I talk frequently about self-grading assignments, but sometimes that is actually moving too quickly. It is important to answer the question, “what is self-grading?” before even moving towards how to utilize it in the classroom. In knowing that answer, you can develop a self-grading system, which will work for both the teacher and the student.
Most of us know what it is like to grade our students’ assignments. Something that takes just two minutes to grade individually could take upwards of 4 hours for teachers who have multiple classes of students. Let alone factoring in larger assignments to grade or leaving appropriate feedback. What is self-grading? It is an option that takes a lot of this time “waste” off the table and allows the teacher more freedom in teaching (and it is more beneficial in instant feedback for students).
What is self-grading? It’s a lifesaver. It is a process where the student completes an assignment, then submits it to a teacher or instructor for grading. The teacher then grades the assignment and provides feedback, which is automatically sent back to the student.
This process allows for more efficiency on the part of the teacher, as grading can be done at any time and in any place. It also allows for more immediate feedback to the student, which helps him or her learn from mistakes and understand the material better.
What is Self-Grading in Practice?
When you use a self-grading program in the classroom, it assigns a grade to an assignment automatically. The program looks at the student’s work and compares it to a set of standards that have been predetermined by the teacher. Once the program has made its comparison, it awards the student with a grade that reflects how well they met the expectations of the assignment.
Self-grading programs come in many forms. IWB (interactive whiteboard) programs like Promethean, Echo, and Activboard allow users to post assignments on the board for students to access digitally. Students can then complete each assignment digitally by typing in their answers on the interactive board. The program will grade the work according to preset criteria.
Best of all, this type of program grades the assignment quickly and gives the teacher instant feedback about how well each student is doing.
There are also programs that allow you to grade traditional paper-and-pencil assignments. These programs work by taking a picture of the student’s work and then comparing it to a set of standards that have been predetermined by the teacher. Once the program has made its comparison, it awards the student with a grade that reflects how well they met the expectations of the assignment.
While this type of program does not give the teacher as much instantaneous feedback, it is still an effective way to grade student work.
Both types of programs have their benefits and drawbacks. It is important for teachers to choose the program that will work best for their situation.
For teachers who want instant feedback about how well each student is doing, an interactive whiteboard might be a better option. While it does not grade traditional paper-and-pencil assignments as quickly as a digital one, it gives the teacher more immediate data (with which to make instructional decisions) than the traditional system. It also gives students more freedom to work independently, which is another benefit of self-grading programs.
For teachers who want the freedom to grade students’ work outside of class time, a digital paper-and-pencil program might be a better option. While it does not offer immediate feedback like an interactive whiteboard, it gives the teacher more freedom to work on other projects or grade large assignments outside of class time. This can be a huge benefit for teachers who have large caseloads and find themselves constantly grading.
In the end, both types of programs have something to offer students and teachers alike.
Why Self-Grading is a Better Option
There are many reasons why self-grading is a better option than traditional grading. First and foremost, it takes the teacher out of the role of the grader. This allows the teacher to focus more on teaching and helping students meet the expectations of the assignment.
Second, self-grading programs allow for more immediate feedback. With an interactive whiteboard program, the teacher can see how each student is doing as they are working on the assignment. With a traditional paper-and-pencil program, the teacher can see the grades as soon as the assignments are graded. This immediate feedback allows teachers to make instructional decisions quickly and effectively.
Third, self-grading programs allow students more freedom to work independently. This is especially beneficial for students who are struggling in a particular subject. When they are allowed to work on assignments at their own pace, they have a better chance of understanding the material.
Fourth, self-grading programs can be adapted to meet the needs of each student. For students who need more help, the teacher can provide more immediate feedback. For students who are capable of working on their own, the teacher can require them to work independently.
Finally, grading assignments digitally takes up less time than traditional grading methods. While it may seem like self-grading programs take just as much time as traditional grading methods, they actually do not. The digital process is faster because it can be done outside of class time.
Self-Grading Programs are More Effective Than Traditional Grading Methods
The benefits of self-grading programs are also the reason they are more effective than traditional grading methods. With self-grading programs, teachers have immediate feedback about how students are doing with their work. This allows them to make instructional decisions during the lesson when they are most effective. Without self-grading programs, teachers have to wait until after class in order to make decisions about how well students are doing.
Additionally, self-grading programs give students more freedom to work independently and at their own pace. This is beneficial to struggling students because it gives them a chance to catch up. Additionally, it is beneficial for gifted students because it allows them to work on more challenging assignments.
Self-grading programs can be adapted to meet the needs of each student, which is another reason they are more effective than traditional grading methods. When teachers are able to adapt their instruction to the needs of their students, they are more likely to reach them.
Self-grading programs also save teachers time. These programs allow students to grade their own work, which eliminates the need for teachers to constantly correct students’ assignments. In addition, traditional grading methods require a lot of paper and can take up an entire class period. Self-grading programs do not require any paper and can be completed in a fraction of the time.
Self-grading programs are more effective than traditional grading methods because they allow teachers to make decisions during the lesson, they give students more freedom to work independently and at their own pace, and they can be adapted to meet the needs of each student. Additionally, self-grading programs are more efficient than traditional grading methods because they eliminate the need for teachers to constantly correct students’ assignments and they can be completed in a fraction of the time.
A Brief Self-Grading Tutorial
One of the best things about self-grading assignments is that they give you immediate feedback on how well your students are doing. This means that you can differentiate instruction in real-time which is an incredible asset to have.
Another great benefit of self-grading assignments is that it takes some of the pressure off of you as a teacher. This allows for more creativity during your lesson plans which will ultimately culminate in increased student engagement.
Finally, self-grading assignments can help students feel more inclined to do their work without having to rely on another person to check over it. This means the entire assignment is the student’s responsibility and they are able to check their own work and learn from any mistakes that they may have made.
A while back, I created an explanation of seven different programs that are very user-friendly that are self-grading. These brief tutorials are very helpful for all teachers, new or old. If you are interested in seeing them, please fill in the form below and you will be taken right to the breakdown of information.
In short, using self-grading assignments can help reduce teacher stress, increase student engagement and help students learn how to better check their own work. If you are not currently using them in your classroom, I highly suggest that you start today!
Answering “What is Self-Grading” with the 4 Keys
Being able to effectively answer “what is self-grading” and then utilizing that answer in your own classroom isn’t difficult, it just needs to ebb and flow with the students and where they are (physically, mentally, and emotionally). Being flexible is the key to making all of this work. The key is engagement. There are four keys to student engagement that I discuss in my video training challenge called “Finding Your Student Engagement Formula” and it walks you through those four keys and how to implement them in the classroom.
If you are interested in registering (it’s totally free), visit the Finding Your Student Engagement Formula Challenge registration page and you will be notified the next time the series is available.
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