In the classroom, I can be formidable: I’ve been known to drill-sergeant lethargic students out of their chairs and demand burpees; I am a master of the I’m Not Mad, I’m Just Disappointed scowl. And yet, when it comes to assigning an end-of-semester letter value to their results, I am grade-A milquetoast.
Showing 45 posts tagged grading
Students don’t like cumulative exams—that almost goes without saying. They prefer unit exams that include only material covered since the previous exam. And they’d like it even better if the final wasn’t a comprehensive exam but rather one last unit test. But students don’t always prefer what research shows promotes learning and long-term retention, and that is the case with this study of the effects of cumulative exams in an introductory psychology course.
With increasing costs and shrinking resources most, particularly public, universities need to find alternatives to ever-increasing tuition and fees.
The college majors that tend to lead to the most profitable professions are also the stingiest about awarding A’s. Science departments grade, on a four-point scale, an average of 0.4 points lower than humanities departments, according to a 2010 analysis of national grading data by Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy. And two new research studies suggest that women might be abandoning these lucrative disciplines precisely because they’re terrified of getting B’s.
Over the past five years, 37 states have improved their overall grades by at least one full grade level because of significant reform, particularly in the areas of teacher evaluation and related teacher effectiveness policies.
Click on a state for detailed information about that state’s teacher policies or explore the results of the 2013 Yearbook further in the State Yearbook Dashboard.
Damian Ewens sits in his snazzy office at BetaSpring, a Providence business incubator. He’s mother hen to Achievery, a business that provides a platform for building “digital badge” systems.
And they are? Well, they’re basically a high-tech version of Boy Scout badges, certifying that the young man sporting one of the iconic patches on his sash actually knows something about knot-tying, canoeing or cooking over a campfire. The Scout manual explains what skills that badge certifies and the criteria for getting one.
Okay, but a “digital” badge?
If students improve poor attendance, their academic achievement increases, a study shows.
Many schools use a 1-4 scale to indicate not enough evidence, not yet proficient, proficient, or exceeding proficiency. Parents and students may think this is just the same as A-D, but it’s not. Designing a grading strategy and communicating it effectively is an important step in reshaping the culture of schools and districts.
Much of the grading controversy is driven by college admissions. That’s slowly changing. Last week, 48 New England colleges announced that they would be accepting proficiency-based diplomas. While we’re waiting for higher ed to change,school districts will need to provide translations that give their graduates a shot at selective schools.
Report cards that provide standards-based feedback need to be simple to produce and easy to understand–and 20 years after our first attempt, it’s still harder than it should be.
When you are a math teacher you are often faced with the dilemma of whether to assign partial credit to a problem that is incorrect, but that demonstrates some knowledge of the topic. Should I give half-credit? Three points out of five? My answer has typically been to give no credit…at first. However, taking a page from my colleagues in the English department (and grad school), I do allow for revisions, which ends up being a much better solution.
Watch as a physics teacher spins a basketball on a pen while he grades papers!
I found intriguing the idea of letting students decide whether they want to be called on or prefer to volunteer. Do you think that’s a good idea? I rather like it. It gives students some control and if we believe the research that being in control increases motivation, maybe that and freedom from the fear of being called on might encourage some students to speak up.
Milwaukee Public Schools is doing away with traditional letter grades in favor of a new scoring system that separates academic progress from social skills.
The report card offers separate feedback about a student’s work habits, behavior and effort — such as following rules or arriving to class prepared — on a scale of 1 to 4.
Known as "standards-based" grading, the new system has been implemented more widely in recent years, and is reaching more MPS K-8 and elementary schools this year.
Yet when teachers tell unvarnished truths at any stage, they are accused of damaging the self-esteem of their students. I think teachers who sidestep their responsibility shortchange students. I’m not suggesting that teachers adopt the methods of Marine drill instructors. Those tactics work well in the military, but they are counterproductive in public schools. However, what exists now all too often is the failure of teachers to give students any grade below an “A,” or at worst a “B,” out of fear of destroying their students’ delicate egos.
The result is that students are given a false sense of their abilities. When they leave school, reality quickly sets in. Is it any wonder that they become angry or bitter?
image via flickr:CC | deeplifequotes
Concerned that the model used in issuing A-F grades to Indiana schools was too complex for anyone to comprehend the ratings, state lawmakers have thrown out the grading formula and told education officials to rewrite the system by fall.
So, what now? How will the state give your school its letter grade rating in the future?