A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education focuses on one math faculty member’s rationale for and experience with paperless grading. This faculty uses a variety of applications to provide feedback to students, depending on the nature of the assignment and the format in which it was originally submitted, including MS Word (track changes/commenting), annotating pdfs and Jing (posting the short feedback videos to Screencast.com). See also some comments by a different Math faculty member about her experiences with digital grading.
A faculty member at Florida Atlantic University describes attempts to teach a writing class in an almost paperless way (the comments on his post are useful, too). Some tips:
- use two monitors to make it easier to view multiple pages/documents at once
- bring a laptop/notebook computer to class to have instant access to all student work
- voice recognition software may make commenting on student papers easier
- use rubrics pasted into the student documents as a way to have their work and the grading scale co-located
- use the learning management system to collect and return work, rather than by email
- use Google Docs for student peer commenting and feedback.
Some down-sides are that students may still print everything they need from class, but this faculty member still estimated that paper use in his class was down 65% in the first attempt.
Check out this list of green teaching options from American University. With categories such as Reducing Paper Use, Saving Energy, Reducing Emissions and more, there is something that will work for any type of class here.