Thursday, December 14, 2006
Dan Solove has a hilarious post over at Concurring Opinions on his tried and true grading method. I don't want to take anything away from Dan's scientific turn on a classic pedagogical tool, but I do feel compelled to reveal my system in the picture at the right. I believe this has a number of benefits over the Solove method:
1. It is more rigorous in that the dartboard will give a separate score for each answer on an exam.
2. The dartboard is movable, so one can grade in pleasant surroundings, as opposed to an abandoned stairwell. Indeed, with a well-placed table at Starbucks or the local pub, grading takes on a certain ambience. It also ameliorates the professor's particular subjectivity because any number of people are able to participate in the grading.
3. The system is more transparent to students. The dartboard hangs in my office. (Indeed, I just snapped a picture of it with my cell phone.) So there's no issue about fairness. There was some question at Wake Forest (where I purchased it) when it was simply a dartboard, so I have inscribed "Lipshaw's Handy Grading System" to make the purpose of the device completely clear (it is difficult to see in this picture).
4. We don't have the ambiguities of the paper hanging over the edge of a step. Any dart that lands on a line is averaged according to the adjacent spaces.
5. The system can be adjusted mathematically to account for any number of points on a particular answer.
This grading was NOT endorsed by the faculty or administration of the Wake Forest School of Law.