Thursday, August 19, 2010

Interesting Links on Assessment, Grading, and Mastery

On the Shoulders of Giants: Grading for Mastery in a Progressive Classroom
Sometimes teachers design such compelling learning experiences that students are able to forget they are doing a "school" activity. They derive genuine pleasure from the curiosity and intellectual engagement of the experience. This is what we want and, in my experience both as a teacher and student, leads to the highest levels of understanding. But it's not ALL we want. It's a necessary step in the learning process called exploration.

ARK-StudyGuideR_0.pdf (application/pdf Object)
A Repair Kit for Grading, by Ken O’Connor describes 15 ways to make grades and marks more consistent, accurate, meaningful, and supportive of learning (page 4). These are called 15 fixes. This study guide is intended for use in conjunction with study of the book. It suggests discussions and activities for each fix that serve one or more of the following purposes:
• Clarifying ideas
• Providing extra information on a topic, or where to locate it
• Thinking through and planning changes to try; we call these replacement strategies
• Posing common grading/marking dilemmas to solve

How to Grade for Learning, K-12 - Google Books
Ken O'Connor's book How to Grade for Learning

8StepsMeaningfulGrading.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Grades earned in traditional grading systems are usually based on a combination of formative and summative assessments. With standards-based grading, grades are based solely on summative assessments designed to measure content mastery.

Educational Leadership:Assessment to Promote Learning:Grading to Communicate
Throughout my career as an educator, I have experienced frustration with how my traditional classroom grading practices have influenced my students' learning. When I discuss this issue with colleagues, parents, and—most important—students, I find that I am not alone in my frustration. Paradoxically, grades detract from students' motivation to learn. It is time to reconsider our classroom grading practices.

Educational Leadership:Assessment to Promote Learning:Seven Practices for Effective Learning
Classroom assessment and grading practices have the potential not only to measure and report learning but also to promote it. Indeed, recent research has documented the benefits of regular use of diagnostic and formative assessments as feedback for learning (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall, & Wiliam, 2004). Like successful athletic coaches, the best teachers recognize the importance of ongoing assessments and continual adjustments on the part of both teacher and student as the means to achieve maximum performance. Unlike the external standardized tests that feature so prominently on the school landscape these days, well-designed classroom assessment and grading practices can provide the kind of specific, personalized, and timely information needed to guide both learning and teaching.

Tenets of Assessment/Grading Reform | Jason T Bedell
"…changing classroom assessment is the beginning of a revolution – a revolution in classroom practices of all kinds…Getting classroom assessment right is not a simplistic, either-or situation. It is a complex mix of challenging personal beliefs, rethinking instruction and learning new ways to assess for different purposes." (Earl, 2003, pp. 15-16)

GullenHandouts.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Grading policies such as refusing to accept late work, giving grades of zero, and refusing to allow students to redo their work may be intended as punishment for poor performance, but such policies will not really teach students to be accountable, and they provide very little useful information about students' mastery of the material. Assessment and feedback, particularly during the course of learning, are the most effective ways for students to learn accountability in their work and in their personal lives.

Developing grading and reporting ... - Google Books
Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning
By Thomas R. Guskey, Jane M. Bailey
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