College teaching doesn't come easy. Take a moment to consider your own experience: What makes an effective college teacher? Then learn how to improve your college teaching today, with these tips in case you're about to teach your first undergraduate class. You are probably disconcertingly aware that most are primarily concerned with only one thing­—the all-important grade as much as you'd like to think that your students are motivated by the sheer love of learning and the satisfaction that knowledge can bring. Grading is an important teaching tool for students and instructors alike while many instructors find such single-minded focus on grades discouraging. An objective method of evaluating student performance helps the instructor not only to better understand what students absorbed, but also his or her own success at clearly communicating course material. To ensure that you and your students get the most out of grades, keep the following points in mind first of all for your students to make your expectations clear from the first day of class. Your syllabus should clearly state how grades will be determined in the course, including the weight given to different aspects of class performance. This will enable students to plan how to devote their energy and attention over the course of the semester. 

College teaching

For example be sure that it amounts to a significant percentage of the overall grade in case you consider a final research paper to be the best reflection of what your students have learned in the course. Assign a value to such things as class participation and attendance that you consider important as well in addition to this. Fully explain assignments so that students know how to best prepare. When the inevitable question, "Will we be tested on this?" arises, make sure your answer includes not only a "yes" or "no," but a "because . . . " Grades should reflect a student's ability to comprehend, not memorize, material. Thus, let students know both what you want to see in a test answer or essay question, and why it is important; this will help students make a connection between the facts they learn and the larger ideas you want to convey. Those who are truly interested will make the time to meet with you in case you make yourself available to your students to address individual concerns. Work with an experienced professor to gain insight into his or her grading process. In my own experience, I found it helpful to work with my advisor before giving an exam to discuss grading standards. Together, we determined criteria for what would constitute an "A" essay, and how to differentiate between a "C" and a "D."   Grading is not entirely a cut-and-dried process with the possible exception of a multiple-choice exam. When grading by making the process anonymous; never look at a student's name on a test booklet or paper before determining a grade, avoid possible bias. Your prior knowledge of a student's performance—either positive or negative—may inadvertently color your reading of his or her work while you may consider yourself to be a pillar of objectivity.