Yes. There are many benefits to student grading!
Students get immediate feedback when they grade their own work.
They take ownership of their progress, or lack thereof.
Students are able to ask questions and get clarification, right away.
When the teacher does the grading, most students look only at their score when papers are returned to them. However, when students grade their own work, they compare their answer to the correct one, see their mistakes, and have an opportunity to ask questions.
As the teacher fields questions, it’s easy to see where there are common areas of confusion. This provides an immediate opportunity for reteaching or intervention. Ultimately, student grading also shortens the time between the student’s first exposure to the material and reviewing the material. As you can see, student grading has a lot of benefits for everyone concerned.
Worried about students cheating?
Spot check a few papers each week. Confront students immediately and follow up for a few days. Don’t let a few poorly-graded papers keep you from using this time-saving approach.
When students grade their own work, they compare their answer to the correct one, see their mistakes, and have an opportunity to ask questions.
Set expectations for grading and follow through.
Students in my class must use red pen and only mark incorrect answers. Starring correct answers, crossing out incorrect responses, and making marks of ANY kind are never permitted. These rules keep the paper clear of visual clutter and prevent students from obscuring answers that may, or may not, have been correct.
Students record their score as a certain amount of points over the total. This method puts the focus on the number correct. For example +26/32.
When students ask, “What’s my grade?” I show them how to divide the number correct by the total number possible to get a percentage score. For example 26 divided by 32 = 81%.
Another approach is to have students work in pairs to correct their completed homework before handing it in. They learn from each other, make changes, and hand in their best effort. This approach to grading is even simpler. Once the work has been handed in, award a small number of points for timely completion.
Will there be problems with students grading their own work? Sure.
There are always grading problems, even if the teacher grades each and every paper. Students, parents, and even administrators may second guess a grading procedure, no matter how well-established or carefully explained. Don’t let the biases of others keep you from using strategies that help students and ultimately save instructional time.
The key to success is:
1. Explaining the importance of self-evaluation to parents and students.
2. Establishing standard grading procedures and enforcing strict adherence.
3. Taking time to respond to questions about grading as soon as they come up.
Not sure if this is a good approach for your classroom? Start by grading one less set of papers a day. You’ll be amazed how liberating it is!
Need a quick grading rubric? Check out Teacher Planet’s rubrics like the one below for all grades and subjects, or you can generate your own.