On March 6, 2014, we looked at Ken O’Connor’s “15 Fixes to Broken Grades.”
Thing I agree with:
– keeping behavior and grades separate
– support for students who submit work late (although I would do this within reason because your students need to work as hard as you. However, I think if students hand in late work they probably have extenuating circumstances and need our support).
– report absences separate from grades
– organize information by I Can Statements/Outcomes (I like this but I am still trying to figure this out. I think once I understand the outcomes better, this will be easier).
– provide clear expectations
– rely on quality assessments and not on those that do not meet the standards of quality (ie. get students to redo and then grade)
– use your professional judgment (ie. mean is not the only measure)
– use alternatives for zero (ie. incomplete, etc.)
– use summative evidence only in grade and keep formative assessment out of it
– include lots of formative assessment in teaching practice
– focus on recent achievement and allow for practice time
– involve students in their own assessment and make them part of the grading process (This is harder than it sounds!)
Things I am unsure of:
– do not compare students to each other but to a standard (I believe in this but I am not anywhere close to this level of success and mastery yet. Hopefully one day!)
– not including group scores in grades (I think this is sometimes appropriate. We can use our professional judgment to determine when it is fair and when it is not).
– apply fair consequences for academic dishonesty and reassess (ie. do not give a zero. I agree but I wonder, what is a fair consequence for stealing work or cheating? However, giving a zero would not correct the behavior I bet. But what does? This will be stressful. Hopefully the school I go to would have a policy).
Something I dislike:
– not giving bonus points unless the work has resulted in a higher level of achievement (I think bonus questions are fun and I think students who work hard should have that reflected in their grades. I’m not sure I even understand this point.)