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How's your marking going?

(75 Posts)
KroplaBeskidu Fri 12-May-17 10:44:39

I'm knee-deep in third year undergraduate essays at the minute and I've got MA essays coming in on Tuesday.

I've deliberately set the assessments for both these modules so that students can be creative and they're actually interesting to read. But, I still find it hard work and hugely frustrating. I find students making the same mistakes time and time again and just not being critical or argumentative enough. I'm social sciences, they need to have an opinion and argue passionately for it.

I'm also astounded every single year at the poor quality of writing, which seems to be getting worse. It's not necessarily a problem with academic writing so much as just writing itself. These are third year, RG students and so many of them have no idea how to use a comma, they start sentences with dependent clauses (I think that's what they're called) and then never finish them and they use completely ridiculous flowery language to make the most simple of points.

OTOH, there are some absolute sterling essays which I love to read.

So, how's your marking going fellow MNers?

anonymice Fri 12-May-17 13:51:59

I have found some plagiarism which we now have to investigate, slowing everything up. Deliberate and calculated plagiarism. But apart from that, 2 modules marked and one to go. Lots of people trying to pass off dependent clauses as whole sentences confused

Deianira Fri 12-May-17 13:54:20

I'm not having fun, which means I am going slowly, which means it's becoming even less fun. It's been a hard semester, and I am tired, which isn't helping - if I'd had a bit of a break I think it would be fine, as quite a lot of what I have so far has been perfectly reasonable (with some weird ones thrown in for amusement). But I am just finding it all a slog.

2nd year coursework and BA dissertations at the moment - exam papers coming shortly. Hoping that the pressure of the latter speeds me up a bit soon!

I agree on the same mistakes - particularly frustrating is when the student had some earlier work for me, I told them not to do x, we discussed how not to do x, and then I find x in the final coursework anyway. And the writing is very haphazard this year - particularly the odd flowery language. On the other hand, my students (I like to think inspired by me hammering it at them every week, but probably it's just by chance) have done very well at developing their own arguments and independent views, which is nice to see them doing!

KroplaBeskidu Fri 12-May-17 14:41:12

anon Eurgh, plagiarism. I identified some a couple of years ago. It was incredibly obvious plagiarism. The panel decided it wasn't plagiarism. Waste of everyone's fucking time and I felt massively undermined.

I don't have any exams to mark, thank god. No scrawly handwriting to decipher.

tatohead Fri 12-May-17 17:22:33

I have a huge pile of long postgrad assignments which are killing me. 200 exams scripts coming in next week. I've already put on weight with me 'one more and I can have a twix' marking incentive scheme.

Why do they only write 'paragraphs' that are either under 10 words or over 700? Nothing in the middle. I run out of breath reading most of it!

anonymice Sat 13-May-17 10:16:02

My plagiarism is only enough to merit a verbal warning apparently. Imo it was pretty blatant. Ho hum. My last module is third year ug and should contain some nice pieces to mark. They worked hard on some underresearched topics!

dimples76 Sun 14-May-17 20:12:32

So far; plagiarism, collusion and falsification of data. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring....!

I totally agree about the quality of the writing in particular missing capital letters, page long paragraphs, v odd use of the passive.

anonymice Wed 17-May-17 13:34:54

has anyone finished? I have SO much marking. Still 18 scripts to go. Ufff. Am very tired now. And I have a paper to finish off by next week - not sure when that's happening. The weekend I suppose sad

Deianira Wed 17-May-17 18:36:58

Barely even started - I've finished one set, but it was the smallest. Exams are still imminent, and I am now well into dissertations. Onwards!

tatohead Wed 17-May-17 21:17:34

Finished my coursework marking. Exam marking won't finish until early July sad

desanto Wed 17-May-17 22:55:32

Just finished my biggest module of coursework essays. Only 22 essays but 7000 words of feedback and too many late nights. Wish someone would run a study to measure how accurately a single paragraph predicts the overall essay mark. Anecdotally, there's something in it. Clearly I'm just fantasising of ways to reduce the pain. Anyone do recorded oral feedback?

desanto Wed 17-May-17 23:03:14

Scratch that. 26 of the fuckers. Time to call it a night before grumpiness skews my distribution.

tatohead Thu 18-May-17 07:03:22

Thought about oral feedback, you can record it on turn it in but I know I'd be forever re-recording it to get the phrasing right

anonymice Thu 18-May-17 09:04:00

We are allowed to do oral feedback at one of the institutions I work for. I wonder if that would be a good idea....
I also had to stop marking because I was too tired. But then I could not switch off so I did not get to sleep till midnight. Humph.

