Digital Learning & Digital Grading

Is digital learning changing teaching? Or, perhaps more appropriately phrased, in what ways is digital learning changing teaching? The core of good teaching may be immutable, but that leaves a lot of room for innovation. Here’s a rundown on one expert’s opinion regarding six ways digital learning is changing teaching. Most intriguing for me? This:

“. . . we’re seeing a general shift from didactic instruction to more interactive learning experiences. With growing adoption of adaptive tools, leveled tasks, learning apps, and flipped classrooms, more students are doing more asynchronous and self-directed learning.  This means teachers are doing less delivery and more curriculum architecture, [serving as] advisors as well as instructors.”

I’m not sure instructors are doing less delivery with digital learning; after all, who is providing the content and context for those leveled tasks, learning apps, and simulations? But it is true that embracing some of these digital tools can dramatically change the ways in which content delivery happens. I think that’s promising and exciting.

Now on to something that – on the face of it – is less exciting for many of us: grading (cue the gloomy music. . .). Here’s a blog post by a professor who has moved to having his students submit nearly all their work online. Perhaps you are thinking,”that won’t work for me, I teach math / science / statistics / biology / economics / etc.” and my students have problem sets and calculations to submit. This professor? He teaches calculus. His argument is that going digital saves time, saves money and resources, and saves him from suspiciously missing and misplaced submissions. He details how he adds comments to Word and PDF files (accounting for versions and Mac/PC differences), and even how he records short, individualized videos for feedback on student work.

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