Spring Beta: The End of Unit One

My course is broken into 6 units of roughly 2-3 weeks each, so we’re solidly past the end of Unit One now and I’m finding myself getting into the groove of grading. I’m teaching two sections, each with 24 students in them, on top of my full time job and single parenting – so grading is a considerable chunk of time that I have to plan for very carefully. That’s something that hasn’t changed with the new LMS.

Typically my grading life cycle looks like this: I download a student’s essay, use Word to track changes and make comments on it, attach a rubric to the end of it, fill out the rubric, assign a grade according to the rubric, and then return the essay.

I’m finding that’s not changing in D2L. There is, I believe, a feature that would allow me to download all the papers at once and return them in a batch, which might make my job easier. I’m not sure, because I haven’t used it yet. I find myself hesitant to download a batch of essays, some of which I might not get to immediately (I typically grade in groups of 5 or 10), and have them just sitting on my computer somewhere. What if I want to grade from a different laptop? I’d just have to download them all over again. Additionally, I usually change the filename of the files after I’ve graded them to the student’s last name, making it easier for me to return them. However, if you change the filename, D2L can’t auto-return the essay. My question is – how does it know which “ENG1302WA1” is which? That’s the filename of at least a dozen of my students’ essays. And I guess that’s a question for the folks at Brightspace.

Above all, though, I find myself unwilling to change a process that I know works for me – and I think that’s okay. Some processes have changed, like the way I grade my discussion posts, but other processes are just fine how they are, regardless of what learning management system we’re using. I think one of our primary goals this year as we migrate over will be to establish within ourselves which processes need updating, and which processes will withstand the move as-is. After all, you know what they say about fixing something that’s not broken: don’t.

Permanent link to this article: http://sites.tamuc.edu/innovations/spring-beta-the-end-of-unit-one/

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