I am a teaching assistant auditor at my university and my duty is to assess the working conditions of the TAs in my department (Physics & Astronomy). To do this, I send out surveys towards the end of every semester asking about the working conditions and work load of the TAs. Based on their responses, I draft an audit report, outlining the challenges and potential solutions, and share it with the heads of the department. This semester, due to the decreasing number of TAs in our department, the workload on the remaining TAs has increased manyfold. Although I haven't sent out the surveys yet, I am confident that all the TAs will be complaining about the heavy workload that they have to carry. I was thinking to propose the following solution:
The classes that require homework assignment grading could switch to an online grading system like WebAssign. The positive side of this switch would be that TAs would not have to grade homework assignments. They could sit for some help sessions if the students need assistance. However, the downside is that the students can copy the answers from the internet or from their peers. Since WebAssign only cares about the final solution and not about the procedure, it will give full points to the student even if they copied the answers from elsewhere. Are there better alternative online grading systems that also give importance to the steps that the student took to arrive at the answers?
I think that if I could convince my department to switch to an alternative, online grading system (only for homework assignments), it would be better for the TAs. That way, the TAs can concentrate more on experimental lab sessions, grading the lab reports and homework help sessions. I would appreciate any helpful advice in this matter.
Disclaimer: I can only suggest possible solutions to the department heads. I am a graduate student myself. I have no authority to enforce anything in the department.