Somewhere over the rainbow (of colors)

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Posted by Chris Hager on 03/26/02 - 19:53:25
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My students are being trained for careers and on an average, they are in the age group of 18 through 26.  A reasonable number of them are 27 through 45.  One's techniques vary a bit when faced with a situation such as this, and colors take on a differenct meaning.  The prime factor for me is whether my remarks are easy to see (as I said before).  Red has long been considered a hostile or aggressive color to be used with care or avoided, but my students don't seem to mind it when used carefully; it's more what I say that affects them.  Negativity from me is bad in any color, while red compliments are acceptable.  I usually use red on accounting tests and similar work to indicate where errors are located, because the students work is in blue or black.  In that case, the red consists of a check mark which is easily seen.  I may also write numeric corrections in red, and these must be easily distinguished from the students' blue/black answers.  I don't usually use green or purple for these because those are not usually (as far as I know) considered "professional" colors for business documents by many, especially those of us over 45.  I feel those colors are best saved for a more youthful crowd or for works involving charts, graphs, etc.  For reports where I must write lengthy answers, I usually type, because my handwriting sucks, but brief comments go into the margins in blue or black.  I still feel that the most important issue is whether or not the student is left with a feeling that the instructor cares about him or her and whether the instructor actually teaches constructively through his or her comments, regardless of the hue.  Regards, Chris Hager

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