Thursday, January 07, 2010

Over the past couple of semesters, I have been seeking ways to make assessing students easier. I use a complex (and at times convoluted) portfolio model. It works great for the most part, but it is A LOT of work. With 110 students per semester, it can drive me to the breaking point three times per year...and when the year is like the last one, that isn't a good point to be.

I managed to chop peer assessment by half; usually I require students to evaluate peers twice, for the past two semesters, I made them do it only once. That one change really cut down on the time needed for data import, checking, etc., and I found that replacing one peer assessment with other measures I already collect that don't require input worked just as well.

Then today, I learned something new! (I'm excited because that doesn't often happen.) I have been struggling with how to share grade breakdowns with students. I always did merge letters and emailed them individually. That was so time consuming. Once the university switched to blackboard, I have been trying to find effective ways to share final grade breakdowns with students. The new thing I learned today: I got my final spreadsheet tallies into blackboard. It took a little playing around to accomplish it, but nothing extreme!

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