Grades and Grading Nov 07
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Grades and Grading Nov 07



A brief discussion of a complicated topic.

A brief discussion of a complicated topic.



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  • Grading is an exercise in professional judgment. It involves the collection and evaluation of evidence on student’s achievement or performance over a specified period of time. Reporting is the process by which these judgments are communicated to parents, students or others.

Grades and Grading Nov 07 Grades and Grading Nov 07 Presentation Transcript

  • Grades and Grading
    • A Brief Look at a Complex Task
            • Nov 3, 2007
    “ At UCLA I quickly learned the knack of getting grades, a craven surrender to custom, since grades had little to do with learning. - Hugh W. Nibley; Professor emeritus of ancient history & classical languages at BYU and acclaimed author.
  • Should Grading Be This Scary?
  • Experts on grading…
    • What are the sources of a teacher’s grading practices?
    • What do you know about interpreting grades? (What does a “B” mean?)
    • Would you be more or less motivated in this workshop if you knew you were being graded?
    • What does it take to be an Evaluation Expert?
  • Essential Questions:
    • What is the difference between grading and assessing?
    • Why do we grade?
    • Do students need grades to learn?
    • What is the best grading system? Letter grades? Percents? Checks?
    • Can subjectivity be taken out of grading?
    • Why do you grade the way you grade?
  • Sources of Teachers’ Grading Practices
    • The policies and practices they experienced as students.
    • Their personal philosophies of teaching and grading.
    • Local (district, building, dept) policies on grading and reporting.
    • What they learned in undergraduate teacher preparation programs.
  • Grading Statements: Agree or Disagree?
  • Definitions
    • Grading: Any professional evaluation of a student’s work/performance.
    • - evaluate: to make a professional judgment.
    • Assessment: Non-judgmental feedback of a student’s progress toward a desired goal.
    • Feedback: Information provided to learner to assist in reaching a goal.
  • Formative and Summative Grading
    • Formative grading takes place over time – informs instruction, remedies learning errors, and provides temporary feedback.
    • Summative grading summarizes students’ achievement and certifies their competence.
  • The Points-Driven Economy
    • Elementary: Grades as feedback.
    • Middle/High: Grades become seen as a commodity - given in exchange for a performance or behavior.
    • Perception: Grades are no longer formative but a summative defining statement.
    • General
    • Conclusions from
    • the Research
    • in Grading
  • # 1 Grading and Reporting are NOT Essential to the Instructional Process
    • Teachers can teach without grades.
    • Students can and do learn without grades.
  • Checking is Essential
    • Checking is Diagnostic
      • Teacher is an Advocate
    • Grading is Evaluative
      • Teacher is a Judge
  • Begin with a Clear Statement of Purpose
    • Why Grading and Reporting Are Done?
    • For Whom the Information is Intended?
    • What are the Desired Results?
  • Purpose of Grading
    • 1. Communicate the achievement status of students to their parents and others
    • 2. Provide information for student self-evaluation
    • 3. Select, identify or group students for certain
    • 4. Provide incentives for students to learn
    • 5. Documents students’ performance to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs
    • 6. Provide evidence of students’ lack of effort or inappropriate responsibility
    • # 2 No One Method
    • of Grading and Reporting Serves
    • ALL Purpose Well!
  • Types of Learning Criteria used in Grading and Reporting
    • Product: what students know and are able to do.
    • Process: values the above and how they got there.
    • Progress: how much students have gained from their learning experiences.
  • Grading Elements
    • Major Exams Or Compositions
    • Class Quizzes
    • Reports Or Projects
    • Student Portfolios
    • Exhibits Of Student’s Work
    • Laboratory Projects
