Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Paperless Grading: A Saga

I thought to myself "How hard can it be, to go paperless?  Or at least decrease paper in the classroom?  Easy peasy."

Ha. Hahahah.  Ha.

So, let's go with the pros.  It gives my students way more autonomy and access to materials.  Worksheet with a video embedded?  Yes please.  Neat tools that are super fun to access?  Don't mind if I do.  Interactive rubrics?  With a side of documents to be organized by a neat system.  In theory, I should be streamlined more than a slick shaved swimmer.  In theory.

But there is something to be said about the ticking time bomb that is a hard copy to a thing.  It is much easier to have one physical object to represent a student.  Then it gives you a hard timeline because you want that thing out of of your face.  Without a thing in my face, I find it very difficult to get things done.  What I used to get back to students quickly for feedback can now take up to a month or more.  Occasionally, I will also have multiple assignments pile up on me and that can be entirely overwhelming.It's much more satisfying to decrease a pile than to fill in a spreadsheet.  It became hard to feel like I had accomplished anything.

On the other hand, not having a pile of papers lets me keep my desk and classroom so much less cluttered with extra mess.  Without hard copies of their projects, I don't have student work to put on the walls.  Therefore, I only have nice science posters to post.  Kind of nice and pretty really.

There are also a lot of programs to help expedite the grading process, like Doctopus and Goobric, which are now communicating much better with Google Classroom.  And Google Classroom now communicates with our grading system, School Loop, so now grades (more or less) automatically fill in the gradebook on School Loop from Google Classroom.

While I feel like I'm getting the hang of the system as it exists, there are many modifications I would love to see.  I would love for group projects to be easier to assign, grade and enter.  On the developer side, I would love for the connection between School Loop and Google Classroom to be less glitchy.  On my side of things, I want to make more webquests and autonomous discovery based assignments.  I want to do things faster and better.  So, off to a good start.  I just want things to keep going.
Tweets by @tomatopolish