October 10th, 2018

6 Ways English Teachers Can Make Grading Easier

Gone are the days of English Language Arts (ELA) assessments including only spelling drills, grammar, and penmanship. Teachers are now required to help students reach a distinct set of standards and use tools like formative assessments and gathering student data to help equip them for success. GradeCam is an online easy grader that can help teachers quickly score and record common assessment types in the English Language Arts classrooms.


The Essential Role of ELA Teachers

ELA skills are essential to each student’s success, not only in graduating but also in leading a successful life after school. Almost every job description lists “excellent written and oral communication skills” as an asset required for viable candidates.

“The longer I have taught English Language Arts — 28 years now — the more I have come to understand that what we do is not trivial or incidental; it is essential.” - Dana H. Maloney , chair of the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing Advisory Committee and English teacher at Tenafly High School in New Jersey (via this article)

Turning the Abstract Into Student Data

Teaching skills essential for life-long success is no easy task. Students need to demonstrate their understanding of complicated concepts and mastery of the English language through long-form writing, short answer and oral presentations.

Though GradeCam can’t take on the arduous task of reviewing and evaluating student essays (yet!), we can take away the burden of recording scores and gathering data from assessments.

“My class hinges on the abstract, and the abstract can be hard to measure in terms of learned knowledge. With GradeCam, I have found a way to make formative assessments quick, pain-free, and authentic.” - Randy Norman , 9th Grade Literature teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer (via this post)

Six Features for ELA Teachers

Here are six features that make grading English or language arts assessments easier for teachers:


1. Rubric with Capture Questions

We’ve upped the ante with a more powerful solution to grading with rubrics. Now ELA teachers can use our Rubric with Capture question type that provides space for students to write out short answers up to ten lines long, directly on the scan sheet.

GradeCam can then digitally capture and incorporate an image of the handwriting onto the answer sheet so teachers can view it and assign points right from their mobile device or desktop. No more lugging home piles of papers!

2. Fill In the Blank Questions

The fill in the blank question type is a game changer. GradeCam is now able to scan and score handwritten numeric answers with remarkable accuracy. No bubbles required!

That’s right, GradeCam can read students’ handwriting. The answer can be English words and phrases up to 30 characters including letters, numbers, periods and hyphens. This opens up a world of possibilities for short-answer questions.

3. Written Assignments

Embed GradeCam forms on lined paper for written work and then simply bubble in student scores for easy scanning and automatic grade recording.

4. Observational Assessments

The new observational assessments are an ELA teachers’ best friend when grading presentations, performance-based assessments or making observations for an entire class. Teachers don’t have to print out separate forms for each student!

The entire class roster is on the left and then on the top are the skills being evaluated. Based on the rubric, teachers can write in a student’s numbered score for each skill across the row.

Once teachers are finished writing in the scores, they only have to scan once! GradeCam will read the teacher’s handwriting and assign points to each student.

Learn More: How to create observational assessments in GradeCam Go!


5. Credit/ No Credit

Teachers can place GradeCam forms anywhere (i.e. journal covers, homework folders) to quickly and easily allocate points. The credit form type is especially handy for when giving a set amount of points for completed homework assignments.

Simply scan this form and the student instantly receives full credit for the assignment. If the form isn’t scanned, the student does not receive points.

6. Oral Assessments

For quick, in-class formative assessments, ask students questions on the fly and have them bubble in their answers on reusable laminated forms. Once complete, teachers can walk around the room and scan forms with a phone or tablet for instant results.

Get Started Now!

If you’re an ELA teacher (or any other type of teacher for that matter), we know GradeCam will help make your grading life easier and quicker. Sign up for a free account below!