Oh, Deb...

First let's talk ethical issues.  To have an undergraduate grade the work
of his peers is just wrong.  That puts the student grader in a horrible
position of being subject to peer pressure or favoritism.  Also,
undergraduate students are not trained and don't have the education to
grade and determine points and where students in the class are having trouble.

Second, this should not be coming out of your budget.  How is grading
papers providing academic support for anyone but the instructor who is too
lazy to grade his own work.

Third, if the instructor is so unwilling to do this part of his job, what
other parts of his job is he not doing or shoving off on other
people?  Also, how can he accurately judge how well the material has been
taught and received if he is not grading the papers.  My husband is a math
teacher and he can tell from homework, exactly where students start to get
lost, what kind of errors they make that are computation and others that
are procedural.

I have been very fortunate in that I was in a similar situation in that an
instructor wanted to send his entire class to the center for their tests so
that he wouldn't have to use class (his time to lecture) for a test.  Also,
he wouldn't have to proctor it.  I have a wonderful dean who sat on his
head and clearly explained that teaching is not just instruction, but
assessment as well and this is part of his contract.  If he's not willing
to fulfill that part of his contract, he needed to start looking for
employment elsewhere.

Hang in there, make the issue with the dean, not one of convenience for the
instructor, but one of quality for the students and contractual obligations
to the college.

Good Luck,

   At 04:40 PM 1/23/01 -0500, Debbie Bailin wrote:
>Hi! I've been a dedicated lurker on this list, just soaking up all the good
>info, but now I need some specific advice/information.  Do any of you who
>have math tutorial centers ever hire undergraduate students to grade the
>homework of their peers?  A member of our math dept. insists that it is
>common practice in math to have undergrads grade the homework for the
>freshman level math classes, and he convinced the Academic Dean that this
>should be funded through my tutoring budget last semester(when the dean was
>brand new), but the subject is up for consideration again for this semester.
>There's a lot of history behind this that I won't go into because it would
>make this message way too long, but this math professor and I have had a
>running disagreement for years about whether or not it's okay to have
>undergraduate tutors grade the homework of peers. This year he abandoned the
>pretense of having the tutors just tutor and actually wanted me to hire a
>student as a grader. I refused, he went to the dean, and the dean sided with
>him while assuring me that the issue would be "revisited".
>So, (sorry for the length!) I'm really looking for ammo to take to the dean
>proving that it is NOT common practice to have undergraduate graders for
>freshman math classes.
>Thanks in advance for your input!
>Debra Bailin, Director of Student Academic Development
>Lyndon State College
>Lyndonville, VT 05851
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