1. Assessment thoughts
I am currently working through grading the ﬁrst Chapter test with the new assessment
guidelines that Iʼve set for myself. A copy of the test and the marking system is attached.
(K stands for Knowledge; A for Analysis; and C for Communication.) Using this system
for marking & recording grades in EasyGrade Pro was remarkably easy for assignments
such as a pop quiz (all of which focused on Knowledge), and it was even easy for a
written assignment wherein students corrected their mistakes from the Fall Final (which
had a signiﬁcant portion of Knowledge items, and a few points for Communication,
being a written document.) I have experienced a few difﬁculties as well as a few beneﬁts
that I had not considered over Christmas Break.
Itʼs slow. I have been able to consistently get assignments graded and back to students
the very next day; that was true when teaching 5 classes; that was true when coaching
Debate; that was true when teaching 5 classes and coaching Debate; it has been true
since 1998. This chapter test wonʼt get back to students until the second class meeting
after the assessment.
It took 9:39.2 for me to grade three of these Chapter tests. For me, thatʼs an eternity.
The slow part was going back over the exam three different times at the end to calculate
the studentʼs grade for each of the three components, Knowledge, Analysis, and
Communication. Iʼm hoping that with practice I will get faster.
Second, it took me longer to write this exam than previously. I did not time myself, but it
felt longer — especially as I considered how many points each item would be worth,
and whether that was a Knowledge or Analysis item. Of course, this translates into a
I feel more focused, and when students get this test back, I think they will be able to
focus their efforts more.
• I felt more focused in writing the exam. A question might occur to me, but then as I
tried to assign points to it, I realized that it did not ﬁt into the rubric — and then I
realized how unimportant the question was to the larger exam.
• I feel more focused in my grading. I am able to assess whether a student
demonstrated factual knowledge, and if so, give them points; and I feel more focused
on their critical reasoning when I get to an Analysis item.
• The types of assignments and grades that I give are more purposeful. On the ﬁrst day
back from Break, I was tempted to give everyone 1 point so that they would all have
100% in the class/ when they checked their grades online. As I went to enter the
assignment in EasyGrade Pro, I realized that the point was for neither Knowledge,
Analysis or Communication, and so I did not play with the points. Thatʼs exactly what it
was: play — and that has no place in a gradebook.
2. • In grading this Chapter test, Iʼve noticed - and like - how some kids are still getting
points on the exam for their Reasoning, even if they happened to get a fact wrong. In
the past, these students wouldnʼt have gotten any points. I like this. Itʼs akin to a Math
teacher giving partial credit to a student who followed the steps of a problem, but just
happened to switch a sign or mess up a calculation. Iʼve also found, and liked, the
inverse, where a student got points for a fact they knew, but lost points for not being
able to discuss/ analyze the historical signiﬁcance of it.
While more time consuming (now?), I feel the beneﬁts are well worth the investment.