Presentation on theme: "Grading. Why do we grade? To communicate To tell students how they are doing To tell parents how students are doing To make students uneasy To wield power."— Presentation transcript:
Why do we grade? To communicate To tell students how they are doing To tell parents how students are doing To make students uneasy To wield power …
Different Interpretations of Letter Grades Letter grade Criterion- Referenced Norm- Referenced Self- Referenced A Outstanding or Advanced; complete knowledge of all content and skills; mastery of objectives Outstanding; among the highest performers in the norm group Outstanding; much improvement on the objectives
Letter grade Criterion- Referenced Norm- Referenced Self- Referenced B Very Good or Proficient; complete knowledge of most content, skills; mastery of most objectives Very Good; performs above the average of the class Very Good; some improvement on most or all the objectives C Acceptable or Basic; command of only the basic content or skills; mastery of some objectives Average; performs at the class average Acceptable; some improvement on some of the objectives
Letter grade Criterion- Referenced Norm- Referenced Self- Referenced D Lacking; little knowledge of most content; master of only a few objectives Poor; below the class average Lacking; minimal progress on most objectives F Unsatisfactory; lacks knowledge of content; no mastery of objectives Unsatisfactory; far below the class average; among the worst in the class Unsatisfactory; no improvement on any objectives.
Grading and Framing Questions (Frisbie & Waltman, 1992): What meaning should each grade symbol carry? What should "failure" mean? What elements of performance should be incorporated? How should the grades in a class be distributed? What should the components be like that go into a final grade? What method should be used to assign grades? Should borderline cases be reviewed? What other factors can influence the philosophy of grading?
Essential Terminology Grade: A symbol that represents the degree to which students have met a set of well-defined instructional objectives. Absolute Grading: Absolute grading, or criterion- referenced grading, consists of comparisons between a student's performance and some previously defined criteria. Thus, students are not compared to other students. When using absolute grading, one must be careful in designing the criteria that will be used to determine the student's grades.
Essential Terminology Relative Grading: Relative grading, or norm-referenced grading, consists of comparisons between a student and others in the same class, the norm group. Those that perform better than most other students receive higher grades. Uses some measure of the percentage of students that will be assigned certain grades. I If using the normal curve in relative grading then 3.6% of the students should be assigned As, 23.8% Bs, 45.2% Cs, 23.8% Ds, and 3.6% Fs. Emphasizes competition among group members and does not accurately reflect any objective level of achievement.
Essential Terminology Growth Grading: (self-referenced grading) Consists of comparisons between a student's performance and their perceived ability/capability. overachievers would be assign highed grades, while underachievers would be assigned lower grades. Growth grading, while de-emphasizing competition, tends to produce invalid grades relative to achievement levels
Letter Grades Advantages Easy to use. Easy to interpret (theoretically). Concise. Disadvantages Meaning of a grade may vary widely. Does not address strengths & weaknesses. K-2 students may feel threatened by them.
Number or Percentage Grades: 1, 2, 3 or 98%, 80 %, 60% Advantages Easy to use. Easy to interpret (theoretically) Concise. More continuous than Letter Grades. May be combined with Letter Grades. Disadvantages Meaning of a grade may vary widely. Does not address strengths & weaknesses. K-2 students may feel threatened by them. Meaning may need to be explained/interpreted.
Two-Category Grades Pass-Fail, Acceptable-Unacceptable, S/U Advantages Less emotional for younger students. Can encourage risk taking for students that may not want to take the course for a grade Disadvantages Less reliable than a continuous measure Does not contain much information relative to a student's achievement.
Checklists and Rating Scales: Objectives evaluated by checks or numerical ratings. Advantages Results in a detailed list of student achievements. May be combined with other measures. Disadvantages May become too detailed to easily comprehend. Difficult for record keeping
Student-Teacher Conference: Discussion with no grade Advantages Involves a personal discussion of achievement. May be used as a formative, ongoing measure. Disadvantages Teachers needs to be skilled in discussion and offering + and - feedback. Time consuming. Some students may feel threatened. Difficult for record keeping.
Parent-Teacher Conference: Discussion with no grade Advantages Involves personal discussion of achievement and may alleviate misunderstandings. Teachers can show samples of work and rationale for assessment. May improve relations with parents. Disadvantages Teachers needs to be skilled in discussion and offering + and - feedback. Time consuming. May provoke parent-teacher anxiety. May be inconvenient for parents. Difficult for record keeping
Letter to Parents: Explanation with no grade Advantages Most useful as an addition form of communication. Disadvantages Short letters may not adequately communicate a student's achievement. Requires good writing skills. Time consuming.
Guidelines for Effective and Fair Grading (Gronlund, 1998): Discuss with students (and parents when appropriate) the basis of all grading, and all grading procedures, at the beginning of the course/school year. Grades should reflect, and be based on, student's level of achievement, using only those assessments that validly measure achievement Grades should reflect, and be based on, a composite of several valid assessments.
Guidelines for Effective and Fair Grading When combining several valid assessments, each assessment should be appropriately weighted. An appropriate type of grading framework should be adopted, given the ultimate use of the grade. All borderline grades should be re-evaluated based on a careful examination of all achievement evidence.
A few more hints on Effective Grading Emphasize fair grading and scoring. Grade relative to specific learning objectives. Base grades primarily on current performance. Provide accurate, timely, and helpful feedback. Use a sufficient number of assessments. Don’t lower grades due to misbehaviors or attendance. Use professional judgment.
Common Criticisms of Grading Harmful to a student’s psyche Do not motivate but may provide disincentive Mastery may not be the purpose of the activity—or 100% performance may be necessary Performance may be necessary to determine acquisition of skill (e.g., piano, computer) Written activities do not emphasize oral communication which may be a more functional skill
Are grades meaningless in the larger picture of education? There are vast differences in grading practices between teachers and schools. Most schools lack a standardized and codified grading policy. A grade, a single symbol, is incapable of conveying the complexity of a student's achievement.
Grading is not always valued by teachers and thus often suffers from carelessness. Teachers often use grading as a form of discipline and motivation, rather than as an assessment report