[M.M.X.I.V. 77] Comment degeneration

Whenever I do grading of assignments, I like to leave comments on the papers, so that students might be able to see where they erred, or if they did something especially well.  I have blogged about some of my comments in the past, such as “Algebra error,” “oops!” “I don’t understand what you did here,” and other comments like that.

However, for final exams, the students are unlikely to see it.  Therefore, although I really do want to write comments on the exams, many students likely do not care about their specific performance at this point… only the grade.

Therefore, although I started putting comments on the final exams, as I continued in the process, I streamlined it.  The unhelpful-to-the-students circling, X’ing out, slashes, scribbles, arrows, negative numbers, and tick marks without words were what I degenerated to in order to speed up the grading.  I still did leave comments from time to time, but mostly as a note to myself when deciding the types of errors to penalize (and for how many points).

The way I see it, if there are students who want to look at their exams, my explanation in words, face-to-face, may be more instructive than what I can write on a sheet of paper.

However, there were a couple of exams which made the following claim (partially translated into words):

The divergence of the vector field F=<2x, 3y> is 2+3 = 6.

The divergence was correctly computed, but obviously, the last time I checked, two plus three equals five!  It must have been the “last problem stupid mistake” mindset, and although everything else was correct and I didn’t penalize them for it (maybe I should have!) I drew a face sticking its tongue out.

(This should have posted earlier in the day, but I must have forgotten to hit the “Publish” button.)


Today is the seventy-seventh day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes eleven weeks.


2 thoughts on “[M.M.X.I.V. 77] Comment degeneration

  1. I love this, Noah; it has got great energy, is both funny and thoughtful – and it links very well to some of the things being said on here about the art of commenting!


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