    • Students’ Notebooks Or Journals
    • Classroom Observations
    • Oral Presentations
    • Homework Completion
    • Homework Quality
    • Class Participation
    • Work Habits And Neatness
    • Effort Put Forth
    • Class Attendance
    • Punctuality Of Assignments
    • Class Behavior Or Attitude
    • Progress Made
    • # 3 Grading
    • and Reporting
    • Will Always Involve
    • Some Degree of Subjectivity !
  • In General, Reporting is MORE Subjective
    • The More Detailed the Reporting Method.
    • The More Analytic the Reporting Process
    • The More ‘ Effort ’ is Considered
    • The More ‘ Behavior ’ Influences Judgments
  • Special Problems in Grading
    • Grade averaging
    • Use of zeros
    • Lowering grades because of behavioral infractions
    • Bias
  • A look at averaging A 98.8 A 98 C 79 0 98 98 99 100 7 A 98.8 A 98 C 79 100 99 98 98 0 6 B 86.5 A 98 C 79 49 49 98 99 100 5 B 86.5 A 98 C 79 100 99 98 49 49 4 C 79.5 B 80 C 79 80 78 80 80 77 3 B 84 C 79 C 79 59 69 79 89 99 2 B 84 C 79 C 79 99 89 79 69 59 1 Grade Deleting Lowest Grade Median Score Grade Average Score Unit 5 Unit 4 Unit 3 Unit 2 Unit 1 Student
  • Expert Evaluators
    • In order to provide high quality information, we must rely it on good evidence.
    • Good evidence (assessment) is the result of three factors:
      • Validity
      • Reliability
      • Quantity
  • Evaluation Experts
    • Validity: Is the assessment appropriate? Are there factors that interfere with the validity?
    • Reliability: Are the assessment results consistent?
    • Quantity: A single source of evidence can be flawed; more evidence is usually better evidence.
  • What is the best grading system? Letter grades? Percents? Checks?
    • Types:
    • Letter grades
    • Plus & minus letter grades
    • Categorical grading (super, outstanding, etc.)
    • Percentage grades
    • Standards-based grading
    • Pass/fail
    • Mastery
    • Narratives
  • The research recommends…
    • Limit the number of categories (four or five is preferable).
    • Provide a supplemental narrative description.
    • Educators need to “consider the quality of information offered and its usefulness to parents, students, and other interested persons.” - Guskey
  • What the research says…
    • Grading “on the curve” tells us nothing about what students have learned or are able to do.
  • The research says…
    • Grades have some
    • value as rewards, but no
    • values as punishments.
  • The Subjectivity Factor
    • Consider the following question:
    • “ Who was the 17 th president of the US?”
    • Fewer than 10% of American students are able to answer this question.
  • The Subjectivity Factor
    • “Who was the 17th president of the US?”
    • George Washington
    • Andrew Johnson
    • Jimmy Carter
    • Bill Clinton
    • About 60% of students are able to answer this question correctly.
  • The Subjectivity Factor
    • “Who was the 17th president of the US?”
    • Abraham Lincoln
    • Andrew Johnson
    • Ulysses S. Grant
    • Millard Fillmore
    • About 30% of students are able to answer this question correctly.
  • The Subjectivity Factor
    • “Who was the 17th president of the US?”
    • The War of 1812
    • Andrew Johnson
    • The Louisiana Purchase
    • A Crazy Day for Sally
    • About 90% of students are able to answer this question correctly.
  • What teachers know…
    • Educators must seek an appropriate balance between the formative, instructional purposes of assessments of student learning and the summative evaluative purposes required in grading!
    • Teachers must be clear about their grading standards, the various components that will be considered in determining grades, and the criteria that will be used to evaluate those components.
  • Seeking Clarity and Uniformity
    • As TAISM is a standards-based school, the MS has collectively agreed that a “B” grade means that a student is operating at grade level.
    • Other grades indicate exceeding or approaching the standard.
  • Some truths about grades:
    • “The client for the information is almost always more astute about what should be reported than is the purveyor of the information.”
            • Grant Wiggins, ASCD Yearbook, 1996
  • Just for laughs…
  • Educational Burn-out….