We’re more than 365 days away from truly putting this year’s final assignments behind us, and sometimes it can be disheartening to provide detailed feedback while suspecting most students look at just the mark. If we ask for hard-copy final reports in Week 11, that can mean a pile of stored assignments with hand-written comments which only the dust mites see. The eventually shredded documents can trigger pangs of regret for having spent precious time on unappreciated labour.
One approach some instructors have taken is to provide just general comments in the D2L dropbox, or a grade accompanied by an invitation to students to ask for more detailed feedback, if they need it. If you worry about having evidence for a later appeal of files graded online, you could create general categories (such as “expression,” “structure,” “layout”) in GradeMark to drag and drop.
If you have the time or the inclination to provide comments, then you might want to consider tips from seasoned professors. Last year I posted a link to a helpful article for streamlining grading. This year, The Chronicle of Higher Education offers tips from history professor, Kevin Gannon, Director of the Center For Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Some of us already use some of his techniques, such as giving oral feedback, using rubrics, and copy/pasting common errors. For those who don’t, his explanations provide a rationale for using the strategies he recommends.