The curious case of the reluctance to grade

gradedpaperMore faculty than ever are interested in taking advantage of the digital submission capability of their learning management system. It provides them easier access to student work with a minimum of administration time.  In order to use digital submission, in both BlackBoard and Canvas, you must assign a point value to the assignment.  However, there seems to be a curious reluctance on the part of faculty to create a point value and give a score to students.

These faculty are more than willing to spend time looking at the students ‘ work and even give written feedback.  They  are also experienced enough to know that the bright object that catches the student eye is a grade. It is a real motivator.  Why then the reluctance to assign a score?

At least one professor avowed that these are low stakes assignments and he did not want to put any additional “pressure” on students by assigning a grade.

It’s possible that faculty think that, because they spent time looking at and responding to student work that the student already understands that the work is important. A precise grade is not necessary.

Is the general unwillingness to assign a cold hard number due to the teacher’s  uncertainty about what they want the student to get from the assignment?

Lastly, is there is just the faintest breath of fear of student negative reaction as a possible motivation?

As the usefulness of digital submission continues to increase in importance, how can these questions be asked in a way that generates an honest discussion?

Announcing Teacher Education Video Series Premiere and Faculty Spotlight Video

In early November 2012, Professor Nancy Lory stopped by CELT to request assistance with a potential video project having to do with the Teacher Education program at Keene State and the neighboring Marlborough Elementary School. About a week later, the project was underway, led by Dr. Lory and CELT’s resident Rich Media Specialist Ivy Roberts. Video production took place and interviews were conducted over the next few months.

Keene State College Apprentice Teachers took FlipVideo cameras into the Marlborough School classrooms and, while teaching lessons and managing play time, recorded their experiences to share it with a larger audience.

The project website was launched in December, and video post-production began in January 2013. Continue reading “Announcing Teacher Education Video Series Premiere and Faculty Spotlight Video”

Screencast-o-matic Screen Recorder

What is this and what is it good for?

Screencast-o-Matic is a web based service that allows you to create and host screen casts online. What, you might be asking, is a screen cast?! What a wonderful question. A screen cast captures your computer desktop as a video, and allows you to capture additional audio as voice over. “Huh?” If you’ve ever watched a video of computer screen with someone giving directions to you at the same time, you’ve seen a screen cast. Screencast-o-Matic is a free tool that allows you to record a 15 minute screen cast, and publish it online. Continue reading “Screencast-o-matic Screen Recorder”