To: Teaching assistants marking courses for Dr. Grundke
Please observe the following guidelines for marking in any of my courses:
Find the web page for the relevant course. Typically the URL will be http://www.cs.dal.ca/~grundke/XXXX where XXXX is the course number (eg. 3171, 2121, etc.). Look for the Course Desscription and Regulations page, which gives general course guidelines for the students. Read these for background information on the course. The file also includes the weekly schedule for lab and assignment submissions and marking deadlines.
Look for the Master Schedule (typically http://www.cs.dal.ca/~grundke/XXXX/sched.html) which includes links to the labs and assignmentsl In case there is more than one teaching assistant (TA) the table indicates who will be doing the marking for each lab or assignment.
Most of the processing of assignments will be done using NCA. Browse the online information about NCA, including the FAQ page. You should have an NCA account with TA privileges; let me know if you cannot log in.
After each assignment deadline, a sample solution will appear on the NCA site. This may include a marking scheme. If you may need to develop a marking scheme, use the following general suggestions:
For programming exercises, put roughly equal value on syntax, semantics and style.
For non-programming exercises, give some points for using a reasonable method and some points for getting right numerical answers, if applicable. In algebraic exercises, students must define any variables, state their assumptions, and explain their reasoning. Just slapping down a bit of algebra or a numeric answer should not get them many points, even if the final answer happens to be correct.
Plan to report your grades using the Dalhousie letter grade scale. Assignments will contain open-ended questions that allow you to assess whether a student has the extra-ordinary mastery of the topic to warrant giving an A grade.
Go to NCA to retrieve the labs or assignments to mark. This option is called "Get an assignment for marking". Evaluate the student work according to your grading scheme.
Select NCA's option "Submit a grade report" to report each student's grade. (Hint: I usually open two browser windows, one for reading student submissions and one for reporting grades.)
In the "Grade" field select that mark according to your marking scheme, expressed as a letter grade.
In the comments field, give further details as suggested by the field contents. Include comments to indicate why marks were lost. Students should always be able to see clearly how the grade could have been improved.
Try to grade as consistently as you can. It is important to have a justifiable marking scheme (see above), but it is even more important to give consistent marks from one student to the next. If necessary, keep a record of marking decisions as you proceed (half value for this kind of approach, etc.).
Please keep a record of common student errors, misperceptions, etc., and email me these as soon as possible. I will post them as additional comments on the sample solution.
For courses with labs or tutorials, please see me to plan your role there. This is intended to aid the students further and provide you with some teaching experience.
Finally, if you have any questions about your work as a TA, please come to my office or send me a note by email.