grading gratification


Grading is not an enjoyable aspect of teaching. Am gutting my way through the last of the web pages I need to finish grading for tomorrow, and came across one students post on web standards:

[...] at the same time they must know the rules to break the rules.

That's really the point, but so many of my students seem to miss it. It's gratifying to see it appear on a student blog.


Most people tend to miss that.

Kudos to the student.

But grading essays is simple. You put the ones printed on white paper in one pile, the ones on anything nonwhite (bone, textured, decorated, pink, etc. I'm talking from the perspective of a design college) in another group.

The you flip a coin. Heads you fail all the white ones and pass the others. Tails you fail the nonwhite ones.

And anything that can't be categorized gets a distinction for being distinct.

Alternatively you can simply pass anybody who hasn't paid their tuition (keep 'em going until they pay) and fail anybody who has paid (got their money, make room for other cattle now).

"...they must know the rules to break the rules."

I don't know about that ;) I've always thought that one of the quickest ways to learn a new rule is to (inadvertently) break it and suffer the consequences ;)

Point in case: the first time one of my students fails an assignment they are forced to see how they didn't follow the rules. What's interesting to me is what they then choose to do with their next assignment... (although I still haven't figured out why some students repeatedly *ignore* the rules, and not through any attempt to rearticulate or subvert the rules!)

Ah, the joys of teaching and evaluation ;)

Hi again, Liz,
there are many different viewpoints on webpage design. The main thing is that the students should choose one set of rules, documenting/justifying what they are doing and go for consistency on that set of rules.

BTW: The english language version of my rulebook is at

Stu Savory

I'm glad so many of you agree with my rules comment. One thing that I have learned from so many of the great teachers that have touched my life is rules exist for a reason (prevent chaos) and that you must learn the rules before you break them. Picasso didn�t start right into the cubist period when he started painting. He painted portraits, still lives, and landscapes. He eventually developed his own style and movement after he was established enough to break the rules. Art like technology all depends on the individual who is creating the code/art. Whither you code in Javascript, C++, html, or xhtml; you have to learn the foundations to warrant being on the cutting edge. This is especially important when it comes to justifying that ones opinion is more important than others. Many can read the books, walk the walk, but can�t talk the talk. Take myself for example, I am not blessed at math, I have never had a great ability to code. I like to think that I could if I truly applied myself I would be but in all honesty I don�t think fast enough or have the patience. So being that I�m not exceptionally good at the basics I would never justify attempting to break the rules and whining when it didn�t work. I understand that its very important to some people, (standards that is) but you have to understand there is more to life then html 4.0, xhtml or xml; somewhere out there is someone more qualified than yourselves to make the correct decisions about standards. So I say to people truly upset over standards to just take it easy. At the rate technology moves its not worth getting your heart rates up over. Life is to short to squabble over something that will be obsolete by the time I finish the entry. I mean the current technological advances have been quite miraculous. Compared to art it would be like going from cubism to pop art in less than a year. Where it took several decades (1930-1980). Consider yourselves lucky to even have such an amazing advancing technology that you can grow with and love as passionately as you do your husbands and wives. I say to the people out there who are reading book after book as we speak trying to make sure they are on the cutting edge of coding to put the damn books down, turn the monitors off, step out side your domiciles and enjoy life for a few hours. I understand its your job (for many of you to be number one) but even Picasso went out had a few drinks and made new friends with other artists, women (inspirations), and societal figures (patrons). When the time came he was all business again but he was a man who could live life outside of the studio. Because if you don�t understand people, life, and all that is out there to see everything your working for means nothing when you can�t relate to the people your making it for. Everybody can learn a little from art, eventually you get to a point where it becomes stagnant, then what do you do with yourselves?

(On a side note I didn�t even know that I was quoted here on Liz�s blog, so this entry is rather late considering. I hope I can stimulate more conversation for all of you in the future� Thanks! EvanS)

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This page contains a single entry published on January 27, 2003 8:43 PM.

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