⌛️ Tips for Grading Efficiently

One of the perks of being a Graider is the ability to manage and create your own work schedule and the freedom to work when it is most convenient for you. When creating your own schedule, it is important to know how long you will be working on each assignment. Each assignment comes with a budgeted amount of time and an estimate of the number of students who will submit work.

What happens when you are consistently spending more time than anticipated? Here are some tips to help you to grade efficiently and effectively so that you can continue to create your own schedule with confidence and complete assignments on time!

  1. Invest time upfront to internalize the learning goals of the assignment. Before you start grading, make sure you understand exactly what was expected of students so you know how to approach your grading. Closely review the prompt and supporting documents. Read any additional instructions from the teacher. Study the rubric to understand the scoring expectations and what language you should use in your feedback.

  2. Use shorthand to take notes. When reading student work, take short notes about what stands out. You can even create a simple key. For example, use a plus sign (+) to indicate Areas of Strength and a delta (Δ) for Areas of Growth. These notes can serve as the basis for specific information and references to the student’s work when you go to write your feedback.

  3. Use sentence starters or a common outline to structure your feedback. While your feedback needs to be personalized and specific to each student, you don't have to reinvent the wheel in the way every time. Craft some common phrases to reuse when introducing or transitioning the elements of your feedback to speed up your work. Be sure to personalize the feedback with quotes/references to each student's individual work.

  4. Time yourself. Set a timer for the max amount of time you can spend on each student. It will be hard at first, but push yourself to enter feedback within the set amount of time.

  5. Trust your gut. Once you truly internalize the rubric you will begin to notice specific rubric components that you keep coming back to; this is a good thing. Don’t overthink it!

  6. Space it out. Get started on your assignment early and grade 3–5 students. This way, you can get ahead of potential questions and we have a chance to review your work and share feedback on how well you are doing so far. This can save you TONS of time. If there is something that needs to be changed in your feedback, it is much better to course correct after five students than receive a revision request for the whole class.