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How to grade students online in non-core classes during COVID-19

Even though many students will partake in remote learning this year, the curriculum hasn’t fundamentally changed. That means non-core classes such as music, art, and gym will still be taught and graded accordingly.

However, many teachers ask how they can grade students’ assignments for classes that require a physical presence.

In this article, we’ll cover some tips for how to grade non-core classes online, as well as some success stories from teachers who have used these methods.

How to grade physical education and performance online

Courses like physical education (P.E.), dance, and drama are perhaps the most affected by the shift to remote learning.

Previously, a teacher could watch the students participate in physical activity and grade them based on their involvement, skill, and ability to complete challenges. Now, students and instructors are communicating virtually from their living rooms.

Teaching and grading students online in physical courses might sound complicated, but some solutions can be effective. Here are some ideas on how teachers can maintain a quality curriculum and still abide by social distancing rules:

  • Recorded sessions: Students can record their workouts, dance routines, or skits and submit them to an online platform for evaluation. Keep in mind students under 18 will need parental consent to post their images online.
  • Live-stream classes: Instructors can host live activity sessions, such as weight training, stretching, and yoga, where students can join via video. Live sessions like this also work for improv classes and dance instruction.
  • Utilize technology: Students can track their activity through a smartphone or pedometer. Instructors can ask students to submit screenshots of their daily activity online to follow their physical achievements, like step counters, stair climbing, heart rate, etc.
  • Require a witness: A parent or guardian must sign off on more heavily weighted assessments like final dance routines, activity logs, performances etc., to prove that the student has done the work.

These tips also apply to those looking for how to grade music classes online!

There are many ways to incorporate technology into your physical education and performance-based classes. Using a grading tool or grading app like Crowdmark helps streamline the submission process and gives students a way to participate with a basic smartphone and internet connection.

A teacher helping a student with an art project

How to grade an art class online

Access to art supplies is a privilege that many children or young adults may never experience. Art supplies are expensive. Requiring them for online learning could prove to be a heavy burden for some students or families.

While some teachers have taken it upon themselves to supply their students with essential art supplies, others have found more creative ways to stay inclusive.

Christine Doherty, an elementary school teacher, recognized that technology could play a massive part in her online art classes. To reach all 540 of her students, she created a YouTube channel, where she posts instructional art videos, lectures, and even storytelling.

Another teacher Hollie Reilly has been teaching her students how to make art using essential household items. Her students have made art from toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, and other pantry supplies.

When grading online, she has her students submit their pieces’ images and grades them based on creativity and resourcefulness. For 3D projects, like sculptures, students could also offer a video of their work for assessment.

In addition to giving participation points and grading creativity, teachers can add a written component or video presentation to these assignments to gauge the students’ level of comprehension. Along with each physical art piece, have students write or speak a paragraph on what they learned, what their art represents, and why they chose a particular medium.

Student studying at a computer

How to grade a test online using a grading tool or grading app

Grading a test online is less complicated than it seems, mainly if you utilize resources like grading tools or grading apps. If your institution uses Canvas for online testing, adding a grading app into your workflow is painless.

Crowdmark is compatible with a range of online testing and project platforms, making it simple for instructors to access their students’ work all in one place. A platform like Crowdmark is essential for instructors who have multiple classes or a large student base.

Using the Crowdmark website, students can upload their exams or final projects with their smartphone and submit them from anywhere at any time. Instructors can then grade the assignment online, automatically calculate the student’s score, and send meaningful feedback.

Crowdmark’s grading interface allows instructors to provide rich feedback with graphical annotations, hypertext comments and mathematical notations. The analytic software also tracks each student’s successes, providing the instructor with a quick overview of which students need assistance.

If you’re an instructor facing the change of remote learning and are trying to simplify or enhance your students’ grading process, consider adding a grading app like Crowdmark to your arsenal.