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Ink For Grading Student Papers

ink feathering drying grading

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92 replies to this topic

#41 Mathematics Teacher

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 20:22

I've been grading this week with J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor, loaded in a TWSBI Eco with a 1.1 stub, and it's been acting great. Though I lose the red sheen on cheap paper, it is a vibrant color, and the hints of gold add a little extra. No feathering, no bleed-through.

As a side note, though I do occasionally grade with red ink, I only mark with + points; I never deduct points, as I want students to see that the grade is earned, not given or taken.

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#42 TimMcL

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 21:49

I once graded homework with an orange ink and was found out by the dean. I was told to use red only. So now I'm secretly rebelling with red inks with various undertones like orange, pink, brown, blue...

Thank you!  You didn't suggest an ink, but I loved this post.  May your secret rebellion with undertones always bring you freedom and joy!



#43 TimMcL

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 22:28

My goodness.  Thank you all so much for the multitude of suggestions.  I'll need to process this all a bit before working out 2 or 3 inks to try.

 

On whether I am coddling my students or treating them inappropriately by avoiding red ink:

 

I never used to worry about this, but in recent years, I've gotten more sensitive.  I have had students ask if I could use another color.  I stepped away from red when a student who was on the edge of suicide looked at a paper I had returned and made a despairing comment about my use of red.

 

Now, I'm a grown up.  Had the student killed himself, I would not have blamed my choice of ink.  But why put myself in a situation where, as I know from hard experience, I would have to keep reminding myself in my sorrow that the death was not my fault?  And if I could make his life better in a small way, why not do so?

 

I have since had other students thank me for not using red.

 

Does this make sense?

 

My business is not rating students.  My business is engaging in conversation with fellow adults, and suggesting new ways they might think about things.  Marking in red subtly pushes me to look at our relationship and our conversation in the wrong way.  It can also lead some (probably a minority) of them to look at our relationship and our conversation in the wrong way.  So why not, in every possible subtle aspect of my writing, encourage myself to be an friend and a mentor, and invite them to view our relationship in that way?  (As a teacher at a Quaker school, a College associated with the Society of Friends, I'm willing to embrace the word "friend" as some of us are not.)  In every possible way, I want to be a guide and to encourage them to discover.  Commenting on their thoughts is a big part of that.  Judging them as people is something I can't and won't do.  To me and to some of them, it's hard to separate red ink from personal judgment.

 

That's just me.  Others of us may have different students in different settings and under different rules.  May you all be blessed!  May you delight in the ink you choose, even if it is Diamine Oxblood in a juicy fat wet nib with smudges to add to the impact.  To you, your ink, and to me mine.

 

Thank you again for the wealth of ideas!



#44 TimMcL

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 22:35

Diamine Oxblood.  In a juicy fat wet nib.  Smudges only add to the impact.

Thank you.  This is just what I need!  How foolish of me not to have thought of it sooner.

 

Better still, I can use one of Noodler's bulletproof inks to black out any portions of their work I regard as defective.  That way, I can grade with a cotton swab and save the price of a pen, and students need never again see anything imperfect. :)

 

(Thank you for a great reply!  You are indeed an eloquent ogre.)

 

A postscript: A friend claimed once to have seen a medical student doing just that.  Instead of using a color highlighter, he was using a marker to black out the parts of his text he deemed irrelevant.  God forbid anyone should ever come to him with a blacked out disease!


Edited by TimMcL, 16 September 2015 - 01:25.


#45 Arkanabar

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 22:46

My markup colors are Noodler's Widow Maker and Sheaffer Skrip Turquoise.  You can dilute some of the darker inks to make them stand out more; this also reduces the concentration of wetting agents, which promote feathering.  Turquoise didn't feather much in my cheap US made Norcom spiral-bound 70 sheet notebooks from a Baoer 388.



#46 ink-syringe

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 07:43

true, sometimes

 

not always, though

 

may be symbolic or representational (indicative of a greater pattern). Like the meaning of a gesture or tone: it is all about how often the message is repeated throughout the interactions. *I* don't consider the meanings of gestures or tonal suggestions "exceedingly minor" when dealing with young people; they are very good at reading suggested meanings in gestures, particularly those from persons in authority over them. These things are hard-wired (visual and aural interpretations of tone) into our neural net, although some persons are better at the decoding than others.

