8 days a week.

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Whoa! Hold on. What a first 8 days of school. Totally buried and crazy with schedules and new students and …..So I figured I should take a time out to actually blog about these first days, as that is one of my goals for the year. Not sure where to start. If I don’t sit down and write about it now it will slip to another week. So maybe to start, let’s go to the grading and feedback.

I had high hopes to use technology for grading purposes with the main goal of providing timely feedback to my students. I prepared and planned to use Gradeable, an online service that promised to take scans of my student work, read them, and then allow me to grade them online in my browser. In my opinion, It is just not ready for prime time. At least for me. I scanned and uploaded over 300 papers and they could not be read by the Gradeable system. I had some discussions with their support but the fact was is that I was spending way too much time re-scanning and uploading than grading my student’s papers. Just not acceptable. Really could not wait around for the troubleshooting to take place. I needed to be in control so instituted plan B.

I took the scans and used an existing app I have on my Mac, PDFpenPro, and started marking up notes on the scans. Took me awhile to get into the groove but eventually this last weekend, I got them all graded with feedback. No grades were put on them. Grades were uploaded, along with the pdf of the quiz as evidence, into ActiveGrade for students to look at later today during class.

The important thing was yesterday during the beginning of class when I passed out their commented-on quizzes. Dialog between students went something like this:

“Oh wow, I knew I should have done that!”

“I thought I was suppose to……What did you do on yours?” Reply by student –“Let me show you how to do this” and proceeded to teach that student the particular skill.

“What did you do on yours?”

“Why did you that on number 3?”

“What’s my grade Mr. Rajewich? I don’t see my grade” – I just ignored this question.

To me it was music to my ears for those 5-7 minutes they were looking at their papers while I was mingling among the groups of students. This is what I hoped for.

I did not actually put a grade on the paper but put comments on those incorrect questions and left it to them to read and discuss among themselves. Very cool. I am happy with the start here. I am sure there is going to be some adaptation to this but a good start for now. Sorry Gradeable, but you need to work out the bugs. We’ll get together next year.

While discussion was going on among the students I got the great idea to put up the rubric on how I scored their paper and have them score their work. I then presented to the class the scoring rubric that they received on the first day. I went through each of the areas of scoring and we discussed the differences between them. I then asked the students to grade their papers and mark it on them.  This turned into a winner.  They actually had to grade their own paper based on my Rubric.

Today, we went into the computer lab to get them logged into ActiveGrade for the first time. They brought their quiz papers in and after getting them logged in, they took a look at their actual grades and compared with their own grading. Turned out pretty well.

I think this is good for a first blog post for the week.  I’m a rookie at this.  It is not easy for me to take this time to write something that happened in my week and I have done it. Hopefully I can keep it up. See you next week.






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