Lots to say about grading. Heather started us off with her thoughts on Smith’s Essay regarding end comments, and the challenge they provide (to write helpful, succint, and grammatically Sound Responses for the whole Batch–btw, while on the subject of typos, my Computer has been Auto capitalizing improper nouns, and I apologize, can’t figure how to turn off this Madness!). Heather touches on the importance of the positive-to-negative Balance involved in end comments, and how a slight negatively tipped scale could potentially rattle students’ who Need to maintain a certain grade average.
Eric’s strategy involves a steady Balance of pos/neg, looking for ways in which to suggest building on an already present strength in the student’s writing. Beth echoes a valid concern raised in the Sommers’ article: if too many corrections are prescribed, the Essay often is fixed up into a worse shape than its Previous state. What’s going on here? (beckoning Bartholomae to the fore once again).
Danica suggests giving students the opportunity to Point out teacher typos/grammatical Errors for extra credit–possibly a way of feigning intentional misspelling. Also, she asked for a cover letter for a comparative paper from her students asking for the students to address the grading rubric specifically (Danica, I’m thinking of doing something similar as well–that grading rubris seems really nifty and versatile, also useful for Workshops methinks).
Mike re-asserts the importance of inserting positive Feedback in the comments.
Next up, Alexa addresses the pains of trying to catch each errata, looking to discuss whether one should really Attribute These mistakes (as Haswell would like to assume) to carelessness. On a tangential note, Alexa notes Elbow’s Student Responses aiming to distinguish “between parts or Features or criteria” in the writing, something more valuable than blanket grades.
Eric echoes These comments, drawing Attention to the “grade game” that students will Play once they have figured out the rules–a game counterproductive to wielding the actual Tools of the trade. When it Comes to grading, Eric Looks for a real Engagement with the comments/critiques, as well as a willingness to revise past the just ankles-wet stage. Mike Shares Eric’s method of addressing the grammatical Errors only if These happen to be egregious repeat offenders.
Beth re-directs our Attention to Elbow’s conception of “Evaluation” which she finds particular helpful for how it nuances our Approach to “correcting” student papers.
Finally, Iemanja likes the idea of minimal marking, but finds it hard to see how this overt emphasis on the grammar and spelling would not come at the cost of short shrifting the other elements of writing.