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Challenging your beliefs about Grading

Some of the reasons that the traditional grading system is a poor measure of student achievement...
by

Rob Hoover

on 18 January 2012

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Transcript of Challenging your beliefs about Grading

Challenging your Beliefs about Grading
Why
do we
grade?

Document
progress
Provide
feedback
Inform
instruction
... these are all reasons that are supported by research
To motivate students
To punish students
But some reasons are not supported by research...
To sort students
These reasons dilute the accuracy and validity of a grade and take our focus away from measuring what a student knows, understands, and can do.
Grades should reflect mastery of the standards of the curriculum - and nothing else.
"We grade against standards, not the routes students take or techniques teachers use to achieve those standards."
- Rick Wormeli, from
"Differentiated Assessment & Grading"
What
about non-
achievement factors?

Why accept
late work?

Why
allow retakes?

What's wrong with the 100-point grading scale?
Behavior
Effort
Attendance
Attitude
Participation
All are worthy of evaluation...
and reporting...
and providing student feedback...
All are important factors in student success and teacher classroom control
Non-achievement factors are important and should be graded separately from achievement.
"It is appropriate to provide feedback to students on their effort, behavior, and attendance. Ideally this feedback should be kept separate from that provided on academic achievement."
- Robert Marzano, from
"Transforming Classroom Grading"
Multiple levels of F-titude
Would we use the following scale?
A = 100-40
B = 39-30
C = 29-20
D = 19-10
F = 9 - 0
Reliability
issues

Compared to a 4-point scale, the 100-point scale is more subjective and has less inter-rater reliability.
Less rubric friendly
And less correlated to standardized testing scales
The
Killer
Zero

Which end of the F range gives
the most accurate grade?
0, 100, 100, 100, 100, 100 = 83% (B-)
60, 100, 100, 100, 100, 100 = 93% (A-)
Averaging issues
Which measure provides the most accurate portrayal of a student's mastery?
32, 87, 88, 84, 89...
Mean = 76 (C)
Median = 87 (B)
"Our world is full of redos. Sure, most adults don't make as many mistakes requiring redos as students do, but that's just it - our students are not adults and as such, they can be afforded a merciful disposition from their teachers as we move them toward adult competency."
- Rick Wormeli, from
"Fair Isn't Always Equal"
Grades should reflect the current level of student achievement, be based on the most recent assess-ment data, and focus on summative rather than formative measures.
Replace older grades with newer ones that provide a more current measurement of achievement.
Establish appropriate criteria for opportunities.
Don't penalize multiple attempts at mastery.
Students learn at different rates and may require different amounts of practice to attain mastery.
What's the message to the student if we don't?
Two purposes:
Assess student achievement;
Document work habits.
Policies should not discourage students from completing and turning in work.
Establish appropriate criteria for acceptance.
Full transcript