Grading 101

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Grading 101

  1. 1. This presentation was developed for the exclusive use of students enrolled in: Educational Testing & Grading, Professor Gregory E. Stone. © 2004 Gregory E. Stone. All rights reserved. This presentation may not be reproduced in any form, in part or as a whole, without the express written permission of the author.
  2. 2. Grading 101 How you grade and report to your students is as important as how you  assess them.
  3. 3. Over Simplistic 91 ­ 100 = A What does  81 ­ 90 = B earning an 71 ­ 80 = C 61 ­ 70 = D “A” really Under 61 = F mean?
  4. 4. Student Learning Assessment Objectives Content A, B, C . . . & Difficulty
  5. 5. Suppose a teacher gave 3 different  exams covering the same content to  three different students Easy Moderate Difficult Exam Exam Exam
  6. 6. Suppose each student scored 50% Easy Moderate Difficult Exam Exam Exam 50% 50% 50%
  7. 7. Easy Moderate Difficult Exam Exam Exam 50% 50% 50% How can this be reasonable?
  8. 8. Grading without reference  to content and difficulty is  necessarily arbitrary and  capricious.
  9. 9. While most schools mandate  a specific grade reporting  format, teachers have  flexibility in their own  classrooms.
  10. 10. Let’s begin by discussing  what grades aren’t. > Life encompassing > Pejorative > Inclusive of all     characteristics
  11. 11. Instead, we must think of grades as unidimensional 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like a ruler
  12. 12. Rulers can measure length. Rulers can measure width. We can use those measurements  to assess area. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 How can we use this ruler to  measure color? Or combine color and area?
  13. 13. Grades are rulers of a sort,  designed to represent mastery of  a given subject, area or behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 B+ English Report Card
  14. 14. B+ English Report Card Basic Grading Rule: If the grade is for an academic  subject, the grade must reflect  only academic performance!
  15. 15. B+ English Report Card Many of us want to include other  pieces in our grades, like: Johnny tries really hard Sally is very well behaved
  16. 16. English Report Card When grades mix  behavior, academics &  B+ effort, we can’t really  understand any of the   English proficiency three charateristics!    Class behavior How can we make   Student effort decisions on this basis?
  17. 17. Elementary schools  Elementary School generally report grades  Report Card effectively ­ in a  Language Arts S manner allowing for  Effort E maximum  Behavior S+ understanding of  Jimmy tries very hard student performance on  but needs to pay more attention in class. all desired levels.   Ms. Allison
  18. 18. Secondary schools do  High School not often allow for this  Report Card detail ­ and many  English A teachers include this  Math B “other” information  B+ ! Science within the academic  grade.   N G R O W Confused grading is a leading cause of discounting teacher grades!
  19. 19. When schools limit expression  of grades ­ teachers must  become more creative!   ­ letters, notes & phone    calls home ­ approach administrators    to create better, more    inclusive reports
  20. 20. English Sally needs help with subject-verb agreement. Try practice with Learning Objective 1 ____________________ exercise 12 in the english text. Learning Objective 2 ____________________ Wow! Sally is so advanced - she should be encouraged to read Learning Objective 3 ____________________ more difficult texts. . . Learning Objective X ____________________ Example
  21. 21. In your classroom:  Practice good grading   Don’t ignore content & difficulty Don’t be rigid and arbitrary Don’t give a student a grade without  helping them USE the grade to  improve their mastery.
  22. 22. Difficulty can be Addressed with simple weighting   Sally       Jenny Easy Item A 1. __   B   Easy Item 2. __ B Moderate Item 3. __   C Moderate Item 4. __ A   Difficult Item 5. __ D   Difficult Item 6. __   ______     _______ UNWEIGHTED 66%    66%
  23. 23. Difficulty can be Addressed with simple weighting   Sally       Jenny 10% Easy Item A 1. __   B   10% Easy Item 2. __ B 17.5% Moderate Item 3. __   C 17.5% Moderate Item 4. __ A   22.5% Difficult Item 5. __ D   22.5% Difficult Item 6. __   ______     _______ WEIGHTED 55%    80%
  24. 24. Importance can also be Addressed with simple weighting   Sally       Jenny Low Importance Item A 1. __   B   Low Importance Item 2. __ B Average Importance Item 3. __   C Average Importance Item 4. __ A   High Importance Item 5. __ D   High Importance Item 6. __   ______     _______ WEIGHTED 55%    80%
  25. 25. Robert Ebel developed a model for  setting standards using a 3x3 grid   DIFFICULTY Easy Moderate Difficult IMPORTANCE Low 3 pts 4 pts 5 pts Mod 4 pts 5 pts 6 pts High 5 pts 6 pts 7 pts
  26. 26. By including content & difficulty in your grading process you are creating  CRITERION­REFERENCED grades.   Criterion-referenced grades are the only grades that are fair and equitable to all students.
  27. 27. Criterion­Referencing:   Based upon mastery or performance on a selected set of content (i.e. how well did Johnny do in English?) Normative­Referencing:   Based upon the distribution of scores and the “normal distribution” (i.e. how well did Johnny do compared to Jimmy?)
  28. 28. Criterion­Referencing:   Simple Math We suppose that academic subjects run along a continuum - from easier to more difficult, from ÷ unimportant to very important. Criterion referencing helps us x understand what specific content the student has mastered. For example ---------------- - +
  29. 29. Criterion­Referencing:   Simple Math We suppose that academic Not Mastered subjects run along a continuum - from easier to more difficult, from ÷ unimportant to very important. Criterion referencing helps us x understand what specific content the student has mastered. For example - Mastered +
  30. 30. Norm­Referencing:   Grading without reference to content - instead scores are determined based on the group of students who take the exam. THE NORMAL DISTRIBUTION
  31. 31. THE NORMAL DISTRIBUTION The student score is 0.5 standard deviations above Mean 68% the mean. 96% 99% -3 -2 -1 +1 +2 +3 Standard Deviation Units
  32. 32. Norm­Referencing:   We’ll learn more about the Normal distribution when we discuss Standardized Test scores. Such statistical schemes are seldom used in the classroom … but there is one very popular form of norming used in classrooms all over. Can you name it?
  33. 33. Norm­Referencing:   “If the highest score on the exam is 95%, then I’ll make that the top score (100%) by adding 5 to everyone’s score” We generally hate the person who gets the top score for “throwing off the curve!” Curving is UNFAIR, UNREASONABLE and UNACCEPTABLE!
  34. 34. The special concerns with  Special Education   I.E.P.’s often require teachers  to offer Special Education  students special tests and  special grading schemes. What’s wrong with this plan?
  35. 35. The special concerns with  Special Education   Via integration (mainstreaming) special education  students and “regular” education students are in  the same classroom but are measured to different  standards. Report Card Report Card English A English A Special Ed Student Non-Special Ed Student
  36. 36. Report Card Report Card English A English A Special Ed Student Non-Special Ed Student Subjects Verbs Adjectives Adverbs Subject-Verb Agreement Simple sentences Paragraphs
  37. 37. Report Card Report Card English A English A Special Ed Student Non-Special Ed Student Subjects Subjects Verbs Adjectives Adjectives Adverbs Subject-Verb Agreement Simple sentences Simple sentences Paragraphs
  38. 38. Non­standard grades = Useless grades   How could a college or  anyone else make use or  sense of grades that mean  something different even  within the same classroom?
  39. 39. 3 Major Problems leading to the  devaluation of teacher grades:   Inclusion of non-academic information in academic grades Unfair normative (curving) practices Non-standard grading within the same classroom

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