Electronic Grading: Germ-Free!

If you’re concerned about the flu virus and you haven’t moved to electronic grading, now might be a good opportunity to start.

Managing email. As soon as I get an assignment, I hit reply, type “Got it,” then hit send. This eliminates follow-up emails from students asking, “Did you get my assignment?” In my email program, I keep a folder called “Grade these.” All student assignment emails are moved there so they don’t get lost in my inbox. (SimplyFile makes this easy to do with the click of one button. See this post for more information about SimplyFile.) After I’ve emailed students their graded assignments, I move their emails into the “Graded” folder.

Outlook folders:

Managing the documents. The papers themselves are saved to a “Student papers” folder in “My Documents.” Each file I save is renamed with standard nomenclature: Student last name, assignment, and whether the assignment was turned in late. For instance, if Alan Ladd turned in his second reaction paper on time, I would name the file LaddRP1. If he turned in his experimental design assignment late, I would name it LaddXD-Late. After grading the assignments, I move them into the “Graded” folder located in the “Student papers” folder. (UPDATE 10/10/09: See a more recent blog post on EZDetach for an easier way to save files from email messages.)

My Documents:

Once I’ve sent a graded assignment back to a student, I move the file into a “Sent” folder.

Attaching files to Outlook email: A tip. You can drag and drop files into open emails to attach them. (You can also drag attachments out of emails that have been sent to you into folders or onto your desktop.) See this video:

Using MS Word 2007 to grade assignments. Select the “Review” tab. Click “Track Changes.” Any change you make shows up in red. Deletions are struck-through; additions are underlined.

Track Changes

To add a comment, with your mouse highlight the text on which you’d like to comment. Click “New Comment,” then type your comment.

Add Comment

When you’re done, save your file, record the grade, and send the file back to the student. That’s it!

TabletPC users. On the Review tab, select “Start Inking.”

Start Inking

That produces the “Pens” toolbar. Just write like you normally do.

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3 thoughts on “Electronic Grading: Germ-Free!

  1. Hello,

    I have been reading your blog post titled “Electronic grading: germ free” and wondered if you would be willing to accept a guest blog post or review the eMarking Assistant Microsoft Word addin I have created to help me grade assignments electronically. I would be happy to provide you or your readers with 10 free one year licenses ($40 value each) for the Marking Assistant grading software.

    The following link provides several short video demonstrations of eMarking Assistant.

    The main benefits of using eMarking Assistant are:

    * it integrates into any version of Microsoft Word for Windows to provide a floating toolbar so people do not need to learn a new piece of software
    * it allows the user to quickly build up a bank of reusable comments containing text, images, audio, tables etc
    * you can easily insert these comments into the margin or the body of the assignment
    * you can easily move the commend bank from one computer to another or share it with other teachers
    * you can record audio comments in Word and embed the recording into the assignment
    * you can quickly create detailed analytic rubrics containing your own criteria, performance standards, and weightings for these
    * the automated rubrics respond to function key presses by calculating the weighted mark for each criteria and then totalling these and converting them into a percentage, weighted total, and grade
    * other tools allow you to do a quick plagiarism search for a phrase within Word

    I hope to hear from you soon,
    Kind regards,
    Peter Evans

    Dr Peter Evans
    email: info@eMarkingAssistant.com
    web: http://eMarkingAssistant.com
    Skype: evans-pj

  2. Readers, check out eMarkingAssistant. I recommend going through the tutorial. That will help you determine if it will work for you.

    Peter, thanks for sharing!

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