Grading exam to earn the right to grade (to ensure quality grading and prevent complaints)

Marlies Storm 6 years ago updated by Tenebrent Salven 4 years ago 17 1 duplicate


Too many complaints arrive about homework being graded wrongly. People grade wrongly now because they haven't read the rules. Short homeworks get "good" or  "acceptable" despite meeting all requirements and stating their sources. Plagiarism is missed because sources aren't checked, or because the sources weren't stated. Long homeworks automatically get an Outstanding without even having been read. We've got to do something about this, and the solution to this problem is a grading exam.

This is going to save a lot of work for ATs and teachers, saving a lot of complaints about wrong grading. Students will be more satisfied with the grade they received and the amount of complaints will decrease.

The idea

When the user turns level 3, before they can grade they have to take a short grading exam. In this exam there will be 5-10 (short if possible) homework samples they have to grade. Each example will treat 1 common error, or something that is received as error but actually is none. For example:

  • One assignment in which at least one sentence has been plagiarized.
  • One assignment in which it looks plagiarized but actually isn't (closely paraphrased).
  • One assignment where there has been plagiarized but doesn't state the source it's plagiarized from. 
  • One assignment that is very short, 1-2 sentences, but answers all requirements and so deserves an Outstanding.
  • One assignment that is quite long but doesn't meet all requirements.

And more such relevant situations. 5-10 questions, about 60-80% needs to be correct. Not all questions need to be answered correctly, because the main idea is that people have considered these situations and know how to deal with most of them. Even just having thought about it is going to help the grading system greatly. 

If this idea is going to be taken up, I know I am willing to help out with the questions if needed and I know a lot of ATs and teachers are.

Duplicates 1

I like the idea. :)


Sounds great!
An idea for another assignment could be one with a few grammatical errors or spelling errors. I don't know if people sometimes grade wrong because of that (I am not a teacher and I don't have a student account), but I think it would still be good to put that in the exam too.

Yes, they do... I sometimes spot it and when I was in my first month on the site, I did it myself, so this would be a good exercise too!


That's a great idea! Indeed, people downgrade homework for faulty grammar and spelling when it says in the guidelines you're not supposed to take points for that. Thanks for your addition :D


I forgot to say it here before, 5 questions would be enough in my opinion, and when you finish the quiz, you see what you got wrong, too.

And about grammar errors... site has add on for checking it, one just need to look trough options. :)


That's an excellent idea ! After each "training homework", the grader would receive a tip if he missed it, so it would encourage him reading the rules and the homework more closely. Also, I propose that when a user makes really, really too many grading errors, he has to pass this exam again before he is allowed to grade more ^^

(I'm trying to find the words to express how great I find this idea, I hope you get it)


I really love this idea!


I like the idea! There are sooo many people that only give As ans Gs because they didn't read the rules, and they also don't give any feedback. 

But I also think that people, who grade short homeworks with an E, are absolutely right. Only very creative homeworks should be graded with O. The rules say that, too. 

Don't forget that WoP wants to motivate the people to be more creative. And people are frustrated, because their long, creative, fantastic homeworks  are graded the same as short two-sentence-homeworks. That really is not fair and i think this also needs some changes because it disencourages so much. Homeworks shouldn't be somethink you finish within 2 minutes and where you don't even try to be creative. Homeworks should be a possibility to develop your charakter, be creative, write stories and feel like you really ARE in hogwarts. 


Still nothing? Let's bump it a little ;)


I like this idea, like you are having 5 trial homework with different things to note, where you have to give them the right grade before you can move onto grading real homework. :D


It’s an interesting idea but comes with faults. There are certain things that can be very subjective. Eg I’ve had assignments in the past where it was very hard to tell from the answers if a requirement was met or not, and had to make a judgement. Likewise, when using information from outside sources, people’s opinion may differ on how much info used counts as plagiarism. These things could be very hard to judge and scoring people on them seems unfair. Furthermore, if someone took such a quiz and failed, would this mean they are locked out of grading forever? What if they wanted to improve and try again?

I agree people shouldn’t take the mick with grading but feel that this could end up excluding competent users.

If people really want to prevent one-liners, maybe try one if these instead:

1) Create a minimum character limit on the grading box that prevents submission if the comment is too short.

2) Make it a hard rule that all comments are to be a certain length and that a user has the right to complain if this is not the case. Also punish graders who are culprits of this.


Id say if they didnt pass the test, then they should take it again, by then they hopefully have learned by their mistakes. 

Hi ! I agree with you that sometimes it's really hard to judge whether a requirement has been fulfilled/a part of it was plagiarized or not. But in any case the grader must always justify their point of view and if the homework was indeed tricky to grade, the AT/teacher who might deal with it will be less severe towards the graders if they have written a good comment, explaining why they did or did not take the grade down. And about the grading test, I believe it would be wiser to have only "easy" homeworks to grade, so that if you've read the grading guide with enough attention then you shouldn't have a doubt about what grade to give. I believe this would ensure that we do not discourage new graders, also it would allow one to check if they've understood the most basic grading rules. 

Also I suggest that if they fail one test they just have to take another one ? I don't believe it would be wise to make it a lifelong grading interdiction because a lot of graders would fail it only because they just didn't know there were rules, etc. So maybe if you fail you get automatically redirected to the grading rules page, and then you can take the test again whenever you feel ready. But then it would mean we need a ton of test-homework so that they do not see the same 5 papers they got the grading tips about 20mins ago ? It would also allow us to maybe slide in a test-homework in between to normal-homework once in a while after the grader has passed the test, so we can check if they still remember the rules, and the test-homework not to be recognised by the grader (so they grade it as they would for a normal-homework, I hope I'm clear lol). But that would involve having at least one test homework for, let's say, each year 1 week 1 class, and changing it whenever the requirements change... So in the end it might still be a lot of work for the staff (who I guess would have to write the homework), but might also be worth it if it spares them the time taken to deal with tons of complaints and varied grades caused by graders who just don't know the rules.


Also, the two rules that you have suggested at the end of your post are already rules that exist on WoP. All grading comments must be at least 180 characters long (~2 lines) and it is forbidden to try and bypass that rule, either by adding for example a super long signature that eats up some of the 180 characters, or adding a lot of spaces and other "parasites" characters. And players already have the right to file in a complaint if they receive such a grading because it means the grader didn't abide by the rules and must be punished by the AT or teacher. But then this is another issue : how would we check that the people who graded a test-homework do abide by these rules as well ? Because sometimes a grader can give the right grade but write a comment that isn't right (offensive/completely useless/cheating on the required length)...


Thanks for the info - I think I remember there being a word limit but didn't realise it was that long already so good to know.

I think I just question whether adding such a test is only going to create yet one more barrier for people who would really just like to get on with things and enjoy the site. There are lots of people who grade well right from the start. Another possible issue is the fact of there being enough graders per each piece of homework. With a barrier in place, there is no doubt that some may get put off or never get as far as actual grading; in which case there may be fewer graders overall, meaning grades are slower to get back to the users. Which possibly means more AT work. I guess the question would then be, is there enough improvement in the quality of grading to justify that being the case?

I would agree, but there are people who become ATs that might not pass the test.   Partly because people get caught up on having a name with color, but partly because some of those situations get a little subjective and the sites don't all have the same clarity in their guidelines. Which falls on the MoM/HM to fix.

I like the idea, but I would pair it with clearer guidelines on the grading, and a better handling of the punishment and approval system that is currently in place.