Good Pedagogy or a Juicy Rationalization?

8/14/2005 11:29:00 pm

A while back I posted about how I love teaching but the corrections are killing me! I'd like to find a good balance between getting tests marked fast and giving students the opportunity to get part marks using more extended response style questions. I'd like to give them quizzes more often but the time it takes to correct them (each has from 3 to 5 "show all your work" type questions) quickly becomes a factor.

I think I've got a solution. What I'll do is have the kids exchange papers immediately following each quiz and we'll correct them as a class. I'll make a point of emphasizing the kinds of oversights that cost students half marks (which can quickly accumulate) and exactly how solutions should be presented and structured. Involving students in the evaluation process will hopefully give them some insight into how their tests get marked. Maybe they'll even sidestep these sorts of minor errors where it really counts; on their exams. A second benefit is I'll have fewer corrections to do creating more time for me to spend with my family. ;-) Of course, another concern here is can I afford the class time to do this? The courses are very content heavy.

Well, what do you think .... is this good pedagogy or a juicy rationalization?

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  1. Personally, I think it is a great way to do it!

    Assuming you use quizzes to see how well students have grasped the material, this works. It gives the students a chance to review the material yet again while they are marking them. And, as you said, it gives them insight into how you mark their tests. I think those are both valid goals/outcomes. And I think it is a good use of class time.

    I worry, though, about whether or not students would be able to figure out how to give half marks when they are necessary. If this part becomes too cumbersome, it could easily take up a lot of valuable educational time, I think. But if they can get it without much trouble, I see this solution as being good for you and for them!

    I hope you will blog about how this goes.

  2. Darren,

    Good to see you posting again. I have a solution for you. You need to start a program of assessing FOR learning as opposed to assessing OF learning. I attended a year long workshop on this type of assessment and it changed the way I not only looked at assessment, but the way I taught. Your statement "Involving students in the evaluation process will hopefully give them some insight into how their tests get marked" means you are on the right track. Please check out the following website to get more info.:

    Click through every link in the menu on the left and download as many of the resources as you can. Because it is the beginning of the year, now is the perfect time to begin looking into this.

  3. Thanks Jaimie. What a great resource!