One of the most important jobs a lecturer has to do is to mark their students’ work and give constructive feedback to help them improve. Many academics dislike marking but there are ways to make this part of the job enjoyable too and that mostly involves improving your time management techniques.
I don’t think most lecturers hate marking for its own sake, although if you do fall into this category, let me know! Actually, I think the problem is having to mark 50 identical essays in a very short period of time, with no time to give each student the time and attention they deserve. Because of the increase in class sizes and Staff-Student ratios, when it comes to marking, it is very difficult to enjoy the job because it is so intense.
So, my advice to you is, just like students don’t leave everything to the last minute! Your institution will have certain expectations about how quickly you ought to mark students’ work, based on students’ comments in the National Student Survey. If you have a centralised coursework system, you might face delays in receiving the essays to mark too, so pressure is put on you from elsewhere. But that means you have to double your efforts to be as efficient and diligent as possible.
This time of year students are feeling the pressure with deadlines mounting up, but that means that lecturers are facing the same pressures too. If you feel that your work is getting on top of you this time of year, planning and prioritising is the key. Don’t allow yourself to get swamped with tasks, break them down into bite size chunks and steadily work through them. And if that still doesn’t work, just remind yourself, there’s only 3 or 4 weeks till the Christmas break!
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