A Philosopher’s Key To Grading Papers Quickly

Nick Byrd, a philosophy PhD student at Florida State University, has created a shorthand that he uses for commenting on his students’ papers. He describes it as having the virtues of the “grading shortcuts” method advocated by Rebecca Schuman and the more extensive approach advocated by Marcus Arvan.

The idea of such a method, which Byrd describes in a post at his blog, isn’t new, but it is helpful to have a version of it that has been created with philosophy papers in mind.

Thanks, Nick.

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7 years ago

Great, but WC is self-applicable since its’ abbreviation is terrible. Although the alternative – C(hoice) Of W(ords) – would still have the same flaw 🙂

Nick Byrd
7 years ago

Thanks for sharing this, Justin!

I’m happy to hear what other people use and think about ideas for improving my methods. E.g., Reddit’s u/cdb3492 mentions, “The effect here is magnified if you develop a shorthand that works with your assignment rubrics. The point of a rubric should be to help students see the criteria on which they are being evaluated. Lots of teachers disregard their rubric language when grading, which is not effectively harnessing the work they have already done.”

5 years ago

One thing I’ve learned from reading a book on grading student writing: just as we want students to speak authentically, and to show respect and empathy for the reader, it’s great when these qualities can come across in our responses to student writing. It’s valuable to show that we care about what students have to say, and that they are not yet another student amenable to a canned response. That might be a form of emotional labor you cannot afford to give. Many of us are in a precarious situation with an excessive teaching load. But if you can show this level of care, I suspect it can make a huge difference to your students. Perhaps there is some middle ground between writing personalized comments and leaving marks that require a key to be deciphered. Just my two cents.