I’ve been grading. Last year I was frustrated at how much time we spent on grading at the end of the semester, when it wasn’t going to help the students learn at all. Now I know that that’s called summative assessment and that what I wanted was formative assessment, assessment that actually helps students improve. So this year, students are handing in short essays that are being graded as we go. I realise this is pretty standard in much of the world, but it’s very weird for Norwegian universities. When I was a student you were left completely to yourself all semester, apart from the lectures in huge auditoriums, and then you had two week or eight hour exams at the end of each year. Yes, very old-fashioned pedagogy. I liked the independence of it, though.

For this assignment I asked the students to write 600 word textual analyses (readings) of websites, where they were to define and answer a clearly stated question. They’ve done great jobs! The assignment details and descriptions of grading criteria are available as a PDF, and the work was posted in the students’ weblogs, with trackbacks to the main weblog for the course.

The students kept asking me to show them examples of readings of websites. I couldn’t find them many. At least now we have a collection here.

2 thoughts on “grading website analyses

  1. Espen

    When I was a student you could be left all alone for three semesters at a time. It was called “udelt mellomfag” (undivided major). So instead of nine to twelve exams, like my current uni is practicing, you could have only (a big) one. Of course, you could also hand in your unsupervised Dr Philos dissertation, and get a tenured job without ever taking a standard exam.

    Working in the factory it all became is much safer and nicer, of course.

  2. Jill

    You mean I could have skipped all those exams!? What a pity – I never realised I didn’t need first year uni to get a Doctor Philos… 🙂

    I did like being able to work at my own pace. After university here, I hated the grade school feel of Stavanger College, where everything seemed so slow. We were led by the hand, tiny groups, attendence expected. Hm, perhaps I’ll speed up my teaching.

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