Godstopper Fri 19-May-17 13:29:12

Just finished moderating one large module. I've seen:

- Not even bothering to state the title.
- Abruptly cutting off after approx. half the word limit.
- Lack of paragraphs.
- Attempts to disguise 50% + overruns.

Is this normal (I'm new to proper marking)? Do these people not care about their degree? I'm shocked by the level of writing in some, and it makes my job harder, having to read something about three times in an attempt to decipher what is being said. Our entry requirements are AAB too, so where do these people come from?!

Another batch to come in a week or so. Send wine this way.

anonymice Fri 19-May-17 13:33:53

It's normal. I am nearly finished my batch. I have seen a paragraph that went over a page of A4 just now. Also yes, just stopping because you have run out of words. sad

MiladyThesaurus Fri 19-May-17 20:08:50

I've got 55 3,000 word essays and 15 dissertations.

I've done the dissertations. I totally agree about the standard of writing. The standard of the content is either alright or utterly dire. This is entirely predictable based on whether they've come to see me at any point this semester.

The essays are painful to mark. I've also got loads of plagiarism, a weird collusion thing (one student appears to have copied 5 other students' work for different assessments), shed loads of alternative facts, worryingly judgemental statements, and (most of all) essays that demonstrate absolutely no learning, reading or engagement with the module.

One of the other markers on the module phoned me up earlier today to ask if I and my other colleague had set him up. The stuff he's been marking is so poor that he thought we must have written it ourselves and planted it for him to mark as a practical joke. Sadly, no. It's just that it's an exceptionally poor year group (the mean mark for their first semester module was 34).

I have to keep reminding myself that it is not the quality of the module.

paxillin Fri 19-May-17 20:13:28

My marking? <jumps out of the window>

CocoaLeaves Fri 19-May-17 20:14:38

I have got about eighty exam scripts - colleague off sick. But essays and other exams, dissertations all done. I am fairly tired though, so having more when I thought I was nearly done is not the best thing.

Oral feedback, yes, we have piloted this - students really like it, as it is more personal. But don't do it routinely yet.

CocoaLeaves Fri 19-May-17 20:15:01

By oral, I meant recorded, not face to face.

MineralWater Wed 24-May-17 12:33:56

I'm about a sixth into a stack of Masters assignments. They are absolutely terrible, horrendously terrible. The course has a huge intake of international students whose basic English is diabolical and academic English is almost indecipherable. I've failed about half of those I've marked so far which is only going to create more problems and work for me down the line.

I'm trying to lose a bit of weight but I'm also so incredibly tempted by the "Mars bar after ever 5 scripts" system. I've not given in so far but tomorrow I've got a shit day of bullshit meetings from 10-5 so I'm definitely scoffing some chocolate grin

anonymice Wed 24-May-17 12:36:03

what IELTS level does your University ask for @MineralWater? At my previous insitution they are considering dropping the requirement to a 6!!!! Definitely have a Mars Bar. I have (barring resits) FINISHED my marking and am now writing an MA module. Humph.

tatohead Wed 24-May-17 12:36:05

I'm really struggling with marking and dieting. Worst time to diet ever. And I have my period. Sucks.

We have issues with international students too, and under increasing pressure to drop the IELT level to increase student numbers confused

MineralWater Wed 24-May-17 12:40:14

Our IELTS was increased to 7 a couple of years ago but we have discretion and it seems like this is used to its fullest.

I think it'll likely drop again as the university is aiming for 40% international students by 2025.

tato Period and marking definitely means chocolate!

anonymice Wed 24-May-17 12:44:31

Mars Bars all round. Level 6 is sooo not high enough is it sad

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