I’m always looking for new ways to grade, to make grading easier and faster, and to help students get more out of my responses to their work. Some of the things I’ve tried have worked well while others have been disastrous.
Today I came across Collin Garbarino’s “My Year of Grading in 25 GIFs,” and while this approach will certainly take more time than some of the other things I’ve tried, it might be worth it. According to his About page, Garbarino is “an assistant professor of history at Houston Baptist University,” who, teaches “lots of freshman about western civilization and a handful of history majors about the ancient and medieval world.” Of this post he writes,
Sometimes teaching a freshman-level college course feels like a game of Chinese Whispers. I give the students the information, but the information isn’t the same when I grade their exams. Some of the words are recognizable, but the message got lost. I’m pretty sure that this results from trying to cram thousands of years of history into one study session the night before the exam. The product of these all-night cramming sessions can sometimes be startling and amusing.
Here is a sample of statements in exams and essays from my sections of “Western Civilization I” for the 2014–2015 academic year, along with my reactions.
Well, I also teach lots of freshman each year, so I may just give this a shot. A description of can’t do justice to his work, so just check it out here. You’ll be glad you did.