The grading process

Get an overall sense of how students did on average

This will give you an idea of the range of quality. Always use a pencil on your first run through as you will probably go back and fine-tune the papers you graded first!

Be consistent

Be consistent with other graders. Spend a few minutes “calibrating” with your professor and/or your fellow graders. Exchange a few copies and compare grades. Try to set clear criteria to ensure fair and consistent grading (use grading scales or assignment-specific descriptions).

Be consistent within your own grading. You are more likely to be stringent with the first few essays you read than with the rest, and you are less likely to be careful about comments when you are tired. Stop grading when you get too tired or bored. When you start again, read over the last couple of essays you graded to make sure you were fair. When you are done with grading, go back to the first several papers to make sure you were fair.

Give the graded paper/exam back in a timely manner

This will allow students to correct their misconceptions or use the feedback in their subsequent learning.

Provide a grade distribution to students

It can help them make sense of their numeric or letter grade. Do not post students’ grades publicly. They are legally entitled to confidentiality in this matter.

Have an official “re-grade” policy

Give students a limited time (say, one week) to review their exam/paper, request a grade adjustment, and justify their request with a full, written explanation.

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