October 11th, 2019

Teachers Give Us Their Best Grading Tips

There is nothing better than getting grading advice from teachers in the thick of it. We held a Twitter chat recently and asked our teacher friends to share their best grading tips, tricks and advice. Following are a few gems of wisdom we mined from the conversation:

Q1: What’s your biggest grading challenge right now?

Chris Cline, an administrator in Washington County, MD, responded:

“Like society and social media, students want instant results and instant gratification. GradeCam allows students to know exactly how they did in almost real-time.”

Students are feedback addicts! And studies have shown that feeding that addiction leads to better learning.


Q2: What’s your favorite grading time-saver?

Charlotte Ihme, a math teacher in Greenville, SC, tweeted:

“I absolutely LOVE using the rubric with capture area feature in GradeCam. As a math teacher, it helps me to be consistent and see students work while I’m grading without having to grade each test by hand! Pair it with F8 and I’m lightning fast!”

Kelly Bettencourt, a teacher at Oakridge High School in El Dorado Hills, CA, responded:

“Loving that feature as a chem teacher too! I can check quickly for things like balanced equations and dimensional analysis like a boss!”

The rubric with capture question type provides space for students to write 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 you can view it and assign points right from your mobile device or desktop. No more lugging home piles of papers!

Want to know how? Check out our step-by-step tutorial.

Q3: What’s your favorite way to provide instant feedback to your students?

Matthew Beal, a physics teacher in Maryland, provided – by far – the most novel and popular idea:

“Immediate feedback through scanning student responses. Thinking about allowing students one free scan in the midst of an assessment before their final submission…Learning is more than just a grade!”


In case you didn’t follow, Matthew has a student scanning station set up in his classroom, where they can go to see their scores instantly once they’re done. Matthew’s thinking about allowing the students to scan and correct their answers, Then, return again for the final scan that will be recorded in the gradebook. GradeCam overrides the previous score, so only the final scan is reported.


Q4: What’s your favorite formative assessment and why?

Kelly Bettencourt, a teacher at Oakridge High School in El Dorado Hills, CA, tweeted:

“Learning Target Quizzes. I’m not only able to quickly gauge what students are getting and not getting, but when done correctly, they can let students demonstrate mastery BEFORE the summative assessment, alleviating test anxiety.”

Amy Kelly, a social studies teacher at Clear Spring High School in Maryland, chimed in:

“Yes! I love doing this with students and giving them an opportunity to show their growth for the summative assessment.”

Providing frequent and immediate feedback has been shown to not only alleviate test anxiety but is a huge factor in creating a more positive classroom culture. Amy maps all those factors out for you here.


Q5: What’s your best grading tip?

Dr. Jennifer Whitney-Emberton, a computer science and technology teacher at Franklin-Simpson Middle School in Franklin, KY, enthusiastically responded:

“USE THE DATA! 🤭That was all caps 🤷🏻‍♀️Best grading tip is to use the numbers to help you grow as an instructor, as much as they are growing in skill. I don’t care if it goes in a gradebook… These numbers are more than a grade, they’re valuable tools.”

Jennifer is very passionate about using data to motivate. You can read all about how she creates “Data Monsters” out of her students here.



To cap off our discussion, Crystal Olszeski, a biology teacher in Maryland, relayed the words of Dr. Justin Tarte:

“If we assign a grade to everything students do, then we send a very loud and clear message to our students; grades matter most and learning/growth are secondary.

Grades alone don’t propel learning forward… actionable feedback and an opportunity for recoverable revision do.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! If you’re ready to put some of these tips into practice, get started with your 60-day free trial today!