Question: Grading is a difficult task. Sometimes grading can be objective; other times it can be too subjective. How can I grade more fairly and effectively?
Answer: Not only is grading a difficult task, it is a complicated one. There is no simple answer to your question. Many elements go into awarding grades that students earn. To be fair means that the grades reflect how well students performed on the learning goals for the course. To be effective means that the grades, awarded throughout the course, helped students reach the learning goals. The single best advice to get you on your way to fair and effective grading is a paraphrase of Walvoord and Anderson (Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment in College): teach what you grade and grade what you teach.