I’ve recently been marking the creative pieces - and the essays for that matter – on my “Introduction to Children’s Literature”, a second year option course, the main assignment of which is a 2500 critical essay or creative piece for a particular key stage. This has been a very gratifying experience. The full range of marks is coming out but includes a pleasing number of firsts, even though most of them are scraped and there is still room for improvement in all of the scripts.
There are the usual blunders – failure to submit all of the components of the assignment, telling too much and not showing enough, not formatting or referencing correctly, overwriting, run on sentences and lack of structure.
However, the submissions delight all the same. Even in those that score the lowest marks there is ample evidence that the student has understood the key stage in which they are working and that they have put their work together thoughtfully.
Every module that we teach is meant to be 120 hours, yet contact time is a lot less. In this one the students have 20 hours in class and a ten minute one-to-one plus some e-mail and office consultation time. It is very clear in their work that they have put the time in. Some have produced very impressive reading lists. For others it is clear that they have read widely even though they don’t cite works. They would not be able to write with such insight if they hadn’t.
I couldn’t be more pleased.