Assessment: Grading & Student Evaluation

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Assessment: Grading & Student Evaluation

  1. 1. Assessment: Grading & Student Evaluation Eddy White, Ph.D. Assessment Coordinator Center for English as a Second Language University of Arizona
  2. 2. The goal of assessment has to be, above all, to support the improvement of learning and teaching. (Fredrickson & Collins, 1989)
  3. 3. Contents <ul><li>Introduction: Assessment Words of Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Grading and Student Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Questionnaire task </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion – A Story </li></ul>
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  6. 6. definition: Classroom Assessment
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  9. 9. <ul><li>Improving student learning implies improving the assessment system. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers often assume that it is their teaching that directs student learning. </li></ul><ul><li>In practice, assessment directs student learning, because it is the assessment system that defines what is worth learning. </li></ul>(Havnes, 2004)
  10. 10. <ul><li>There is substantial evidence that assessment, rather than teaching, has the major influence on students’ learning . Assessment . . . </li></ul><ul><li>directs attention to what is important, </li></ul><ul><li>acts as an incentive for study, and </li></ul><ul><li>has a powerful effect on student’s approaches to their work. </li></ul>(Boud & Falchikov, 2007) Rethinking Assessment in Higher Education
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  13. 13. 2010
  14. 14. Five key assessment principles <ul><li>Practicality </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Validity </li></ul><ul><li>Authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Washback </li></ul>
  15. 15. Key Assessment Principles <ul><li>1 . Validity - Does the assessment measure what we really want to measure? </li></ul><ul><li>2. Reliability - Is all work being consistently marked to the same standard? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Practicality - Is the procedure relatively easy to administer? </li></ul><ul><li>4. Washback - Does the assessment have positive effects on learning and teaching? </li></ul><ul><li>5. Authenticity - Are students asked to perform real-world tasks? </li></ul>
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  17. 18. <ul><li>__________ is perhaps the most critical of all teaching skills. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Decision-making is perhaps the most critical of all teaching skills.
  19. 20. (Anderson, 2003) <ul><li>Since the 1970’s, there has been a group of educators and researchers who have argued that the key to being a good teacher lies in the decisions that teachers make . </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Good assessments lie at the core of good decision making. </li></ul>
  21. 22. decision making
  22. 23. Contents <ul><li>Introduction: Assessment Words of Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Grading and Student Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Questionnaire task </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion – A Story </li></ul>
  23. 24. Grading/Student Evaluation
  24. 25. Grading and Student Evaluation : Challenges, Choices, and Consequences
  25. 26. Sound assessment and grading practice <ul><li>help teachers to improve their instruction, </li></ul><ul><li>improve students motivation to learn, and </li></ul><ul><li>increase students level of achievement. </li></ul>(Brookhart, 1999)
  26. 27. Roles of grading (Walvoord, Anderson, 1998) <ul><li>1 . Evaluation : the grade claims to be a valid, fair and trustworthy judgment about the quality of the students work </li></ul><ul><li>2. Communication : the grade communicates the teachers judgment of the students work </li></ul><ul><li>3. Motivation : because it affects the time and effort students spend, grading is a powerful part of the motivational structure of a course (for better and for worse) </li></ul><ul><li>4. Organization : a grade helps mark transitions, bring closure and focus efforts for both teachers and students </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>The teachers job is to render an informed and professional judgment to the best of their ability. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers need to : </li></ul><ul><li>establish clear and thoughtful criteria and standards to student’s work, </li></ul><ul><li>exercise that professional judgment within the context of their institution, department and the students they deal with. </li></ul>Teachers and Grading Walvoord & Anderson, 1998)
  28. 29. Grading and teachers roles <ul><li>Grades matter greatly for teachers who often experience the tension of performing two conflicting roles : </li></ul><ul><li>1. Coaches - instructing, guiding student writing </li></ul><ul><li>2. Judges - evaluating students work </li></ul><ul><li>** Teachers themselves are often judged by the grades they give. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Grading schemes for a course
  30. 31. Grading schemes <ul><li>- the series of assessment tools (exams, tasks, projects, etc.) that are scored and used to arrive at a final grade for students. </li></ul>
  31. 32. 2010 MA TESOL Program San Francisco State University
  32. 33. (Brown & Abeywickrama, 2010) <ul><li>Standards for assigning grades are extraordinarily variable across teachers, subject matter, courses, programs, school systems, and even cultures. </li></ul>
  33. 34. Contents <ul><li>Introduction: Assessment Words of Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Grading and Student Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Questionnaire task </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion – A Story </li></ul>
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  35. 36. <ul><li>What should grades reflect? </li></ul><ul><li>How should different objectives, tasks, and components of a course figure into a formula for calculating grades? </li></ul>
