Sunday, November 29, 2015

Should We Grade Blind or with Students’ Names?

In a recent article, David Gooblar addresses a familiar question: Should we grade students blind or should we know their names? Does knowing student names affect our objectivity? The limited empirical research gives mixed responses. Gooblar favors nonanonymous grading:

If I were to grade blind, I wouldn’t be able to chart a student’s progress throughout the term, from one assignment to another, nor would I be able to tailor my grading to the specific skills each student is working on. . . .

For me, at least, grading is as much a tool for pedagogy as it is a tool of assessment. Each assignment is an opportunity for student learning, and our personalized feedback is a crucial part of that opportunity. We should strive to grade as fairly and as objectively as possible. But to make sure we do that wisely as well, we need to keep our eyes open. Otherwise, we might lose sight of the fact that we are still teachers when we grade, and the authors of the papers are still our students.

I agree. I have found that while 1Ls often worry about nonanonymous grading, upper level students don’t really care. You can read more here.


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