Astoundingly it’s here again already. The second semester’s second batch of marks is coming in. It’s particularly fraught for final year students who are waiting for those final marks that may determine the class of their degree if they’re currently borderline.
The majority are relieved and delighted. A few are disappointed and may even be angry.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been able to send out a message to two groups - one whose work I marked and another whose marking I monitored and moderated – that they had all passed and those who got lower marks only did so because they had missed something out. The work was essentially good or at least had promise.
We give detailed feedback with many annotations. We award a verbal grade for each of eight criteria and then calculate a numerical grade from that. We write general comments and say what is working well, what is working less well and what might be done to improve. It takes between half an hour and an hour to mark a script, depending on the size of assignment and quality. It takes more time if there is more to say.
We encourage students to read and consider their feedback carefully and then come and talk to us about anything that is not clear. A face to face meeting or even a phone call with both student and tutor looking at the script helps enormously.
The first 48 hours can be the worse.
It will be graduation soon. Caps and gown and happy students and parents – not to forget the lecturers.