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Anonymous Advantages: Teachers should consider benefits of allowing anonymous submissions.

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As a human being, bias is unavoidable. It’s impossible to hear someone’s name without immediately thinking about how they look, sound or act and whether or not we like them. This applies to everyone, including teachers. Even though they try to remain as objective as possible, it’s unrealistic to expect them to put all their impressions of each student out of their mind while grading, especially on subjective assignments like essays.

If teachers used anonymous submissions, bias would no longer be a factor. Teachers wouldn’t know who the author is and would be able to grade the content without their opinion of the writer factoring in; thus, students would no longer be able to blame teachers for their grades. Anonymous submissions would benefit everyone.novembergraphic1

This process has already been used in the performing arts department with great success. Music is very subjective, and it’s extremely difficult to focus only on the sound and not on the musician while grading, especially when you can see the person right in front of you playing their instrument. To help eliminate this potential bias, the orchestra program has instituted anonymous live playing quizzes. Each student is identified by a number and teachers grade the excerpts with their backs turned. With this anonymous system, teachers are able to grade as objectively as possible and students have no grounds to accuse them of bias.

Canvas, the new school-wide technology platform, makes anonymous submissions even easier. According to Canvas’s website, teachers can change their settings to hide students’ names in both SpeedGrader and the gradebook “to remove bias in grading.” Turnitin.com, a platform mandatory for  CHS English classes, also provides anonymous submissions. Since all teachers have integrated Canvas into their classrooms this year and many use Turnitin.com as well, there is no reason not to utilize these accessible features and promote fairness in high school.

Grades are a measure of students’ proficiency in a class. If students make their way through school with grades that reflect their teachers’ opinion of them instead of their work, they won’t be able to improve. Ultimately, anonymous submissions would eliminate bias and improve high school for both students and teachers.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Carson TerBush at cterbush@hilite.org.

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About the Writer
Carson TerBush, Editor in Chief

Hi, I'm Carson, the Editor in Chief of the HiLite Newsmagazine. In the past, I have served as a News Reporter, Feature Copy Editor, and Cover Story Editor;...

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