Hello - when I grade the first forum in this course, I often receive several emails. The following is a consolidated response to students:
First, I will just clarify that I use the grades to get students’ attention and to ‘encourage’ them to pay a just a bit more attention and to participate a bit more. Considering the several emails I have received this morning from you and others, it worked!
This can be considered an example of assessment for learning as opposed to assessment of learning. I consider this to be formative assessment and feedback as I am giving everyone several comments to explain my rationale behind the grade. The grade itself is merely a tool to get your attention.
For more significant grading efforts, I am often very concerned to give advice and to offer to review work before it is submitted, and will return submitted work with an extended deadline if I feel that the student has misunderstood the expectations of the assignment.
In every case, I generally hope to see comments on several other students work – e.g., 4 or 5 or more. I find that when you comment on more of your peers’ work, they will then reciprocate and want to come and read your work.
I have also found that the best value for students is in responding to questions on their own post. This is why it is imperative to attract more people to your own post by commenting on their posts. If you get answers to your questions, that is great. However, I also encourage students to ask questions that will challenge the other students rather than questions that you actually want an answer to. You will learn more by focusing your attention on reviewing other people’s perspectives on your work (answering their questions) rather than your perspective on their work (reading their answers).