Timeliness of grading, a new stressor


Screenshot of Powerschool app with no grades listed for the class one month into the semester.

Grades are a common stressor for most high school students and teachers. However, in this new online learning environment, the stress and anxiety behind grades have increased.

The lack of communication within the online learning realm has pushed teachers to utilize grades for encouragement. This has drastically changed the grading dynamic within assignment submissions.

“I’m just afraid kids won’t do it [work]… because kids are out [of class] they won’t do it unless it’s a graded assignment,” said Scott Zevin, a science teacher at AHS.

Zevin shares a common fear among teachers that if assignments aren’t graded, students will not complete them. Leading to teachers grading more assignments to boost work completion.

“I think it has been much harder,” Zevin said in response to whether grading has become more difficult. Zevin continued, “A key with grading is also providing meaningful feedback, and this has been very difficult for me in the virtual world. Comments on a google doc rarely are reviewed by students, and if the assignments were traditional paper and pencil, I find I would leave more notations for students to review.”

AHS has a policy in place for teachers that requires assignments to be put into Powerschool no later than two weeks after the assignment was turned in. However, many students are frustrated with the lack of adherence to this policy. Carson Miller, a sophomore at AHS, feels teachers have not been timely in their grading process, which creates stress for students.

“This year, this first semester, they [teachers] were definitely behind on grading,” Miller said, “For me, if I get a grade back on a paper or an assignment and they want me to revise any work, but it’s graded so far in the future, [and] I’m not even learning that topic anymore I don’t want to revise it,” Miller said.

These concerns are fueled by a lack of communication from both teachers and students.

“My biggest struggle is making sure students communicate when they have turned in late assignments,” Zevin said.

Abby Romero, a sophomore at Aspen Highschool, feels she is unable to express her worries and frustrations about grading timeliness to her teachers.

“I feel like if I were to ask [teachers] to grade faster, it would come off in an accusatory tone,” Romero said.

Miscommunication between teachers and students on new grading practices, and timeliness has caused lots of stress for many. Romero continued as to whether teachers replied to her emails promptly.

“No, a lot don’t respond to my emails very fast. Moving forward, I hope there can be more communication with my teachers on their grading practices and timeliness to help limit stress for all,” Romero said.