Advisers learn grading options at Academy

Written by Sarah Scott

Yearbook can be a difficult class to grade. It’s not always easy to measure, and assigning grades are an area where advisers sometimes struggle.

Renee Burke, MJE, of Boone High School in Orlando, explained her methods during a Wednesday morning session at Walsworth’s Adviser Academy. She recommends creating grading packets. This is something that can be shared with editors, so they know what to look for. These packets are updated every year.

She shares the major deadlines with students and parents in May. Workdays are already set, so they know not to plan anything else that day.

Burke shared the sheets she uses to plan spreads. These help plan coverage, photos and secondary coverage options. These sheets are then used to determine grades.

The spread planner lays out exactly what is expected from each student and what they’ll be graded on. It helps track the changes each student makes throughout the editing process – by section editors, the editor-in-chief, copy editors and, finally, the adviser.

Fellow students’ evaluations of each spread contribute to the final grade. Burke has students and their parents sign an agreement at the beginning of the year acknowledging that there will be some peer grading.

Deadlines are a huge part of grading. Burke assigns 100 points to the final deadline and it’s all or nothing. If a student fails to meet the deadline, they lose all of those points.

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Sarah Scott
Sarah Scott

Sarah Scott is a content writer for Walsworth, specializing in blog posts, eBooks and case studies for the web. She’s been writing most of her life, and previously worked as a radio journalist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.