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Strategies For Using Technology When Grading Problem Based Classes

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

IE and the Classroom

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1100.1 - 15.1100.6



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Paper Authors

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Susan Murray Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Ruwen Qin Missouri University of Sceinece and Technology

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Ivan Guardiola Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Abhijit Gosavi Missouri University of Science and Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Strategies for Using Technology when Grading Problem-Based Classes

Abstract More and more work is being done today using technology. Email and digital drop boxes are useful tools for professors; however the challenge comes when one is teaching a quantitative class. The issue of using technology to manage work in a quantitative class is increasing as more engineering programs embrace distance education. In this paper we will review the advantages and disadvantages of several methods of collecting, grading, and returning homework assignments to students. The techniques considered include faxing, PDF grading using a Wacom Tablet, and various email approaches. Student survey results are also included in the paper.


Many instructors consider grading as a necessary evil. Winger4 discusses the importance of grading and how regardless of any lofty educational goals we may espouse that our grading practices truly reveal what we value. Graded homework is an opportunity to provide feedback to students as they are just learning material. It is an opportunity to correct misconceptions or a lack of understanding, often with less impact on a student’s grade (see Scriffiny3).

For the instructor, however, grading homework can feel like drudgery. It is required to not only mark the work, but to record it and return it to students. Technology provides instructors with different methods of grading and returning homework. Some instructors have incorporated technology to be more “green” by eliminating the requirement to print homework on paper. Other instructors have adopted technology out of necessity to communicate with remote distance education students.

In this paper the authors will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various technologies to grade and return feedback to students. Each of the authors has a different approach and has taught classes that have a combination of on-campus and remote off-campus students. We also present the results of a student survey discussing their preferences.


An anonymous online survey was sent to a group of students from one authors’ classes. These students were towards the end of their MS degree class work and had taken classes from a variety of professors who used varying approaches to grading homework. The class instructor used course management software for the classes. We received 22 responses, 14 were distance students and 8 were on campus students. The gender of the respondents was 8 males, 16 females, and 2 who did not disclose. The rate of female students is higher than the typical make-up of our

Murray, S., & Qin, R., & Guardiola, I., & Gosavi, A. (2010, June), Strategies For Using Technology When Grading Problem Based Classes Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16630

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