1. Teacher Life

How to Increase Your Efficiency Grading Papers

Your passion for teaching might run out when you start grading papers. Grading can be tedious and takes a long time to complete. Grading is even more difficult and challenging when you had high expectations for your students and they are falling short.

When grading, it can be easy to be distracted. Playing a game on your phone, aimlessly scrolling through social media, reading a book, or calling your friends are all things that might seem more interesting. Getting distracted slows you down and makes grading even more stressful.

Increasing your efficiency when grading papers may increase your motivation as well. Here are some ways to increase your efficiency when grading papers:

Draft reviews

One way to make grading easier for yourself is to set intermittent deadlines for draft reviews. Students would need to write a draft and then share it with a classmate who would review it. Following the review, students need to rewrite the draft while implementing the suggestions made by their peers.

Doing this two or three times between assigning the paper and submission date will ensure most errors are ironed out and work quality is of a higher standard. This means you are better able to focus on grading the content and format rather than language and grammar errors. It also means the assignments are easier to read and flow better since they have been checked before.

Free up your hands

While you may only need one hand to hold your pen while grading, you need both hands to flip pages on multi-page assignments. Furthermore, having both hands free increases your focus and you are able to work faster.

If you want to call a friend or listen to music or audiobooks while grading, getting a Cisco earpiece can allow you to do this while keeping your hands free. 

A headset allows you the freedom to use your phone without the distraction of a screen since all the buttons you need are on the headset itself. This freedom can increase your grading efficiency even when you’re having a long conversation with your best friend.

Preparation is important

When setting up a question paper or essay topic, set up the answer key or grading guidelines at the same time. Setting up the grading standards early on can help you inform your students better with regards to what you are looking for, and make the grading easier. It also means the grading process is already taken care of and all you need to do is read and assign a score.

If you did not set up the question, design a grading guide when you see the question paper for the first time. You can call on others to help you if it is not your paper. Make grading even easier by making part of the paper a multiple choice with fixed answer key. You can use a specialized overlay to highlight correct answers on submitted papers.

Be comfortable and systematic

Find a quiet, pleasant place to do your grading. A peaceful environment can keep your mind relaxed and eliminates distractions. When there is no stress, clutter, or distraction, you are better able to focus and more efficient in your work.

To further speed up the grading process (and eliminate bias), you can grade one section at a time. Grading one section at a time keeps you focused, and if you are grading a quiz, you might even memorize the answers. 

For papers where you can’t grade section-by-section, look for other ways of separating parts of the paper. Record the grades as you complete each paper to save you even more time in the end.