You know how a fair number of the young folks you see on campus are looking at their phones at any given time? What are they looking at?
I mean, I can check facebook, and my email, but all the folks I'm likely to text work (except my Mother, but she keeps plenty busy) and don't text me unless there's something up.
So I asked my students while we were waiting for the class hour to begin. A few mentioned texts or facebook messenger, and email. But weirdly, several of them were looking at our on line course management system, looking for grades. One said they'd turned in a paper the week before break, but still hadn't received a grade on it. And that was like opening the spigot, because pretty much all of them said they were having similar experiences.
So, in a big course, papers, it can take more than two weeks (and certainly an instructor may actually have taken a break over break). But the number of students who talked, in those few minutes, about their frustrations with not getting graded stuff back, or not getting feedback, was pretty high, and each person who came in as we were talking, quickly chimed in.
Now, let's take these with a grain of salt. One student who complained about not getting anything back in a first year writing course acknowledged that she'd received extensive feedback on her work, just not actual grades. It turns out she got an A in the course. I don't know what the feedback looked like, but usually when I give feedback on an A paper, I write things about the smart ideas, good organization, strong thesis, overall high quality, and then maybe make a suggestion about how to tweak one thing to make it even stronger. And the student said that others in the course got grades.
So, I don't know. It seems weird that the student didn't ask the teacher, doesn't it?
On the other hand, it also seems weird not to give students feedback that includes a grade unless you're using a portfolio system, in which case your feedback includes revision suggestions and opportunities, probably.
Do you folks post grades on a course management system? (I don't.)
How long do you think is okay to take to grade and return a short essay assignment (under, say, 5 pages)? (I aim for one week, but sometimes take two.)
Do you give feedback without grades? (I'm sure you have a good reason. Please share.)