October 15, 2008

Different Way of Grading Papers

Michael Nelson is a political science professor at Rhodes College. As a "guest blogger" for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nelson recently wrote a short blog post that shares a different way for instructors to grade papers. Nelson writes that he intends to break a habit that he (and many other instructors) tend to have when they grade student papers.

Nelson wonders what would happen if at the end of student papers he were to rephrase his traditional way of comments about the paper. Instead of praising the positives of a paper followed by a powerful "but" which is usually followed by critiques of the paper, Nelson says he would like to try the opposite. He wonders how students receptions could change if critiques were written first, then the powerful "but" is followed by praising comments about the work.

Nelson offers a small blog posting which could make big differences for students and instructors.

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