I grade papers for Ms. Mahy’s English Diction class. I find it a difficult task. Especially on short answer questions. Tom and I have been discussing test writing skills and the fact that many professors lack them. When a question contains two parts but then signifies that it is worth 3 points- doesn’t that mean you should cover 3 aspects of the question. Well what if they just answered the two questions asked directly, do you mark them off?
My other great debacle is that I know that a couple of the people in the class are dyslexic. There are sections of the test that require you to translate the IPA into English. If they spell all the words wrong, do I mark them off, partial off, or just recognize that their spelling is phonetically correct and therefore fine?
The other struggle is staying consistent. You can’t  be hard on one person and then forgiving with the next.
I find the whole process exhausting, and very informative. I am always amazed when you get “behind the scenes” how much more you understand about systems. For example, today it made sense when I handed my French professor a write up on an activity I had attended for class and she looked at it with exasperation and said “This is long.” Before I became a grader I would have thought, “Goodness don’t you want me to stretch my vocabulary and work towards greater fluency.” Now I understand that she was already overwhelmed with the load of papers she had to grade and thus saw my lengthy description as an addition to a pile- not the product of an excited student.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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