  36. 37. Grading Questionnaire
  37. 38. Grading criteria/weighting task <ul><li>Consider the course information provided (teaching assignment next slide) </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the criteria you will use to set up your grading scheme </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the weighting of the items in your grading scheme (to total 100%) </li></ul>
  38. 39. Teaching Assignment <ul><li>Course title/level : 50 Writing (intermediate) </li></ul><ul><li>16 international students </li></ul><ul><li>Course focus : writing effective essays </li></ul><ul><li>Main learning outcome : Students will be able to write effective 5-paragraph essays of various types (e.g. argumentative, cause &effect, compare/contrast) </li></ul><ul><li>Length : 8 Weeks </li></ul>
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  40. 41. What factors should be included in deciding the final grade for a course?
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  42. 43. Questionnaire responses <ul><li>In a recent administration of the questionnaire to teachers as the American Language Institute at San Francisco State University . . . </li></ul><ul><li>the item on which most teachers agreed on was item (a) </li></ul><ul><li>which received percentage allocations from 50-75%. </li></ul>
  43. 44. Brown & Abeywickrama (2010) <ul><li>It is safe to assert that formal tests, quizzes, exercises, homework, essays, reports, presentations – all of which are marked in some way – are universally accepted as primary criteria for determining grades. </li></ul>
  44. 45. Responses-American Language Institute, SFSU <ul><li>Items (b) and (c) also drew relatively strong support. </li></ul><ul><li>A word of caution : </li></ul><ul><li>If intuitive, informal observations by the teacher figure into the final grade, it is very important to inform students in advance how these observations, and impressions will be recorded throughout the semester. </li></ul>
  45. 46. Responses-American Language Institute, SFSU <ul><li>On items (d) through (h) there was some disagreement and considerable discussion </li></ul><ul><li>but all of these items received at least a few votes for inclusion. </li></ul>
  46. 47. <ul><li>How can these factors (improvement, effort, motivation, etc.) be systematically incorporated into a final grade ? </li></ul><ul><li>Some educational assessment experts state definitely that none of these items should ever be a factor in grading. </li></ul>
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  48. 49. (Gronlund & Waugh, 2008) <ul><li>Base grades on student achievement, and student achievement only. </li></ul><ul><li>Grades should represent the extent to which the learning outcomes were achieved by students. </li></ul><ul><li>They should not be contaminated by student effort, tardiness, misbehavior or other extraneous factors . . . </li></ul><ul><li>If they are permitted to become part of the grade, the meaning of the grade as an indicator of achievement is lost. </li></ul>
  49. 50. Brown & Abeywickrama (2010) <ul><li>This is a strongly empirical philosophy of grading . </li></ul><ul><li>There are other points of view that consider other factors in assessing and grading (Grove, 1998; Marzano, 2006; Power 1998, etc) </li></ul>
  50. 51. Brown & Abeywickrama (2010) <ul><li>How many teachers do you know who are consistently impeccable in their objectivity as graders in the classroom? </li></ul>
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  52. 53. <ul><li>If you are willing to include some nonachievement factors in your grading scheme, how do you incorporate them along with other more measureable factors? </li></ul>
  53. 54. Contents <ul><li>Introduction: Assessment Words of Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Grading and Student Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Questionnaire task </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion – A Story </li></ul>
  54. 55. Guidelines
  55. 56. Guidelines for Selecting Grading Criteria (4) <ul><li>It is essential for all components of grading to be consistent with an institutional philosophy and/or regulations. </li></ul><ul><li>All components of a final grade need to be explicitly stated in writing to students at the beginning of a term of study with a designation of percentages or weighting figures for each component. </li></ul>
  56. 57. Guidelines for Selecting Grading Criteria (4) <ul><li>3. If your grading system includes items (d) through (h) in the questionnaire, it is important for you to recognize their subjectivity and convert such factors into observable and measureable results (e.g. using checklists, note-taking systems, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>4. Consider allocating relatively small weights to items (c) through (h) so that a grade primarily reflects achievement . </li></ul>
  57. 58. Grading and Student Evaluation : Challenges, Choices, and Consequences
  58. 59. decision making
  59. 60.
  60. 61. The goal of assessment has to be, above all, to support the improvement of learning and teaching. (Fredrickson & Collins, 1989)
  61. 62. Contents <ul><li>Introduction: Assessment Words of Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Grading and Student Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Questionnaire task </li></ul><ul><li>Grading Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion – A Story </li></ul>
  62. 63. finally . . .
  63. 64. a story
  64. 65. <ul><li>A grandfather planting seeds in his garden was asked by his grandson, “How do you make the seeds grow?” </li></ul><ul><li>The grandfather replied, “I can’t make the seeds grow, but I can provide the best conditions for them to grow.” </li></ul>
  65. 66. <ul><li>Effective classroom-based assessment can greatly contribute to the successful nurturing and development of our student’s language learning. </li></ul>
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  67. 69. Assessment: Grading & Student Evaluation (January, 2012) Eddy White, Ph.D. Assessment Coordinator Center for English as a Second Language University of Arizona

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