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The end of term is approaching and courseworks are starting to flood in. The poor students who have put hours into their assignments assume that we are sadistic and want to spoil their fun by giving them essays, tests and presentations. They forget that we then have to read and mark 100+ essays. At least they only have to write one! ; )
Marking is a time when you really see how a student (or a class) is getting on and whether they really understand the material. It’s also a chance to give individual feedback and help them improve.
We try to vary the assessments we use because essays are not everyone’s strongest point. Last week involved marking of a short test and checking the marking of an on-line test (computers always do what they’re told and never what you want them to do!). I always forget how many incorrect spellings there can be and a computer will only accept the ones you’ve told it to accept. There is an argument whether an incorrect spelling should get any marks, but that’s a different issue.
This week it’s marking of essays and next week posters and presentations. Then we’re into exam week. A couple of weeks ago I finished my lectures in one module and the students were then due to have a test so I wished them “Good hard work!” As I explained to them, I don’t believe in luck, so it’s no use saying “Good luck with your exams”. But I do believe that hard work works wonders, and hence my odd farewell. By the way, for those of you taking prelims, I hope they go well and I wish you Good Hard Work also!
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