 

 

We will have to agree to disagree then.

 

I take student-teacher relationships seriously and think about them a lot being both a teacher and a student nearly my whole life (school, college, grad school and now being a prof) I think student-teacher relationships are complex and the result of a very wide range of interactions, spoken, written and even non-verbal but the impact of the ink color I use to mark my papers strikes me as extraordinarily low in importance.

 

I find it odd that you want to monumentalize it so much. I think you are wildly overstating your case and ascribing to ink shade a power and importance vastly beyond what it has and much beyond what those rather weak ink color studies have shown. 

 

But this isn't the hill I am gonna die on, so rock what ever color you like. I'll continue to traumatize (haha) my kids with my red pen.


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#47 AndyYNWA

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 07:56

During all my years in school the great majority of tests and exams have been graded with red pen. Both positive notes and negative have been written in red. The few times I have received a test/exam graded with another color, I have always wonderd if the teacher has lost his/her red pen. To me it's quite strange to be graded with any other color than red.

 

However, if you are consistant in your use of color for grading you could use any color. Just don't confuse the studens with different colors for different type of comments, then they will react even more to red.

 

BTW, I think red is a good color for grading in that sence that it stands out from all the other text on the paper.


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#48 TSherbs

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 10:50

 

 

We will have to agree to disagree then.

 

I take student-teacher relationships seriously and think about them a lot being both a teacher and a student nearly my whole life (school, college, grad school and now being a prof) I think student-teacher relationships are complex and the result of a very wide range of interactions, spoken, written and even non-verbal but the impact of the ink color I use to mark my papers strikes me as extraordinarily low in importance.

 

I find it odd that you want to monumentalize it so much. I think you are wildly overstating your case and ascribing to ink shade a power and importance vastly beyond what it has and much beyond what those rather weak ink color studies have shown. 

 

But this isn't the hill I am gonna die on, so rock what ever color you like. I'll continue to traumatize (haha) my kids with my red pen.

I find your hyperbole odd, but there ya go   :thumbup:



#49 TSherbs

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 10:52

Thank you.  This is just what I need!  How foolish of me not to have thought of it sooner.

 

Better still, I can use one of Noodler's bulletproof inks to black out any portions of their work I regard as defective.  That way, I can grade with a cotton swab and save the price of a pen, and students need never again see anything imperfect. :)...

ha!!

 

redaction, ala Yossarian



#50 ink-syringe

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:48

I find your hyperbole odd, but there ya go   :thumbup:

 

 

It's pretty clear that neither one of us is can you change our minds on this particular front so I'll just leave this exactly where it is. There's no point in going further on this topic.

 

--

 

But I am kind of curious about the original query. Lots of people have suggested colors. What remains unaddressed is the issue of paper. Which inks have properties like Noodler's X-Feather and can be used on really cheap paper without any bleeding or feathering but are not black?

 

It seems to me that that's really important, since you aren't going to be able to control the kind of paper that comes to you. If your school is anything like mine, they we'll just use the cheapest stock possible.

 

Colored inks for mark-up that resist feathering?


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#51 jody_fpn

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 13:43

I vote for red.

Students should be forbidden to use red on tests and assignments.

The teacher's red comments would then be easy to distinguish from the students writing.

I cannot understand how the color of ink used by the teacher can have an impact the student learning.

 

Cheers, Jody



#52 Calamus plasticus

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 14:14

I use Montblanc Bordeaux for grading at the University: it dries very quickly and is between red and brown so it stands out without being hostile for the students. It writes well on almost any kind of paper. As for the pen, I use always a Fine for grading, so my handwriting is as clear as possible.
Good luck with your search: you have many options to choose :-)

#53 TSherbs

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 17:08

I vote for red.

Students should be forbidden to use red on tests and assignments.

The teacher's red comments would then be easy to distinguish from the students writing.

I cannot understand how the color of ink used by the teacher can have an impact the student learning.

 

Cheers, Jody

very few students use red (in my thirty years of teaching, only less than a handful, and only because they had no other writing piece and I wasn't watching).

 

As to impact of color, all you have to do is ask a substantial-size set of students how colors of teacher comments on papers (personal writing especially) effect them, and they will tell you just how it effects them: some not at all, some minimally, some somewhat, and some quite a lot. It varies, but some do care.

