5 Tips to Grading WebAssign Free Response Questions

Open response questions (or free response questions) can be a valuable tool for helping you understand your students’ critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. They present a challenge to professors in grading, especially when there are large classes. These time-saving tips will help you grade your assignments efficiently, even though many questions in WebAssign can be automatically graded.

1. Create a Rubric
As a guide to grading questions that are not answered, create a rubric. This will make it easier to grade student assignments quickly and ensure consistency in your grading across all students’ responses. Your rubric should include instructions on how long each student’s response should be, as well as what information should be included in each answer. This will help students to understand the expectations. Make sure to give the rubric to students so they understand how their answers will be evaluated.

2. Show my Work to help students elaborate on answers
What is your goal when using free response questions? Show My Work is a great way to get to know your students and make grading easier. Show My Work is enabled in your question settings. Students are presented with an answer box that allows them to articulate their work using mathematical notation, or by uploading a photo or document.
Show My Work requires can be set up to automatically assign a point value to students’ submissions in order to save time when grading them. You can edit or delete points from student submissions if you feel their answer is not complete. For Show My Work answers, a rubric is also helpful. Remember that Show My Work answers will automatically give students a score, but you can easily modify it if it doesn’t meet the rubric criteria.
Tip from WebAssign: Show My Work allows you to respond with feedback to students’ responses. Keep a record of all your responses to give personalized feedback. You can then easily copy and paste similar errors.

3. Grade Responses in Bulk
Save time by grading all of your students’ answers to an assignment in one go. Go to your assignment scores and select Grade All. This will populate all scores for your assignment, and even hide the names of your students. Next, you will use your rubric to score each response. If you don’t have the time to grade them all, you can save it and come back later.

4. Ask a Teaching Assistant for Grade Work
If you have a TA, grade free WebAssign response questions. Discuss with your TA the criteria for a good answer to a free question. Make sure they have access your WebAssign course. They can then use the grade answers button for evaluation.

5. Graduating before the due date
You can grade students’ open response answers before the assignment due dates, even if Show My Work is used. If you have extra time or want to get ahead, you can start grading open answers through the scores page while students are working on their assignment. This will give you less work to grade after the due deadline.
You might also consider encouraging students to submit work early by using bonus points in WebAssign. This will help you get ahead in grading.
While free response questions can be a great way to get to know your students’ thinking, they can be difficult to grade. These tips will help you save time when grading free WebAssign response assignments.

Need more information on WebAssign grading? To learn more about WebAssign gradebook, watch our webinar. You will see how to use the WebAssign ScoreView to analyze student progress, and sync your WebAssign grades to your Learning Management System.

Author: Victoria