full list of teaching-related Star Wars resources we find!