Thursday, October 08, 2009

Now On to the Small Pile of Grading

So I have finished grading my page for all of the calculus exams, and all the stacks are now in the hands of TAs who are finishing off their pages. Everyone who is grading gets a whole page, which helps make the grading more efficient. If you grade the whole page at once and total the page when you reach the bottom, then you save all the time that would be spent flopping the pile around. Also, since this is Calculus Lite, every problem (or part of a problem) is not particularly in depth. No need to read through every line of work. If it's horribly wrong and features a gross misconception, then it's not really necessary to find every single algebra mistake. If the answer is right and a spot-check of the work looks plausible, then it's probably fine. Somewhere in between? That would be three points. Really can't decide? Then go with two or four.

My freshman seminar turned in their paper topics on Tuesday. Now I need to go through and work on those. As you might expect from freshmen (even though these are honors freshmen), most of their topics are far too broad. Most of their ideas seem to be about the right scope for a book, not for a six-page paper to be completed in the not-so-distant future.

I'm thinking of mixing things up and suggesting that if they don't want to write a standard scholarly six-page paper that instead they could write a short article in a magazine style (I'm thinking a shorter version of the types of things that appear in Harper's or The New Yorker) or a script for a radio-style or podcast-style audio feature.