Grading can be tiresome, and may seem as though you are shoveling snow while there is a blizzard raging. Staying on top of all the student assignments may seem impossible, but there are some things you can do to lighten the load.
Pace yourself – Do you find yourself staring down Christmas (or Spring) Break with 412,957 full length essays to grade? Set yourself an attainable goal–decide by when you need to have the assignment graded, how many days between now and then, and how many assignments you have to grade each day to get there. If the number still seems huge, break it up–10 in the morning, 10 in the evening. Once you meet your daily goal, stop. Give yourself a break.
Grammar/Spell Check – When grading a big writing assignment, if the turn-in is digital, it may be useful to first put the assignment through an automated grammar and spell check. Or better yet, train your students to do it. Don’t waste your time doing something a computer can do just as effectively. Then, focus your attention on the bigger picture edits and corrections.
Draft responses – Again, this is for digital turn-ins. We all know that you seem to make the same few remarks/corrections for all 25 students in the same class. Open a new document (in MS Office or Google), and type your comments there. Then, when giving detailed student feedback, just copy and paste from your bank of comments, adjusting as necessary.