Monday, November 07, 2011

What's making me supremely guilty & anxious right now...

OK, I'm exaggerating... I'm happy, I'm fine, but I have this lingering guilty feeling in the back of my mind, ant the cause is...
... all the grading I haven't done and have yet to do. Last week I graded one batch of papers (except for 3 -- poor students!), but there are TWO more (one that they just submitted yesterday), plus four journals. (for 25 students)

The worst part is that I have this horribly lame -- but true -- excuse. The students submitted their papers online and I want to save paper & correct electronically (using track changes & comments) and including a rubric & the grade.

Problem is... that's exactly what I had to do with all my grading at that horrible torture of an online teaching job (for an affiliate of the really bad, awful, no good University of Phoenix). The "non-job" that I had for 9 nightmarish weeks back in Dec. 08-Feb 09.

Seriously... I have some mild PTSD symptoms related to online grading. Back then, I had 24 hours to respond to postings and 7 days to grade their papers. And I had two groups of 20 or 30 students each, I don't remember now, nor do I want to remember. It took forever, and it consumed my days and made me miserable.

In order to avoid my stress and anxiety just at the mere thought of giving electronic feedback (and now, only NOW I can tell how tough it must have been for my committee members to give me all that feedback on my dissertation. They just had to force themselves to do it. Thing is... a dissertation is quite interesting compared to boring students papers about similar topics) I printed out ALL of the papers myself, stapled the rubrics to them and grade, no problem. But I really wanted to save paper for the next ones, let's see if I'll be able to do it.

This is my plan for next year: I will require students to submit papers online so I can check for plagiarism AND then they will be required to print them out (together with the rubric which I'll give them ahead of time) and submit the hard copy to me. That way I can check the content and grade hard copies, what do you think?

See... grading itself is not the problem (though my procrastination is). I'm VERY used to grading. There was a semester when I was a T.A. when I graded no less than SIX HUNDRED papers (6 journals plus 4 autobiographical papers per student, total of 60 students). I got 2 incompletes (out of 3 classes), but I got the job done! :) But I have a feeling I have to stick to paper and pen to do it, at least for now!

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