Show My Work Grading Strategies

For Show My Work to be effective, your students must know that their work will — or at least might — be reviewed, with consequences for their grade. But, checking your students' work takes time.

To maximize the value of your time spent grading Show My Work answers, you might want to consider one of the following approaches. Not all of these approaches will work for every instructor or every class; you might have to experiment at first to find out what works best for you.

Spot-Checking Show My Work
Especially when you have limited time to grade Show My Work answers, spot-checking can be a time-effective way to keep students motivated to do their best. If warranted, this might be accompanied by a class announcement that students are not showing their work completely or in sufficient detail.
Using Teaching Assistants to Grade Show My Work
Teaching assistants can often grade Show My Work answers effectively. Be sure to add them to your course.
If you have multiple teaching assistants, consider having each TA grade all students' Show My Work answers for a single question; this is often easier and faster than grading different questions.
Grading Show My Work on Demand
You might want to let your students know that you will grade Show My Work answers for specific students by request; when a student asks you to grade a Show My Work answer, you can award credit for completing Show My Work or provide corrective feedback to the student. This approach can be helpful to students who are making an effort to learn the material.
Usually, you should set Show My Work to Optional when grading Show My Work on demand. This avoids grade inflation or penalties for students who do not choose to show their work, but lets you award points at your discretion when students do show their work.
Tip You can also use this approach to award credit in the rare event that a student's answer was mistakenly scored incorrect by WebAssign. Be sure to report the question error to WebAssign.
"Pre-Grading" Show My Work
If you have the time to do so, you can comment on your students' Show My Work answers and assign tentative scores before the due date. Then, you can assign final scores and revise your comments after the due date. You can use this approach to give your students both the motivation and the opportunity to do better work. You might want to use this approach for distance-learning classes or when introducing new material.
Note If you grade a Show My Work answer before the due date, your student can submit another answer. When this happens, your comments and score for the previous answer are discarded. The student again receives either full credit or no credit, depending on whether the Show My Work question part is required or optional. Only your uploaded files continue to be shown.
You might also enter scores for optional Show My Work answers for other reasons:
  • to give partial credit for a problem, for example, if a student correctly worked a problem but made a mathematical error
  • to give extra credit for students who show their work
  • to give full or partial credit for a problem if the question prompt is ambiguous or misleading or the question grading is incorrect