Gradescope: A Grading Game-Changer

Posted on: November 8, 2023

JMU has a new grading tool, and Professor Klebert Feitosa knows first-hand what a difference it can make. 

Gradescope can help you grade exams and assignments more efficiently and with more consistency across students and sections. You can use Gradescope with digital work or with handwritten work that students scan or photograph and then upload.  

Let’s hear from Professor Feitosa, who has been using Gradescope to grade both homework and exams for about six years!

Can you share a specific example of how Gradescope has improved your grading process or made it more efficient in your classes? 

“The great benefit is doing away with paper. Being able to access and grade students’ assignments wherever I am is a big plus. Gradescope makes grading more efficient and clearer because it forces me, the instructor, to develop a rubric, which I have not done in the past. Applying the same rubric items to all students with the same grading standard makes the grading fairer to all as well.” 

How has Gradescope helped enhance the feedback and communication between you and your students compared to traditional grading methods? 

“I like the fact that students get the results of their homework/exams as soon as it is published. This means that they will not miss it even if they miss class the day after the grades are posted. In addition, being able to see the rubric helps students better understand the items they need improvement. The regrade request feature was also transformative. Not every student feels comfortable asking the instructor to review the grading. However, students are much more likely to do so if they see the rubric item and can request a review without having to come to the instructor face to face. Finally, having a written record of answers, rubric and regrade request easily accessible in the cloud is very helpful for the purposes of reviewing the assignment and studying for the final exam.” 

Could you describe any innovative ways you’ve used Gradescope features to design assessments or assignments that were not possible with traditional grading methods? 

“Gradescope did not so much change the design of my assignments as much as the grading process itself. I do not need to worry about students attempting to cheat by changing the answer after the grading is done since their solution is uploaded in the cloud. Also, students are free to upload the solution in any way they want. For example, several of my students simply take and upload a picture of the solution they worked on in a white board. Others submit electronic files of solutions they have worked on their tablets.” 

In your experience, what were the initial challenges or learning curve for adopting Gradescope, and how did you overcome them? 

“I found Gradescope very easy to use and very intuitive. There is really no learning curve except for deciding ahead of time which possible features you plan to use such as negative/positive scoring, AI grading of multiple-choice or simple text questions, etc.” 

What advice or tips would you offer to other faculty members who are considering using Gradescope for the first time to make their transition smoother and more effective? 

“I would suggest observing how a colleague uses Gradescope. It also may help to ‘borrow’ rubric items from colleagues until one gets some practice writing them.” 

Visit the JMU Libraries website to get started with Gradescope and learn more! 

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