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A Standards Based Grading Case Study...Kinda


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A basic overview of how one approach to Standards Based Grading (SBG) was implemented in a high school physics class using Microsoft Excel and the Pinnacle web-based gradebook.

This presentation was given as part of a larger staff professional development on SBG.

Published in: Education, Technology

A Standards Based Grading Case Study...Kinda

  1. 1. Standards-Based Grading (SBG)<br />A Case Study…Kinda<br />@MR_ABUD <br />#TEAMPHYSICS<br />
  2. 2. FIRST, SOME SBG CLARIFICATION<br />ABUD IS:<br />ABUD IS NOT:<br />An expert on SBG…yet<br />Paid by any SBG company<br />Telling you what to do in your classroom<br />Going to come and set up a complete “canned” SBG system for your classroom<br />A proponent of SBG<br />Well read and researched about SBG<br />Marzano and O’Connor are two good sources<br />Experienced implementing a SBG approach last year<br />Well-versed with Microsoft Excel, and that made SBG easier<br />Available to answer questions about his experience & knowledge<br />
  3. 3. Motivation for the Shift<br />Meaning of a grade<br />What you did vs. what you know<br />Students motivated (by meaning of the grade) to do assignments/tasks<br />Like finishing the weekend chores checklist<br />Focus on learning and mastery is lost<br />Students “make up” missing work at the end of a marking period for credit to help their grade<br />Without focus on learning for mastery, taking learning risks can be too costly<br />
  4. 4. The Problem<br />How might we make a gradebetter represent what students know rather than what they did?<br />
  5. 5. The Solution<br />At least, it was an attempt at one…<br />
  6. 6. This plan was developed over christmas break & implemented at the start of 2nd semester<br />Actions Taken: <br />Stopped checking in homework all together <br />Previously was checked for “completion” (approach to assess student attempt)<br />Wrote standards for each unit (adapted from curriculum map and state HSCEs)<br />Written in student-centered “I statements”<br />Developed assessments that generated ostensible evidence of student learning on standards<br />Linked individual assessments (and even individual questions) to one or more standards<br />Kept record of student scores on assessments<br />Reported student assessment scores according to standards<br />Used an average of all assessment scores for a given standards<br />Managed Scores in Microsoft Excel<br />Created “Standards” in Pinnacle instead of assignments<br />Input standards scores in Pinnacle<br />Calculated summative score & reported all standards and ratings to students separately from their report card<br />
  7. 7. Tracking Progress with Graphs<br />
  8. 8. Tracking Progress with Tables<br />From: Frank Noschese’s blog post, “The Tower” (7/27/11) <br />
  9. 9. Gradebook Before<br />
  10. 10. The SBG Scale<br />Inspired by the 4.0 grade point average system, the rating system used in SBG simply assigns a numeric value to a level of proficiency.<br />Here is how it looks in comparison to how we are used to grading:<br />
  11. 11. GradebookAfter<br />
  12. 12. Findings<br />Students: <br />Agreed with SBG as a means to more accurately reflect what they know<br />Used the feedback from their SBG report to improve their understanding and strived for mastery (completed reassessments)<br />Stopped copying just to get assignments completed so they would “get [their] points” toward a grade<br />Shifted their focus from doing to learning<br />Struggled with the adjustment to a different grading approach that <br />Did not readily see how to use SBG feedback, or did not choose to use the SBG feedback<br />Still asked, “what assignments am I missing that my grade is so low?”<br />Wished it had been implemented from day 1<br />
  13. 13. Complaints & Criticisms of SBG<br />Students: <br />Cognitive dissonance with regard to grading<br />“What the formula” (WTF) moments occurred when students could not figure the calculation of their grade<br />SOLUTION: MORE TRANSPARENT PROCESS<br />Forces them to have to know it<br />Many are used to being able to “fake it to make it” (the game of school)<br />SOLUTION: START FROM DAY 1 & INTRODUCE PROCESS WITH AN INVITING EXPERIENCE<br />Mr. Abud, I was wondering what my grade is; it says “approaching proficiency” a bunch of times.<br />
  14. 14. Complaints & Criticisms of SBG<br />Parents: <br />Not possible with Pinnacle to see why their student has the grades on the standards that they do<br />Searching for a missing “checklist” that their student did not complete<br />SOLUTION: STUDENTS KEEP TRACK OF THEIR PROGRESS<br />Grade lower than expected, yet student “does their work”<br />Parents used to having completion accountability for students’ grades<br />SOLUTION: LETTERS HOME EXPLAINING PROCESS<br />Perhaps my grade was artificially inflated by all that copying I did on my homework for completion…<br />
  15. 15. Conclusions, Reflections, & Recommendations<br />Strengths (+)<br />Changes (∆)<br />Focus on learning, not just doing<br />Opportunity for improvement<br />Removes pressure of academic risk-taking <br />Connects grade to learning<br />Makes assessment and grading more transparent/relevant<br />Standards in gradebook instead of tasks<br />Starts from day 1<br />Students track their own progress<br />More formative assessment<br />Obtrusive<br />Unobtrusive<br />Student-generated<br />Rubrics<br />Letter home to explain process<br />
  16. 16. Next Steps…for Interested Parties<br />Consider <br />How you ALREADY use rubrics to assess students<br />What your performance objectives look like<br />To what extent your assessments connect to your objectives<br />The function of homework in your class (practice or chore)<br />Reflect on<br />How often you have students wanting to make up missing work for points but gain nothing from doing that work<br />The extent to which a grade in your class truly reflects learning<br />Whether your students are motivated to learn or do <br />What opportunities exist for students to recover from early mistakes<br />
  17. 17. ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO TRY SBG<br />The following actions can be part of a small action research project in your own classroom:<br />Consider for an upcoming unit/chapter/lesson/project<br />Writing objectives in “I statement” language that connect to your content standards<br />Developing assessments (formative and summative) that make it easy to observe proficiency with the objectives<br />Adding a rubric to that assessment if it doesn’t already have one (omit components unrelated to objectives, e.g., 1” margins)<br />Creating proficiency rankings with explanations of each ranking level<br />Assessing students according to the rubric components<br />Reporting students’ scores on the rubric and generating a summative score as well<br />Providing students a means to track their own performance<br />Debriefing the grading approach with your class<br />
  18. 18. Final Thoughts<br />SBG is not a replacement for a summative grade<br />It just gives more substantive meaning to that grade<br />It is completely possible to implement with any number of students in any content area<br />It is best for teachingand learning<br />It promotes formative assessment, feedback, and student ownership over learning<br />It can be done in a low-tech (paper grids / graphs) or a high-tech way (Excel, Pinnacle, cloud-based apps)<br />It is more “fun” when you do it with others<br />
  19. 19. Resources<br /><ul><li>SBG w/Voice
  20. 20.
  21. 21. US Dept. of Ed. SBG Resources
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Frank Noschese’s Action-Reaction Blog
  24. 24.</li></ul>Always Formative Blog:<br /><br />ActiveGrade – a cloud-based web app for SBG<br /><br />Sample Classroom SBG Policy Handout<br /><br />