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Grading Guidelines

Updated August 2017


  1. Overview

  2. Transcription Grading Guidelines
    These guidelines apply to all transcription work (including "Improve a Grade __ Transcript" jobs).

  3. Edit Grading Guidelines
    These guidelines apply to final edits only.

1. Overview

What's a good grade?

Our grades are roughly analogous to the letter grades used in many academic settings:

9 / A = Great work! This is exactly what we needed.
8 / B = Well done. We can use this to create a great transcript.
7 / C = Average. We can work with this.
5-6 / D = Acceptable, but only just. We will have to invest significant extra time to improve this before using it.
0-4 / F = This work does not meet our needs. It would cost us more to fix it up than to have it redone. Rejected assignments are discarded and redone.

A note on grading and difficult audio

An assignment should not be downgraded because the audio was difficult, or because the work contains a lot of [xx] or [?] tags (if a TC) or inaudible tags (if a final edit). As long as these tags are used correctly to denote areas that are difficult to understand, they do not impact the grade.

Of course, this is not an excuse for shoddy work such as tagging out words that are understandable, or where a little research would allow you to verify the correct word or phrase.

Missing text (other than filler or false starts in non-verbatim work) that is not tagged correctly is grounds for rejection.

What happens to rejected assignments?

If your assignment is rejected, that means in the approver's judgment it would cost us more to fix it up than to get it redone. The work is discarded and the assignment is sent back out immediately to be redone. If you were not paid, we did not use your submission.

2. Transcription Grading Guidelines

Use these guidelines when grading, regrading, or approving any transcription work. This includes grades you enter when completing Review and Grade Transcription assignments, Improve a Grade __ Transcript assignments, Approve a Transcript assignments, and Transcription Grade Review assignments. If you are an editor, refer to these guidelines when regrading TCs in a final edit.

(See the separate guidelines, below, for grading or approving a final edit.)

Transcription Grades:

9 = Excellent transcript that needs no, or nearly no, editing. It reads smoothly, follows the CW Style Guide, and is true to the audio. Filler & false starts are cleaned up (if non-verbatim).

8 = Needs light editing. The transcript is true to the audio, but may have some minor typos or a simple style issue such as a long sentence or paragraph that needs splitting up. The needed changes are obvious to the editor and easily made.

7 = Mostly true to the audio, but needs a fair amount of editing. The editor will have to review this transcript carefully, but will not have to change something in every paragraph.

A transcript graded 7 may include one or more of the following issues:
- One or two missing or mistranscribed words or typos
- Some filler & false starts left in
- A few capitalization or punctuation errors
- Formatting issues that affect the whole transcript rather than just one spot (such as long paragraphs throughout)

6 = Basically accurate, but needs substantial editing. Most paragraphs will need some changes. We will most likely send this assignment out to be edited an extra time before recombining with other TCs for the final edit.

A transcript graded 6 may include one or more of the following issues:
- A few missing or mistranscribed words
- A few misspellings or typos
- Didn’t verify easily-searched words or names
- Sloppy spacing around commas/periods
- A missing blank line or two
- Run-on sentences, sentence fragments
- Excessive filler & false starts left in
- Poor punctuation & capitalization throughout
- Fixable speaker label issues

5 = Borderline usable. Needs extensive work, including an extra edit before being recombined with other TCs for the final edit.

A transcript graded 5 may include one or more of the following issues:
- A few missing or mistranscribed words
- Inaccurate transcription of one or more easily understood words
- Common English words misspelled/didn’t spell check
- Didn’t follow basic English rules (such as not capitalizing the word “I”)
- Homophone errors in more than one place (such as its/it’s, there/their/they’re)
- Significant but fixable speaker label issues (such as all labels formatted incorrectly)
- Group style was used when it was not a group setting
- Basic style guidelines not followed (such as missing blank lines)

4 (Rejection) = Assignment is blank or incomplete, text does not match the audio, or contains so many accuracy and style errors that it will need to be discarded and redone.

A rejected transcript may include one or more of the following issues:
- Poor accuracy
- Excessive typos, spelling errors, homophone errors
- Speakers not labeled at all, or other major speaker label issues
- Non-verbatim transcription on a verbatim job, or vice versa
- Major style issues (such as no blank lines at all, word wrap problems caused random line breaks in the middle of paragraphs, etc.)

0 (Rejection) = Cheating or auto rejection following badge loss

3. Edit Grading Guidelines

Use these guidelines when grading or approving Edit a Transcript jobs. An Edit a Transcript job is a final edit. If approved, the transcript is sent directly to the customer, so these assignments are graded on a largely pass/fail basis.

(See the separate guidelines, above, for grading, regrading, or approving any other type of assignment.)

Edit Grades:

9 = Excellent edit. This is customer-ready.

8 = Good edit. There are a couple of minor tweaks or maybe a single typo, but the approver can do this on the spot and still deliver a great transcript.

7 (Rare) = There are a number of improvements needed here. The approver may invest the time to fix it up so it can be delivered, but in most cases work that is not customer-ready will be rejected and sent out to be redone.

An edit graded 7 may include one or more of the following issues:
- A couple of typos or misspellings
- A single [xx], [?], [sp], or splice left in an otherwise usable edit
- Long paragraphs or other style issues that are easily spotted & fixed
- Errors that can be fixed with search & replace
- Minor speaker label issues, such as using full name more than once
- Failure to follow customer instructions, if easily fixed

5-6 (Rare) = Many issues and fixes needed. Under most circumstances this would be rejected, but if you get a 5 or 6 that means someone took the time to fix up/re-edit your assignment, rather than sending it out to be redone.

4 (Rejection) = Any edit that is not customer-ready.

In addition to the situations described under 5, 6, and 7, above, any of the following issues are grounds for immediate rejection:
- Inaccurate or incomplete
- [xx], [?], [sp], or splices left in
- Speaker label issues
- Inaudibles not timestamped
- Non-verbatim edit of a verbatim job, or vice versa
- Group style applied where individual speaker labels were more appropriate
- Not certified, and no explanation given as to why
- Not certified because the worker wanted a “second set of eyes” or someone to review their work

0 (Rejection) = Cheating