 

The same way that we might care about what color we write a personal note to a friend with, or what color we write professional correspondence with, or what colors for acquaintances for which gender. The same way that color can matter to an adult, it can matter to a younger person, especially when his or her thinking is being criticized (what paper grading can often be). 

 

Does this make sense?



#54 Venemo

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 20:33

Iron gall inks generally have good properties when it comes to working on cheap paper. ESSRI is great but since it's blue-black it wouldn't be of much use for grading. However Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa might be useful. :)



#55 bongo47

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 20:56

I'm trying out two inks: Noodlers Rattler Red and Diamine Sherwood Green.  In terms of when to use which, not sure but sometimes I need to comment on journals, and not really grade; red just seems wrong.  "Good point" doesn't feel as communicative as "Good Point."  As for using red for actual scoring, I usually do for the contrast it gives.  But this is college level, so while I'm certainly one to encourage, I also hope that the ink color isn't too big a factor in their academic careers.

 

Whoops forgot to mention I have those two inks in two Pilot 78G's with fine nibs.  Guess what color the pen bodies are. ;)


Edited by bongo47, 16 September 2015 - 20:57.

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#56 Zhenni

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 00:28

Today I was grading with a sample of Noodler's Apache Sunset. It bled and feathered quite a bit on the poorest quality papers (it was in a vintage semi-flex, probably will bleed less in F or EF. Yeah, yeah, I put Noodler's in a 60 year old pen), but my kids *loved* the color.

When the students look at their scores and comments and say how pretty it looks, that's a strong endorsement!

#57 ScienceChick

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 01:56

I grade with whatever ink is in the pen I grab from my pen beaker. I tend to have deep pinks, dusky purples and turquoises so the color always stands out. I have a bevy of burgeoning FP users so it's not uncommon for them to point to their grade and ask what ink it is.

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#58 jmccarty3

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 19:42

For those who have decided that using red ink for grading is not a microaggression  :) , our very own FPN Voltaire Candide Vermilion (made by Noodler's) is worthy of your consideration. Most red inks I have tried will dry up in the feed if not used very often during the day. The worst of them exhibit a lot of nib crud. VCV, to my surprise, doesn't exhibit these bad habits. It's not an eye-searing red, nor is it hard to read. I use it to mark up reports with an extra-fine nib, so I don't get much in the way of bleed-through, even on regular office paper. It certainly is less expensive than some of the inks previously mentioned, and buying it supports FPN as well.


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#59 bioluminescentsquid

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 21:59

Hello,

According to Sandy1, perhaps the most inoffensive, anodyne ink is Lamy green - a good friend indeed to those tender psyches!  :lticaptd:

However, when I grade work for my teachers, I use Scribal workshop Zhulong (It's current incarnation is the red in Anderson Pen's ink line, I think) - an offensive, grating bright red that wouldn't look too out on place on a painting by Francis Bacon, and never bleeds through anything but toilet paper. It's dry and starts hard, however, but benefited from some liquid soap. As I regularly terrorize the lowerclassmen & my sadistic grading principles are well-known to them, I wouldn't mind some shattered egos.

Well, speaking of sadistic, I had a stats teacher who once objected to the bleedy ink of fountain pens on paper, and decided to write, with a red chisel sharpie "DO NOT USE THIS INK ON MY TESTS EVER AGAIN" all over the front page of one of my otherwise flawless tests. That's how I discovered fine nibs.  :headsmack:

 

When I get sensuous, I use Sailor Oku-Yama. :bunny01:  I want to try VCV someday too...

 

redaction, ala Yossarian

 

Took me a while to recognize this, but I love that book!  :)


Edited by bioluminescentsquid, 20 September 2015 - 22:00.


#60 _Stormin_

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 03:08

BTW, I think red is a good color for grading in that sence that it stands out from all the other text on the paper.

 

And this is why I am fine with red for grading. It pops from the paper, and students (at least when I was in school) weren't using red.

 

The whole "trauma of grading with red" complaint just frustrates me that we've managed to let the kids these days become the most delicate little flowers, incapable of receiving negative feedback. I'm not that old. Finished school in a year that began with the number 2, and the red ink debate wasn't even an issue.







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