Exam corrections

I’ve just finished correcting the last exam script of summer 2012.  No more corrections until August, yipee. That said, I don’t really mind correcting the semester exams, unlike most of my colleagues. One reason is that I see it as a form of feedback, if pretty shocking sometimes!

Oh joy

It’s probably true that correcting maths or physics exams is somewhat easier than fighting your way through hundreds of poorly-written essays. (I suspect it’s also less depressing – I often think the standard of literacy amongst our students is more worrying than their lack of mathematical ability). By the time I have corrected the first ten physics scripts of any course, I have usually committed every possible answer to memory, so the job goes quite quickly. Also,  I like a task that has a definite beginning, middle and end with room for targets and treats along the way…

In our college, exam scripts are corrected by name and the students sometimes campaign for anonymous marking. Little do they know that from a teacher’s perspective, it’s much harder to fail a person than a number, particularly if you know that student made a decent effort during the semester. Indeed, a great deal of correction time goes into trying to trying to find a few extra marks for the borderliners; if anything, I would expect pass marks to drop if anonymous marking was introduced.

The main downside of examinations is the administration. Combining exam results with attendance and continuous assessment marks, and getting the totals to the department in time for the course board meetings is no trivial task if one is teaching several different courses . Worse, there are always one or two students who seem to have appeared out of nowhere, with an ensuing search for their educational record and assessment results.

By the end of this week, the innumerable departmental meetings will be over, and we will be ready to meet the externs next week. After all that, the results become official and I will finally, finally get back to research…


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2 responses to “Exam corrections

  1. Pingback: Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » Those exam corrections

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