Building KU's Teaching and Learning Community

Making Grading Easier in Large Classes, Without Multiple Choice

Lisa Sharpe Elles, Fall 2018

Lisa demoed an online grading program (Gradescope) that she has recently started to use for her large lecture classes (2 sections of 200 students). While open-ended questions still do need to be graded by the instructor (and will still be time-consuming!), Gradescope makes the process of organizing exams, getting grades back to students, and splitting work among multiple instructors/TAs much more convenient. Exams are easily scanned into an electronic file and uploaded to Gradescope.

From there, names/IDs are digitized automatically to keep separate exam files organized. Rubrics can be created, used, and then updated automatically; for example, if the instructor decides to give all students a point back for one specific part of an open-ended question, the rubric can be updated once, changing all exam scores automatically. Students receive grades back through Gradescope, where they will always have access to their old exams to study (instead of accidentally losing a paper copy)!

Plus, splitting grading work among TAs using Gradescope means no heavy boxes of physical exams to pass back and forth, no finding a time to have all TAs sit in a room together to grade, and more consistent grading (only looking at one question at a time). Lisa mentioned that she is currently running Gradescope as a free trial (one year), but that she thinks that, if other instructors were also interested in using the software (it seemed like a lot of the demo participants were), it might be worthwhile to try to get KU to subscribe to the program.

This program might even be useful for creating archives of student work. Gradescope stores work and grades automatically, unless they are deleted, which means that students could have a place to store all work and see improvements over the course of their college careers.




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