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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler Too much time spent grading homework in a college course

  • Too much time spent grading homework in a college course

    Posted by Xianwei Van Harpen on November 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Hi all!

    I am struggling with how to use homework in the college setting given that my students are going to be teachers of young children. (So this is a different course from course such as college algebra for STEM majors.)

    I teach two math content courses to elementary/middle school pre-service teachers. The grading takes 2 hours per 5 problems for 30 students. I don’t think many of them actually read my feedback. This semester I am allowing revision after the first grading. Many students read my comments but the grading time is way too much. As a result, I don’t have enough time to think about how to best teach my next lesson. 

    Two weeks ago I started checking homework for completion in class and then have students work in pairs to explain a problem to the rest of the class. That seem to work well. But that takes half of my in-class time (75 minutes total), which means that I will only have half of my class time for new problem solving.

    Does anyone have similar situations where students have the need to get feedback on homework but they also need time in class problem solving?



    Mary Manske replied 3 years, 4 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Jon

    November 25, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Hi there Xianwei, 

    It sounds like your struggle is that grading is taking too much time and you also think it’s not being used effectively. Do I have that right? 

    Feedback is important for students to know how they’re progressing on the learning goals of the course. Feedback is important so that students can learn how to improve. So can you provide that feedback to students so they know where they stand and what to do next in other formats? 

    For me, I give a lot of feedback on the fly when students are working through problems in class at their vertical whiteboards. This allows me to grade less. I know where my students are (my past self would only know this after grading papers) and my students know where they stand. 

    I also give shorter more frequent paper based assessments which limits time grading. 

    What does your learning time look like? How can you adjust it so that you give more feedback on the fly? 

  • Mary Manske

    November 25, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    I don’t know what your homework looks like, but would it be possible to have students give each other feedback. You could do that as part of their homework (every other night or something?) or use a shorter period of time in class and have students trade papers, give each other feedback and then submit that to you for review. I also spot check homework, so I may check the best question and I may check the worst one, but they know I’ll have eyes on something.