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Grading Strategies for the College Classroom: A Collection of Articles for Faculty [Kindle Edition]

Rob Kelly , Maryellen Weimer , Barbara E. Walvoord
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 119 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Grading Strategies for the College Classroom provides insights into managing the supremely complicated task of assigning a simple letter to a semester's work. It's a must-read for any faculty member seeking to understand how to use assessment not just to measure performance but also to enhance it, and it delivers some of the most current, innovative ideas for meeting that challenge. It presents new:
  • Thinking about what grades should measure
  • Ideas for developing robust assessment tools
  • Strategies for encouraging students to pursue knowledge instead of grades
  • Ways to ensure that assessments gauge performance and inspire effort
A collection of more than 30 articles written by a score of highly accomplished college classroom veterans, Grading Strategies for the College Classroom was edited by Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D., author, editor of The Teaching Professor newsletter, and award-winning professor emerita of teaching and learning at Penn State Berks.

The book's articles, first published in The Teaching Professor, address four critical aspects of the assessment process: grading exams, assessing papers, gauging participation, and engaging students in meaningful conversations about grades.

Grading Exams

The authors present creative solutions for the challenges of grading exams. Articles cover:
  • Alternatives to final exams, including reflective exercises and concept-mapping projects
  • Research showing why cumulative exams may be a better teaching tool than unit exams
  • How-tos for designing, administering, and managing security concerns for online exams
  • Policies that reduce test anxiety and mitigate morale problems
Grading Papers

This material is equally innovative when it comes to the challenges of assigning and assessing papers. Articles present a wealth of high-impact ideas, including:
  • A unique carrot-and-stick method to encourage students to create drafts of papers
  • Ten practical tips for successfully managing the paper-grading burden
  • A manageable process-driven approach to grading that can be a lifesaver, particularly for new faculty
  • A critical reexamination of the value of rubrics in grading papers
  • Best and worst practices in grading papers
Classroom Participation

Chapter three focuses on a perennial ambiguous grading area, classroom participation, providing insight into how student perceptions of participation can differ from those of faculty and how to reconcile the two. The authors share strategies for:
  • Creating a participation rubric
  • Helping students appreciate the difference between mere attendance and participation
  • Assessing and grading online participation
  • Reconciling rubrics with student self-assessments
Talking with Students about Grades

The book's final section addresses the difficult subject of managing expectations and conversations about students' grades. This process begins on the first day of class and continues past the final exam. Topics include how to:
  • Answer the question "What will we be graded on?"
  • Handle the "I deserve a better grade on this" conversation
  • Involve students in determining assignment weights and how this impacts performance
  • Deal with students' growing sense of entitlement
The learning "story" that takes place over the course of a semester is rich, complex, and unique to each student. The details of how an individual progresses (or does not) over the term, what skills are developed, and what knowledge is retained could fill a book.

And yet in the end, professors are asked to tell the story not in a book, on a page, over a paragraph, or even in a sentence, but in a single letter. Small wonder grading is such a persistent challenge for both new and veteran faculty.

The foreword is by Barbara E. Walvoord, Ph.D., professor emerita of the University of Notre Dame and author of several classic books on higher ed assessment and grading, including Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment in College.

Product Details

  • File Size: 355 KB
  • Print Length: 119 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Magna Publications (April 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,002 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Mary
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading this collection of articles is like having a great discussion with professors who have actively researched and grappled with the practice of grading. The articles provide multiple examples of how to grade, and how to use the grades on tests, quizzes, and assignments. Of course, the articles don't prescribe any one solution to grading and testing either, but offer vignettes about what worked for instructors in different situations.

I've been teaching at the college level for over twenty years, and I found some new ideas. I disagreed with a few points made, but also realized that others may have very different teaching positions than do I. Chapter Four would be especially helpful to new faculty, who are often so hesitant about the confrontations with students about their grades.

This was the first book that I have read "cover-to-cover" electronically, and I liked the format. This is something that I will definitely put on the recommended reading list for the new hires at my college - they can read it on a Sunday afternoon and implement some of the ideas the next week.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful strategies for faculty May 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book, which is a collection of short articles, feels like it was written for the concerns and issues that my colleagues and I tackle in the process of trying to do excellent work in our teaching. I found the book easy to read and filled with practical ideas that address problems such as getting students to read, grading large amounts of papers, increasing writing skills in students, and having difficult discussions around grades. This book may be helpful to both new faculty members and those who are a bit more seasoned. I found some good ideas that I wish to implement. While not all of the chapters may be applicable to one's subject area, most of the ideas and/or analyses of research findings can be applied across disciplines. Many faculty do not study adult education and a book such as this is very useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This book uses a fascinating "speed dating" approach to introduce you to many innovative and effective grading strategies that you may not have met before, but might end up "falling in love with" and using for the rest of your academic life! It is a collection of short articles written by faculty for faculty showcasing grading techniques that can be used to enhance student learning, save time in the grading process, and generate classroom data that can inform and improve teaching practices. The articles are timely (over 50% were published in the last five years), practical (loaded with "how to" suggestions as well as data collection models), and truly motivational!
Dr. Virginia Johnson Anderson
Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences
Towson University
Towson, Maryland
(Currently serving as an External Evaluator for 5 national STEM-related grants
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