Monday, December 12, 2005

I hate grading

Being on a 50/50 load (research and teaching) or as some would refer to it a 50/60/10 load (teaching, research, and service respectively--and yes I'm aware that adds up to more than 100%) would be just fine for me except for one thing: I can't stand grading. I'll do just about anything to avoid it (hanging Christmas lights, reading blogs, even watch a Peanuts holiday special *shudder*).

What's more I don't think I'm alone. I can distinctly recall a class during my graduate years in which the instructor had the rest of the class provide the grades. I wasn't able to attend the grading session but as I understand it, various class members left the room while the rest of the class came up with what grade they should receive. Genius, pure genius I say.

I have a feeling that what we should really do is dispense with grades altogether. What ever happened to criterion referenced evaluation? How about P = I think you should continue on or F = Nope, no thanks, I just finished lunch and I'd like to keep it down.

I think the worst part of this job (listen to me complaining about my dream job) is what I call "grading bleed over." We review grant proposals, we review journal articles, and we review conference presentations. Although I do tend to like the grading scale much better: Accept, Accept w/ revisions, Reject. Who am I to say one paper is an A- and another is a B+? Comments I can handle, feedback I enjoy giving, letter grades? Not so much.