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Additional Grading Hints

Grading Exams with Multiple Sections (i.e. lab courses)

  1. Have students write their ID number and the name of their lab TA on the scantron.
  2. Have each TA sort their class’s scantrons by version
  3. Scan scantrons by version
  4. Open files in spreadsheet program and make ID corrections, etc. as appropriate.
  5. Score.
  6. Make histogram for entire class. Note the Mean and Standard Deviation.
  7. Post histogram, scores (by version, the .scn files), and statistics.
  8. TAs need:
    1. Scantrons returned to them
    2. Copy of answer keys
    3. Combined statistics for all sections
    4. Copy of the .sls file so they can find their students’ scores.

Suggestions and reminders:

  • Confer with the class professor regarding his/her exam writing and grading policies.
  • If administering more than one version of the exam, do not color code the cover sheet since it makes it easier for the students to cheat.
  • Tell students you will deduct 2 points for incorrect information filled in on the scantron (with the professor’s permission). This will motivate students to fill in their ID numbers correctly.
  • When administering the exam, instruct students that they may hand in their exams until 5 minutes before the end. At 5 minutes, instruct all students to remain in their seats. Collect all the scantrons at the end of the rows. Do not have students turn in their scantrons at the front of the classroom at this time. Hopefully, these measures will prevent cheating when handing in scantrons.
  • Make sure the answer keys for scanning are filled in properly. You don’t want to have to rescore them (this is suggested by someone who had to do just that).
  • Check your text files in a spreadsheet program such as Excel for obvious mistakes such as incorrect ID numbers and missing answers. The Scantron machine is very accurate, but does make mistakes. Looking for and correcting those mistakes early on will be invaluable in grading, especially if you have to regrade the exam for some reason (see the previous suggestion for a real-life example).
  • Be sure to save your files in the TEXT format.
  • ID numbers for extension students can be a nightmare. These students do not have regular ID numbers and often use social security numbers or other numbers on their scantrons. This is one reason why you need to keep track of the odd ID numbers that don’t show on your class roster.
  • If a student changes his or her name or becomes a naturalized citizen during the course of the quarter, the registrar’s office will issue a new ID number to that student. The registrar’s office doesn’t tell anyone what they have done, so the student will be using the old number on exams and the registrar’s office will have the new number on the class roster. This is yet another reason why you should keep track of unidentified ID numbers.
  • If the department offers two sections of the same course within a quarter, have two different people keep track of all of the grades for one of the two classes. Because of the large number of students to keep track of, and their propensity to alternate sections, it is too much for one person to handle.

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