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Introduction to Grading Grading is one of the most important activities a faculty member does. Many problems in teaching arise because of grading issues.

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Introduction to Grading Grading involves how you score exams, what kinds of exams you give, and how you assign course grades at the end of the semester.

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Introduction to Grading By the end of this module, you will: Know the 4 R’s of grading Understand how students perceive grades Know the differences between a grading system and grading assignments Click here to get started.

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You’re giving your students an exam in an hour. How would you answer these questions? What is your purpose for giving the exam? Will you grade the exam on a curve? How much of the students’ grades will the exam “count?” Click here if you don’t have answers.

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To answer the questions about your exam, it will help to know the 4 R’s of Grading: Relevant, Reliable, Recognizable, and Realistic. These are principles that help instructors decide when, how, and why to give exams. What are the 4 R’s of Grading?

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4 R’s of Grading: Relevant The way you assess students must be an accurate reflection of the skills and information taught in the class. This sounds simple but it is the #1 mistake instructors make in grading and testing.

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4 R’s of Grading: Relevant, Part 2 Make sure test questions match the course learning goals and objectives 100%. How? Write out each learning objective and then write test questions to match each objective. See an example

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Example of Relevance Learning Objective: Students should know the mechanisms of classical conditioning. Test Question: Describe a typical classical conditioning experiment noting the reasons it works.

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4 R’s of Grading: Reliable Reliability is consistency in measurement. This means a student’s grade should not be based completely on one or two measurements (assignments or exams) or on the mood of the grader.

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4 R’s of Grading: Reliable, part 2 Unreliable grading is caused by: Poor communication to students of your expectations Lack of consistent grading criteria Lack of a variety of assignments Lack of enough assignments

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Reliable Grading You can: Tell students up front the number and kinds of exams and assignments Grade consistently Tell students up front what you expect from them in terms of quality and quantity of work

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4 R’s of Grading: Recognizable Students want and need to be aware of how they will be evaluated. Their class activities should mirror and prepare them for these evaluations. How can you prepare your students?

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4 R’s of Grading: Recognizable, part 2 Prepare your students to be graded by: Telling them how class activities are relevant to them. Giving mock exams Giving sample exam questions Providing models of good assignments Explaining assignments thoroughly.

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4 R’s of Grading: Realistic Suppose you were applying for a new job. You would not accept a job based on one person’s opinion, you would want more information. The same is true for your students’ grades.

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4 R’s of Grading: Realistic, part 2 Grades on assignments and tests as could be considered as information about how well a student is learning from your class. You will want to make sure to have enough of that information to adequately assess how well a student has learned.

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4 R’s of Grading: Realistic, part 3 It is best to balance the amount of information you want about your students’ learning (number of graded assignments and exams) by a realistic amount of work. This means assign enough work but be realistic about what students can accomplish.

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4 R’s of Grading: Summary To summarize, Exams and assignments should be relevant to your learning objectives. You must have reliable measurements of your students’ learning. Students should be able to recognize your expectations of them. What do students think about grades?

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How Students Perceive Grades As currency—Grades = money or “pay for a certain quality of work” according to Steven Vogel of Denison University. As a measure of self worth. As a measure of competitiveness.

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Helping Students Have Accurate Perceptions of Grades Grades are actually measures of how well students are learning. What can you do? Set clear standards. Apply the standards evenly. Take your students’ worries about grades seriously. Admit your mistakes and fix them promptly.

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Grading Systems vs. Grading Assignments Grading assignments and exams requires checking for correct answers to specific questions and providing feedback to students about how well they’ve met the learning objectives for those particular class activities. What is a grading system?

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Grading Systems vs. Grading Assignments, part 2 A grading system reflects your philosophy about your students, about competition, and about the acquisition of knowledge itself. Some questions leading to a grading system are:

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Grading Systems: Questions Am I going to grade on a curve? How many exams and assignments will I have? How much will each assignment and exam count? If a student completes everything, will that student pass the class? What will it take to get an A? An F? Will I reward achievement or effort?

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Grading Systems: Require Much Thought in Advance Students should know your grading system at the beginning of the semester. It is important to answer all of the questions for students because research suggests that they will allocate their efforts in class based on your grading system.

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Summary Grades should be Relevant, Reliable, Recognizable, and Realistic. Students have many different unproductive perceptions of grades. You can help them understand grades. Grading assignments is different from a grading system. Both need to be communicated clearly to students. To test yourself, click HereHere

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The #1 mistake in grading and testing is that assessment is not an accurate reflection of what is taught in class. Which of the 4 R’s is this problem? 1) Reliable 2) Relevant 3) Recognizable 4) Realistic Check your answer Check your answer

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The #1 mistake in grading and testing is that assessment is not an accurate reflection of what is taught in class. Which of the 4 R’s is this problem? 1) Reliable 2) Relevant 3) Recognizable 4) Realistic

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Which of the following is NOT how students typically view their grades? 1) As measures of their competitiveness 2) As currency 3) As measures of their worth 4) As measures of their learning and achievement. Check your answer

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Which of the following is NOT how students typically view their grades? 1) As measures of their competitiveness 2) As currency 3) As measures of their worth 4) As measures of their learning and achievement.

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Why should you worry about being reliable in your grading? A)It is important for students to know how they’ll be evaluated. B)Students worry about how many assignments they will have. C)Consistency in grading assures that students are fairly evaluated on objective criteria. D)Students need to know what to study. Check your answer

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Why should you worry about being reliable in your grading? A) It is important for students to know how they’ll be evaluated. B) Students worry about how many assignments they will have. C) Consistency in grading assures that students are fairly evaluated on objective criteria. D) Students need to know what to study. Now that you have completed this module, please press to exit.

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