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4:35pm on Tuesday, 24th March, 2015:



I'm marking assignments this week. They were handed in a week ago on Friday and I have three weeks to mark them, so I have to have them done by a week this Friday. As that's Good Friday, I effectively have only until a week on Thursday.

I only have 20 assignments to mark, but the problem is that they take me 2 hours each. That's longer than some of the students took to write them, based on what I've read so far. I've marked 10 so far, so I should be able to finish on time so long as I don't suddenly get worked dumped on me (I lost 3 hours yesterday because of a 4pm meeting that I was asked to go to at noon). I'll be glad when they're out of the way, all the same.

In previous years when I gave this assignment, I spotted several people making the same mistakes. I put together a file of common responses to common problems, which I then cut-and-pasted from. Fed up with doing this, last year I took the contents of this file and put them in the lectures, so that students wouldn't make the same mistakes as those who went before them. It seems to have worked, too: I'm now having to write new responses to new problems that are specific to individual submissions — and the average mark is looking as if it'll be higher than in previous years as well.

I really should think through the consequences of trying to improve my lectures before recklessly doing so and causing myself more work.

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Copyright © 2015 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).