As a TA, you’re generally going to be grading a lot of assignments per semester (or quarter).Grading, though a perpetually thorny issue, is important and it is a big part of teaching at the university level.
This will help you determine the general level of performance and tweak your rubric/grading guide if required.
Skimming is especially important for essays or more complex work, as it will save you time from having to go back and readjust your grading scale.
Whichever method you choose, make sure your students have a good understanding of what you’re going to be grading for.
Don’t rely on students consulting the syllabus or course website, even if the expectations are discussed extensively there.
Mark one section or aspect at a time Marking one section at a time does not only help eliminate bias, it is also much, much faster than grading one paper at a time.
It keeps you focused on one topic and if you’re “lucky” and grading a drill/quiz type of assignment, then you can even memorize the answers, which will naturally increase speed.And while it’s oftentimes hard to keep up, it doesn’t have to be the gruesome, draining thing that makes teaching all-consuming.Whether you’re grading assignments, essays, lab reports, or exams, there are some general strategies that can help you save time AND ensure that you’re being fair towards your students. Preparing for Grading Remember that grading starts well before you actually sit down with your pen (or laptop).Remember not to accuse your student of anything before running it by your supervisor.Avoid over-marking Rather, provide just enough feedback.There is only one thing I have to work on if I take it somewhere and I don’t get distracted as much as a result.I favor places without wifi for obvious reasons and if I need to look something up, I just use the 3G on my phone. During the Grading Process If you’ve prepared properly, you’ve already done half the work by the time you get to the marking itself.Now you’re thinking, how does that work for an essay or research paper?When you can’t grade one section at a time, grade one aspect at a time.Prepare an answer key or grading guide in advance The key/guide is really worth the time and fuss—I had to learn this the hard way.If your course instructor provides you with a rubric, consider yourself lucky (even if you don’t agree with all the details).