• What are the principles on which your grading practices are based?• What do you include in a student’s grade?• Do grades motivate learners?
Calculate this student’s grade after ten assignments:• C• C• NTI (not turned in) A-/B+?• D C?• C F?• B• NTI• NTI• B• A
O’Connor’s 7 perspectives underlying grading• Grading is not essential for learning.• Grading is complicated.• Grading is subjective & emotional.• Grading is inescapable.• Grading has a limited research base.• Grading has no single best practice.• Grading that is faulty damages students and teachers!
Do grades motivate learners? If grades are extrinsic motivators, they can destroy intrinsic motivation.Good grades may motivate, but poor grades have no motivational value.
“Low grades push students farther from ourcause, they don’t motivate students. Recordinga D on a student’s paper won’t light a fire underthat student to buckle down and study harder. Itactually distances the student further from usand the curriculum, requiring us to build anemotional bridge to bring him or her back to thesame level of investment prior to receiving thegrade.” -Guskey (documented by Guskey and Bailey)
O’Connor’s “15 Fixes” for our grading system (from his book A Repair Kit for Grading).1. Don’t include student behaviors (effort, participation, polite manners, etc.) in grades; include only achievement.2. Don’t reduce marks on late work; provide support for the learner.3. Don’t give points for extra credit work or use bonus points; seek only evidence that more work has resulted in a higher level of achievement.4. Don’t punish academic dishonesty with reduced grades; apply other consequences and reassess to determine actual level of achievement.
5. Don’t consider attendance in grade determination; report absences separately.6. Don’t include group scores in grades; use only individual achievement evidence.7. Don’t organize information in grading records by assessment methods or simply summarize into a single grade; organize and report evidence by standards/learning goals.8. Don’t assign grades using inappropriate or unclear performance standards; provide clear descriptions of achievement expectations.
9. Don’t assign grades based on student’s achievement compared to other students; compare each student’s performance to preset standards.10. Don’t rely on evidence gathered using assessments that fail to meet standards of quality; rely only on quality assessments.11. Don’t rely only on the mean; consider other measures of central tendency and use professional judgment.
12. Don’t include zeros in grade determination when evidence is missing or as punishment; use alternatives, such as reassessing to determine real achievement or use “I” for Incomplete or Insufficient Evidence.13. Don’t use information from formative assessments and practice to determine grades; use only summative evidence.14. Don’t summarize evidence accumulated over time when learning is developmental and will grow with time and repeated opportunities; in those instances, emphasize more recent achievement.
• Don’t leave students out of the grading process. Involve students; they can- and should- play key roles in assessment and grading that promote achievement.
After reviewing 8000 studies, a researcher made the following comment:“ The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is FEEDBACK. Thesimplest prescription for improving education must be ‘dollops of feedback’.” -Classroom Assessment & Grading that Work - Robert J. Marzano (2006)
Homework is practice!• Students should make mistakes as they are learning and not be afraid to learn from their mistakes.• Homework is practice - where mistakes should happen. Their mistakes should not be graded.• FEEDBACK on homework is shown to be most effective.• Grade homework (if graded at all) on attempt only, not mastery.
Homework Rubric:(4) Homework is complete Presentation is exceptionally neat, detailed, and organized Few to no errors all of which the student has corrected (in a contrasting color).(3) Homework is complete Presentation is legible More than a few errors all of which the student has corrected (in a contrasting color).(2) Homework is mostly complete but may be missing problems Presentation may be careless and disorganized Most errors have been corrected by the student (in a contrasting color). Incomplete problems have been completed (in a contrasting color).(1) Homework is not completed. Missing work has been completed (in a contrasting color).(0) No work turned in
Zeros kill averages! 90-100 = A (10 points) 80-89 = B (9 points) 70-79 = C (9 points) 60-69 = D (9 points) 0-59 = F (59 points!)• It is almost impossible to overcome many zeros in a grading period.• If our lowest score was a 50, many would still fail, but many more would believe they can overcome their low averages.
Late Work• If our job as teachers is to help students learn, why do we care WHEN they learn it? Isn’t doing the work LATE better than NEVER?• Students should be given opportunities for “re- dos” to learn from their mistakes.• Take a few points off for every day an assignment is late, but not a whole grade. A whole grade lower is punitive, a few points off is instructive.• Record two grades: one that represents evidence of mastery and one that reflects the late penalties.
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