Matthew Aiello-Lammens Ecologist at Work

Does e-grading lead to less student engagement with feedback?

For one of my courses this semester I’m using Blackboard Grade Center to have students submit their assignments and for me to assess them. I actually prefer to assess/correct assignments with old-fashioned pen and paper; I think it’s a bit quicker. But every semester I’m faced with a pile of correcting, whether electronic or physical, I try to start by using e-grading. One thing I’m noticing is that my students don’t necessarily seem too engaged with my feedback I’ve provided through the Grade Center. Admittedly, it’s a bit clunky. They have to download a pdf and click on my comment bubbles. It’s entirely possible that I’m misusing this Blackboard feature, after all, I’m pretty new to it. Nevertheless, I’m left wondering if handing back a physical copy of an assignment, with my ink on it, results in the students who wouldn’t necessarily bother downloading the pdf having a look at what I had to say about there answers.