Looking for a faster, better way to grade student work?

Woman using a computer

Gradescope is a rubric-based grading tool for fully online or paper-based assignments that makes grading fast and fair, and it can help grade sections of questions or an entire exam. Many UIC instructors have used Gradescope since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and many more have adopted this tool since the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE) implemented a UIC-wide license in 2020. In 2021, 670 courses are using Gradescope, with over 16,000 students submitting assignments to Gradescope this fall.

Yeow Siow, a clinical assistant professor in the College of Engineering, surveyed his students and found that 98% of them liked using Gradescope to submit assignments and get feedback. Students can easily navigate to Gradescope via Blackboard, and everything is done within Gradescope itself (uploading, grading, regrading requests, etc.)

Graph shows 74.5% of users gave Gradscope an excellent rating.

Why would instructors use Gradescope if they can create tests with rubrics in Blackboard?

Besides the fact that students like using Gradescope, there are two powerful reasons to consider using it:

  1. Consistency assisted by the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence.
    • As Siow suggested, Gradescope AI is strong and can recognize solutions and group them automatically so that it assigns the same score.
  2. A workflow that increases efficiency by creating a digital record of student work.
    • Martina Bode, a clinical professor and director of calculus in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said she was able to find consistency among a large number of TAs using the grading rubrics in Gradescope.

Besides the benefit of grading faster and more consistently, instructors can also increase the quality of their grading by asking questions that are pedagogically more effective for assessing student learning rather than when they have to take more time to grade assessments.

“When instructors can do grading fast and efficiently, it changes which questions you actually ask,” said Chris Kanish, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, during a UIC panel about Gradescope. On top of that, “Gradescope is extra user-friendly,” Kanish added.

Gradescope is designed for the purpose of grading, providing superior flexibility, and it has the potential to be a game-changer. Instructors will not go back to grading on paper and their TAs will love it too and never look back.


Are you interested in using Gradescope?

Look at the Tutorials section in the Gradescope page of the CATE website to access short video demonstrations to get you started. You can also join the next available workshop with Gradescope.

Contact the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE) at LTS@uic.edu if you have any questions about Gradescope or any other EdTech tool.

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