A long day

…but I was determined to get my marking up to date.  I did a fair bit yesterday, but today broke the back of it.  I’ve also emailed the provisional marks out to some students, I’ve printed copies off for others to distribute via their teaching tomorrow, so another early start into the office before my own teaching.

But my energy levels seem to be holding up well, well better than they have for a while anyhow.  I can’t say I’m out of the woods health-wise (I looked and sounded like an old man climbing from Millennium Point back to New Street Station on Friday.

It’s a cliché I know, but I’m sure there are ways to work ‘smarter, not harder’.  One thing that I’ve found useful is ‘batching’ work.  I came across this years ago when I was a programmer, and was making the same changes to the same programs month on month.  My batch method of marking works along these lines.

  • Ensure that the pro-forma or marking sheet is complete and up to date.
  • Put the students name or number on each pro-forma, and save with the file name of the student name/number.
  • Mark the assignment, print off the relevant number of copies of pro-forma (easier said than done I know) .
  • Double check the marks – even with calculators it’s easy to make a mistake.
  • Create the marks spreadsheet if one is needed.
  • Email/distribute the feedback, with the usual caveats to students about provisional mark, subject to internal/external moderation.

Each of these steps has to be carried out for each student, but ‘batching’ the work really does save time.  I did a similar (though different) process with my Open University marking.

Any more ‘batching’ processes people use?

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