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Trevor Hedberg

If you administer assessments through Canvas, Blackboard, or some other online system, there are usually ways to design certain assessments (or portions of assessments) to be auto-graded by the system. Granted, not all instructors may be fans of multiple choice questions, true/false questions, matching sections, fill-in-the-blank questions, etc., but in certain contexts, these questions can give you some useful insights about what students know. That's especially true if you're good at writing distractors -- wrong answers that sound plausible to those who aren't super familiar with the material. For large classes, auto-graded assessments can save a LOT of time, and they can be given fairly frequently without burying you in additional work.


I do use peer grading. I have the grade sheet identify very specifically what I'm looking for--i.e. if I've asked them to identify the conclusion, I write down a few different ways it might be expressed that would get full credit, a few different ways that would get half credit, etc. Grading each other's work in this way is also useful to them, I think. If someone objects to or has questions about how their peer assessed them, they can bring their work and the assessment to me, of course.

So far I've never actually *used* the grades assigned by their peers to count towards their ultimate grade in the class. I make this known, which among other things allows them to be properly critical of each other's work (but hopefully not too critical). In my experience students love opportunities to get feedback on their work in this kind of low stakes way.

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