10 Thoughts On Grading And Assessment

10 Thoughts On Grading And Assessment

by Justin Tarte

1). ‘Teachers don’t need grades or reporting forms to teach well. Further, students don’t need them to learn.’

2). ‘If you trust the validity and accuracy of your test/assessment, then you shouldn’t have any problem with redos for full credit.’

3). ‘Don’t leave students out of the grading process. Involve students – they can – and should – play key roles in assessment and grading that promote achievement.’

4). ‘Nothing of consequence would be lost by getting rid of timed tests. Few tasks in life – and very few tasks in scholarship – actually depend on being able to read passages or solve math problems rapidly.’

5). No studies support the use of low grades or marks as punishments. Instead of prompting greater effort, low grades more often cause students to withdraw from learning.’

6). ‘A kid who says school sucks and just give me an ‘F’ does not have the necessary maturity level to be in charge of making his/her own educational decisions.’

7). ‘Averaging falls far short of providing an accurate description of what students have learned. . . . If the purpose of grading and reporting is to provide an accurate description of what students have learned, then averaging must be considered inadequate and inappropriate.’

8). ‘When we refuse to accept an assignment late and give a zero instead, we undermine our content and say it has no value.’

9). ‘Don’t include zeros in grade determination when evidence is missing or as punishment; use alternatives, such as reassessing to determine real level of achievement or use ‘I’ for Incomplete or Insufficient evidence.’

10). ‘If a kid never does any of the work you assign but does wonderfully well on your assessments, then it’s time to evaluate the work you assign and the types of assessments you use.’

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3 thoughts on “10 Thoughts On Grading And Assessment

  1. While in general I agree with much of these I also find some I disagree with. For example “4). ‘Nothing of consequence would be lost by getting rid of timed tests. Few tasks in life – and very few tasks in scholarship – actually depend on being able to read passages or solve math problems rapidly.'” I taught chemistry which involves many routine calaculations that students must practice until they can do them fairly rapidly. The speed at which they do these is a measure of whether they have practiced them enough. In order to provide guidance I provided practice test questions and a constant amount of time per question for the entire term. The standard was set and met by those who did the work and not by those who faked it. There were multiple opportunities to prove such mastery.

    Time pressure is not an unknown quantity in real life. I know this as a writer/editor who must make deadlines. Similarly salesmen have monthly quotas. Chefs must deliver meals to tables in a timely manner, etc. Applying time pressure is one way to test the robustness of learning. As an archery coach, we train our athletes to deal with it. It offers similar benefits to academic students. Obviously any aspect of evaluation can be overemphasized to become an abuse, but time pressure is not in and of itself a bad thing.

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