Those who’ve been at my workshops will have heard me rage against the over-use of essays as an assessment device. I often say ‘we can’t mark them fairly’. Or ‘we tend to reward waffling and wordsmithing rather than depth of thought’ and so on. More important, except for exam essays, do we really know who did them? ‘Whodunit?’ is a real problem in coursework essays. Don’t blame the students – it’s our fault for using a dodgy assessment format!
And they take for ever to mark (let alone all the time to write them). It’s like the bear hunt – we can’t go over them, we can’t go under them, we’ve just got to go right through them!
I’ve tried to put some of my thoughts into words in my last two books, and am revisiting these thoughts in the forthcoming editions of these, and attach these thoughts here, in case they are helpful to you – especially if the bane of your life is marking essays (or indeed writing them!). Essays (1467 downloads)