Dear Dr. Kirk:
I hate grading. I tend to put it off as long as possible and my students get upset because they don't get prompt feedback. Any suggestions?
Not Really a Procrastinator But....
Dear Not a Procrastinator:
There are several things you can do to make the grading more manageable. First of all, be proactive--lay out your assignment schedule so you're not giving tests and papers all the same day. Try to schedule the due dates toward the end of week so you have the weekend to grade. Be sure and look at your family and personal obligations in determining when these deadlines and exam dates should be.
Also, set expectations with your students. If taking up papers to grade, give them a date you will have these back to them so they won't expect instant feedback. Explain that you want to take your time in order to do a good job. I aim at the next class period to give back exams and two weeks for feedback on papers.
My best advice is to start your grading right after class. I gave an exam to 43 students last Monday in a class that ended at 6pm. Afterwards, I drove to a local restaurant, ordered dinner, and graded tests for three hours giving me a big jump on getting these done. It made it much easier to come back to the grading the next day.
Giving prompt feedback to your students will help them improve on future assignments as well as make them see you as organized and professional.