This seems like such a small thing, but I’ve been surprised at how many of my colleagues don’t know about/don’t use the “fill down” option in their gradebook programs. Whenever I have an assignment where the majority of students earned the same score, I always use “fill down” to automatically dump the points into the grade column and then go back and manually change the ones that didn’t hit that score.

23Looking at my freshman English classes this semester, I marked and entered 64 different assignments into the gradebook. If I used “fill down” on just half of those assignments and doing so saved me three minutes per entry cycle, then I saved 96 minutes over the course of the semester. Sweet! Now, take that number, multiply by my five current sections and the time-savings balloons to 480 minutes, or 8 hours! Are there a lot of other things I’d rather be doing with eight hours of my life than manually entering every student’s score into my laptop? Hell yeah.

Do yourself a favor and embrace the “fill down” button. You’ll be rewarded with dividends of time.

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