Grades and Grading Nov 07

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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

    1. 1. Grades and Grading <ul><li>A Brief Look at a Complex Task </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nov 3, 2007 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>“ 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.
    2. 2. Should Grading Be This Scary?
    3. 3. Experts on grading… <ul><li>What are the sources of a teacher’s grading practices? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you know about interpreting grades? (What does a “B” mean?) </li></ul><ul><li>Would you be more or less motivated in this workshop if you knew you were being graded? </li></ul><ul><li>What does it take to be an Evaluation Expert? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Essential Questions: <ul><li>What is the difference between grading and assessing? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we grade? </li></ul><ul><li>Do students need grades to learn? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the best grading system? Letter grades? Percents? Checks? </li></ul><ul><li>Can subjectivity be taken out of grading? </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Why do you grade the way you grade? </li></ul>
    6. 6. Sources of Teachers’ Grading Practices <ul><li>The policies and practices they experienced as students. </li></ul><ul><li>Their personal philosophies of teaching and grading. </li></ul><ul><li>Local (district, building, dept) policies on grading and reporting. </li></ul><ul><li>What they learned in undergraduate teacher preparation programs. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Grading Statements: Agree or Disagree?
    8. 8. Definitions <ul><li>Grading: Any professional evaluation of a student’s work/performance. </li></ul><ul><li>- evaluate: to make a professional judgment. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: Non-judgmental feedback of a student’s progress toward a desired goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback: Information provided to learner to assist in reaching a goal. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Formative and Summative Grading <ul><li>Formative grading takes place over time – informs instruction, remedies learning errors, and provides temporary feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Summative grading summarizes students’ achievement and certifies their competence. </li></ul>
    10. 10. The Points-Driven Economy <ul><li>Elementary: Grades as feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Middle/High: Grades become seen as a commodity - given in exchange for a performance or behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Perception: Grades are no longer formative but a summative defining statement. </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>General </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions from </li></ul><ul><li>the Research </li></ul><ul><li>in Grading </li></ul>
    12. 12. # 1 Grading and Reporting are NOT Essential to the Instructional Process <ul><li>Teachers can teach without grades. </li></ul><ul><li>Students can and do learn without grades. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Checking is Essential <ul><li>Checking is Diagnostic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher is an Advocate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grading is Evaluative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher is a Judge </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Begin with a Clear Statement of Purpose <ul><li>Why Grading and Reporting Are Done? </li></ul><ul><li>For Whom the Information is Intended? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Desired Results? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Purpose of Grading <ul><li>1. Communicate the achievement status of students to their parents and others </li></ul><ul><li>2. Provide information for student self-evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>3. Select, identify or group students for certain </li></ul><ul><li>4. Provide incentives for students to learn </li></ul><ul><li>5. Documents students’ performance to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs </li></ul><ul><li>6. Provide evidence of students’ lack of effort or inappropriate responsibility </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li># 2 No One Method </li></ul><ul><li>of Grading and Reporting Serves </li></ul><ul><li>ALL Purpose Well! </li></ul>
    17. 17. Types of Learning Criteria used in Grading and Reporting <ul><li>Product: what students know and are able to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Process: values the above and how they got there. </li></ul><ul><li>Progress: how much students have gained from their learning experiences. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Grading Elements <ul><li>Major Exams Or Compositions </li></ul><ul><li>Class Quizzes </li></ul><ul><li>Reports Or Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Student Portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibits Of Student’s Work </li></ul><ul><li>Laboratory Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ Notebooks Or Journals </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Oral Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Homework Completion </li></ul><ul><li>Homework Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Class Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Work Habits And Neatness </li></ul><ul><li>Effort Put Forth </li></ul><ul><li>Class Attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuality Of Assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Class Behavior Or Attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Progress Made </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li># 3 Grading </li></ul><ul><li>and Reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Will Always Involve </li></ul><ul><li>Some Degree of Subjectivity ! </li></ul>
    20. 20. In General, Reporting is MORE Subjective <ul><li>The More Detailed the Reporting Method. </li></ul><ul><li>The More Analytic the Reporting Process </li></ul><ul><li>The More ‘ Effort ’ is Considered </li></ul><ul><li>The More ‘ Behavior ’ Influences Judgments </li></ul>
    21. 21. Special Problems in Grading <ul><li>Grade averaging </li></ul><ul><li>Use of zeros </li></ul><ul><li>Lowering grades because of behavioral infractions </li></ul><ul><li>Bias </li></ul>
    22. 22. 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
    23. 23. Expert Evaluators <ul><li>In order to provide high quality information, we must rely it on good evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Good evidence (assessment) is the result of three factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Validity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Evaluation Experts <ul><li>Validity: Is the assessment appropriate? Are there factors that interfere with the validity? </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability: Are the assessment results consistent? </li></ul><ul><li>Quantity: A single source of evidence can be flawed; more evidence is usually better evidence. </li></ul>
    25. 25. What is the best grading system? Letter grades? Percents? Checks? <ul><li>Types: </li></ul><ul><li>Letter grades </li></ul><ul><li>Plus & minus letter grades </li></ul><ul><li>Categorical grading (super, outstanding, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Percentage grades </li></ul><ul><li>Standards-based grading </li></ul><ul><li>Pass/fail </li></ul><ul><li>Mastery </li></ul><ul><li>Narratives </li></ul>
    26. 26. The research recommends… <ul><li>Limit the number of categories (four or five is preferable). </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a supplemental narrative description. </li></ul><ul><li>Educators need to “consider the quality of information offered and its usefulness to parents, students, and other interested persons.” - Guskey </li></ul>
    27. 27. What the research says… <ul><li>Grading “on the curve” tells us nothing about what students have learned or are able to do. </li></ul>
    28. 28. The research says… <ul><li>Grades have some </li></ul><ul><li>value as rewards, but no </li></ul><ul><li>values as punishments. </li></ul>
    29. 29. The Subjectivity Factor <ul><li>Consider the following question: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Who was the 17 th president of the US?” </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer than 10% of American students are able to answer this question. </li></ul>
    30. 30. The Subjectivity Factor <ul><li>“Who was the 17th president of the US?” </li></ul><ul><li>George Washington </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>Jimmy Carter </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Clinton </li></ul><ul><li>About 60% of students are able to answer this question correctly. </li></ul>
    31. 31. The Subjectivity Factor <ul><li>“Who was the 17th president of the US?” </li></ul><ul><li>Abraham Lincoln </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>Ulysses S. Grant </li></ul><ul><li>Millard Fillmore </li></ul><ul><li>About 30% of students are able to answer this question correctly. </li></ul>
    32. 32. The Subjectivity Factor <ul><li>“Who was the 17th president of the US?” </li></ul><ul><li>The War of 1812 </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>The Louisiana Purchase </li></ul><ul><li>A Crazy Day for Sally </li></ul><ul><li>About 90% of students are able to answer this question correctly. </li></ul>
    33. 33. What teachers know… <ul><li>Educators must seek an appropriate balance between the formative, instructional purposes of assessments of student learning and the summative evaluative purposes required in grading! </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Seeking Clarity and Uniformity <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Other grades indicate exceeding or approaching the standard. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Some truths about grades: <ul><li>“The client for the information is almost always more astute about what should be reported than is the purveyor of the information.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grant Wiggins, ASCD Yearbook, 1996 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    36. 37. Just for laughs…
    37. 38. Educational Burn-out….

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