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Time-Saving Hacks for Efficient Grading Part 2 : A CTE Workshop Recap

Updated: Jan 25

In October 2020, the CTE ran a panel discussion on time-saving hacks for grading efficiently. Lauren Boasso, Stephanie Gillespie and Kristen Seda shared ways that they have been able to make the most out of their grading time. For those who couldn’t attend the session we're sharing a summary of the discussion in three parts, Part 2 reviews Professor Gillespie's suggestions for using Canvas Rubrics.


A big thank you to our collaborators for sharing their resources and experiences!

As we discussed in the workshop, efficiency and effectiveness do not have to be conflicting concepts. We hope to provide you with some actionable steps you can take to find the balanced approach that will work for you.


You can also visit myCharger to view the recording and presentation slides.


Canvas Rubrics

Considering using a rubric in Canvas? Engineering professor, Stephanie Gillespie, offers tips for creating rubrics in Canvas:

  • Rubrics automatically populate directly under assignment prompts in Canvas, which increases visibility for students.

  • You can create a rubric through the "rubrics" tab or on the assignment page.

  • Rubrics will copy if linked into the assignment and the assignment is copied from one course to another in Canvas!

  • When grading with a rubric, you don't need to provide comments on each criterion unless desired. It should save you time, not make it worse!

  • IMPORTANT! When building the rubric, the criterion cannot be rearranged without deleting and re-creating the row. It’s probably best to build the rubric in another program (like Word or Excel), and then transfer it to Canvas.


She also has suggestions for when it is most beneficial to use a rubric:


See Part 1 of the series for Professor Kristen Seda's sugggestions on how to audio record or screen-cast your feedback. Check out Part 3 of the series for Professor Lauren Boasso's tips for saving time by using QuickMarks in Turnitin.




Other Resources:

Rubistar– This free tool helps instructors create quality rubrics. It guides the generation of rubrics with well-defined step-down criteria.


Minimal marking & grading codes – Nancy Chick, previously of Vanderbilt University and now a Professor at Rollins College, shares these codes with her students, so she can use abbreviations and symbols to give feedback rather than repeatedly writing lengthy comments.


Grading Workshop at Vanderbilt University – This blog post offers more resources on grading homework assignments, problem sets, essays, and more.


Alternative Models:

End-of-semester student self-assessment – This sample assignment asks students to reflect on the work they completed and the feedback they received over the course of the semester and ultimately suggest the grade they believe they deserve. This information is brought to a conference with their instructor as part of a final portfolio assignment. ​


Ungrading​ - Jesse Stommel, co-founder of Digital Pedagogy Lab and instructor at University of Mary Washington, describes ways to “ungrade” by utilizing grade-free zones, self-assessments, process letters and more.


Contract grading (example) – From Ryan Cordell, professor of English at Northeastern University, this is a live example of a grading contract used in Fall 2019.

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