Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thoughts from Grading Jail

I need better self-discipline about grading. I used to have better self-discipline, but I've lost some of it. I need to get it back.


In any given semester, I end up teaching at least three people (usually students, occasionally another faculty member) some basic computer skill.

For example, someone will send out a computer file that we're all supposed to read, naming it "important.stf," or something like that. And then they'll resend it when someone else responds and says they can't open the file. (Maybe Macs don't have this problem?)

Then there's the "tab" function, or changing justification/margins, footnotes.

I wonder how people learn this stuff? In Japan, according to one of my students, there's a high school class that teaches people basic living skills, including computer skills. (The class sounds great, too. Tool use, basic electronics, cooking, for all. But I've still been teaching my students some basic stuff about computers.)

I don't know how to solve the problem of computer knowledge gaps, but I do know that all of these students can text message, work an ipod, and program a dvd player to do the dishes. And I can't do any of those things.

I also totally lack self-discipline about grading. Did I mention that before?


  1. I wish my DVD player would do my dishes.

    I'm glad I don't grade papers. I would just give everybody "A"'s so I didn't have to feel bad about giving people bad grades, and that probably wouldn't be helpful.

  2. I am continually amazed by my students' lack of computer skills, and the advent of the new version of Word has made everything so much worse. I think if I have to tell them one more time not to send me .docx files, I shall scream.

  3. We all procrastinate about something - and grading is one of those items that is right up there with dictations, or editing previously written manuscripts...(*uncomfortable swallow*)

    Hang in there!


  4. MWAK, You need an 18 year old to program it for you!

    Porpentine, I forgot about the whole docx thing! (We aren't using the newer Word here, and at school the computer changes it over. And my home comp has the add on to change it over.) Ugh! I'm glad I haven't had to worry about it.

    Artemis, LOL, I am the queen of manuscript procrastination, too!

  5. There's a thingy you can download from Microsoft's website that will let you open Word 2007 files with Word 2003 or earlier. FYI.