Speeding up my grading

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BioAngel, May 2, 2016.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    May 2, 2016

    I teach grades 3 to 6, but I'm open to hearing what middle and high school teachers do about this...

    I have a very strong disliking for multiple choice tests (just based on personal choice and what research I've read), so most of mine end up being fill in, matching, short answer, or essay style. ( I just graded a set of 17 tests and it took me 3 hours. I teach 8 classes, so this is just NOT working anymore.)

    Should I "give in" and try multiple choice tests? Is there a resource that can help me get better at creating these so I don't feel like the kids are just picking whatever sounds good?

    Is there an easier way to keep short answer/essay tests, but grade them MUCH faster? I'm thinking maybe about rubrics, but I'm worried that it will take me awhile to create the tool and I will spend just as much time trying to fill out the tool. (But I do love rubrics....) I use rubrics for projects or lab reports, but never a test with different question formats.

    Any other ideas??? My 5th and 6th graders do have access to Chromebooks. My 3rd and 4th graders do too but it's a bit trickier. But the tech tools are there - I would want something that I could print out and give to my students so they can show their parents. Not very high tech - I know - but I still want to have that method of sharing their work and grade.
     
  2.  
  3. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    May 2, 2016

    I haven't been a teacher for a few years, but I still read these forums every once in awhile to see what's currently going on in education. Here are my tips.

    How many pages are your tests? When I had multi-page tests, I would grade one page at a time. That way I could memorize all of the answers on the page after the first couple of tests and just zoom through the stack, then move on to the next page and zoom through again. I'd write the total points earned at the bottom of each page so that I could quickly add them up at the end, or if I was really crunched for time I could have my spouse or someone else do the addition.

    I also formatted my tests for easy grading. If it was matching, I had the students write the letter of the match on a blank next to the question number so that I didn't have to trace their lines. Fill in the blank also got a line next to the question number, so I could skim down the line of answers and quickly see which ones were wrong. I used to teach middle school and high school science, so if you want me to take a look at your test layout, PM me.

    The high school where I taught had course management software called Canvas (like Blackboard, but better). I set up grading rubrics there that allowed me to click on the categories when I was grading, and it did all of the addition for me. I liked that for papers and projects, but I never tried it for tests. I think it would work if the students also took their tests on the online platform, but I think it would be a pain going from paper tests to online grading.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    1,478

    May 2, 2016

    What about this...

    Have your test questions in the regular place in the middle of the page. Then, have lines for short answers in the margin on the right hand side.

    You'd end up with a right hand answer margin like this:
    1. Oklahoma
    2. 1856
    3. three

    Then you can line up the right hand margins of multiple papers and quickly check their written short answers.

    As far as matching goes, if it's just a draw a line to the correct item kind of thing, I don't see much of a different between that and multiple choice.
     
    czacza likes this.
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    571

    May 2, 2016

    Why would you feel that matching is better for students than multiple choice? In my experience, it is far less rigorous.

    A good multiple choice test (which is really hard to design) can be just as challenging as an essay.

    I like multiple choice tests and use them a lot.
     
    Peregrin5 likes this.
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    May 4, 2016

    mathmagic likes this.
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    571

    May 4, 2016


    How depressing. Your quiz is very similar to a quiz I've given my high school students. :(
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,024
    Likes Received:
    494

    May 4, 2016

    What about a hybrid? Keep part of your test short answer/essay etc. but add a bit of multiple choice. Also, matching can be quite easy to grade and can be automatic with the right tools. I do agree essay is better than multiple choice, but I think a bit of both can create a good test that doesn't overwhelm a teacher.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,001

    May 5, 2016

    I agree that multiple choice questions can be quite rigorous. My students personally prefer my essay questions to my multiple choice questions because I make them high level. So as readingrules said, I do part multiple choice and part essay. I find that different questions fit different students learning modalities. Some kids that do well on the multiple choice don't do great on the essays because of issues with writing, while those who do great on essays sometimes don't do great on the multiple choice because they require a lot of critical thinking and the essays are usually mostly recall.

    Anyway, there are a lot of online tools that will allow students to do fill-in-the blank type questions and auto-grade them for you. For instance, socrative, and exitticket (somebody informed me of exitticket on this forum and it's really cool).
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    May 6, 2016

    Would love to share activities and lesson ideas with you if you're doing a weather unit!
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    May 6, 2016

    I took a workshop on creating high quality multiple-choice questions, but still not my cup of tea.

    What other choices do I have?
     
  12. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,278
    Likes Received:
    107

    May 7, 2016

    Does your district use Google Classroom? If so, you can design a test using Forms, which gathers responses in Sheets. The add-on to Sheets called Flubaroo will automatically grade short answer responses against your key.

    I also agree that a multiple choice test can be challenging, especially if you offer more than three or four choices per question. I'm using an app called ZipGrade that lets you use combinations of letters (AB, CDE, etc.) and that uses bubble sheets you print off as needed. I scan answer sheets as they're turned in -- I use my iPad, but the app is available for android, too. I usually require a short written response using my current vocabulary in addition to the multiple choice part, but that's something I can grade quickly.
     
  13. Sassy98

    Sassy98 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    17

    May 7, 2016

    Thank you for teaching our children. Grading is so tedious.
     
    BioAngel likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. joannakd,
  2. waterfall,
  3. ready2learn,
  4. sevenplus,
  5. NewTeacher12345,
  6. Backroads
Total: 365 (members: 8, guests: 341, robots: 16)
test