In the College of Science, it is left up to each department to decide whether or not it wishes to permit the use of undergraduate graders in its courses. At the College level, the following is the College’s policy regarding the use of undergraduates as graders.

To be a grader in the College of Science, an undergraduate must be:

  • At least third-year in their academic major;
  • In good academic standing in both the University and their major; and
  • Have the approval of the department and the course instructor with whom they will be working.

As graders, undergraduate students may participate in supervised assessment of quizzes, examinations, final examinations, and written work such as papers or laboratory reports. Graders are not laboratory Teaching Assistants nor are they Recitation instructors though they may score work completed in a recitation or in a laboratory session. Undergraduate graders may assign scores to portions of student work but they cannot assign grades for entire assignments, exams, papers, or reports including final course grades. Assignment of grades including final course grades is the sole responsibility of the instructor of record for that course.

Graders may receive compensation through either work-study, hourly wage, or academic credit. Graders may receive only one form of compensation for any single classroom grading work assignment. As our intent is to provide talented students with an opportunity to experience firsthand some of the challenges of an academic career, it is important that a grader’s responsibilities not adversely impact the grader’s own academic experience. Consequently, the maximum allowed workload is 15 h/week for an undergraduate grader in the College of Science.

Each academic program and department in the College of Science that chooses to use undergraduates as graders is expected to have a written policy on the use of undergraduates as graders that is specific to the responsibilities and expectations of that program or department and that adheres to the College-wide policy above. Student graders and their instructor/mentors must sign a “contract” that states the department’s written policy on undergraduate graders, including the specific responsibilities of the student grader and the instructor/mentor. The “contract” should also lay out any areas in which there may be a conflict of interest and the student grader must agree to maintain his/her confidentiality. Finally, in any course in which an instructor employs an undergraduate student as a grader, the instructor must include an explicit statement on the syllabus informing the students enrolled that the course uses undergraduate graders.

Developed by Rein Kirss, Heather Littlefield, Bob McOwen and Pam Mabrouk 5/13/13