Saturday, April 20, 2013

How Many Grades Should be in the Gradebook?


I'm trying to get my head around a question.  How often should grades be put in the gradebook and what does best practices tell us?

I will not answer how many grades should be given but I would love to see your comments on how often grades should be given and how you come to that conclusion.

So here are some of my thoughts:
  • Feedback is more effective than grading.  Feedback actually increases learning by providing valuable information.  Put a grade on it, and the student looks only at the grade, even if feedback is also provided.  The research then shows that no additional learning gains are made for the students once the grade has been placed on the paper/assignment.
  • Feedback is number 1 on Hattie's Effect Size.  However, grading can eliminate the effect of feedback.
  • Feedback should be based on a clearly stated goal.
  • Feedback should answer what they have done well and how they can do better.
  • Students should make mistakes on homework. Feedback should be given to students. 
  • Grades should be based on summative assessments.  In other words, the learning is done, now we can assess with a grade.
  • Grades should not be an accumulation but rather a reflection upon mastery of standards.  The mistakes you made while learning should not be held against you.
"Ditch the obsession with grades, so that pupils can concentrate instead on the comments that the teacher has written on written classwork." Dylan William

Some interesting articles on the topic of effective grading, feedback and/or assessment.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb08/vol65/num05/Effective-Grading-Practices.aspx



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