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The Hardest Part of Teaching March Faculty Development Workshop Sponsored by PETAL.

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Presentation on theme: "The Hardest Part of Teaching March Faculty Development Workshop Sponsored by PETAL."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Hardest Part of Teaching March Faculty Development Workshop Sponsored by PETAL

2 A Brief Note For most of us, the hardest part of teaching is not really the grading. It’s the waking up in time for the 8AM class.

3 Timeline of Events She shoots! She scores! Scooby Doo, who are you? Consider this, Batman! I’m a doctor, not a dictionary! Can we talk? Wrap up

4 She Shoots! She Scores! Goals for the Workshop Understand some of the terminology of assessment as springboard for thinking Define our goals in creating systems for assessing students here at Fisher Start the dialogue about grading and assessing students here at Fisher

5 Scooby Doo, Who Are You? Let’s Get Acquainted Who am I? –Dr. Kris Green, MST/CS/Mathematics –I hate grading – reducing students to a single symbol –I enjoy providing feedback to my students to help them learn –I think tests, etc. should be a place to continue learning, rather than a proof of learning –I rarely use the exact same anything twice Who are you? –Name, Department, Ideas about grading

6 Consider This, Batman! Case Studies for Comparison This is the tale of three students in a high school Latin II class. Each has an 85% average, but got there differently. –Kris has received, despite his efforts, a score of 85% on every test, homework, and class exercise. –Cindy started off in the 70% range, but has consistently been in the 90% range for the second half of the year. –Mike is the opposite of Cindy. He started in the 90% range, then spent the second half of the semester in the 70% range. Do all three deserve the same course grade, traditionally a B?

7 I’m a doctor, not a dictionary! The Basic Terminology From Grant Wiggins (Educative Assessment) –The aim of assessment is primarily to educate and improve student performance, not merely to audit it. –Assessment should be educative in two basic senses: It should be deliberately designed to teach (not just measure) by revealing to students what worthy work looks like (offering authentic tasks) It should provide rich and useful feedback to all students and to their teachers

8 The Guiding Light(s) Where should we head? 1.Assessment reform must center on the purpose, not merely on the techniques or tools, of assessment. 2.Assessment reform is essentially a moral matter. 3.Assessment is central, not peripheral, to instruction. 4.Assessment anchors teaching, and authentic tasks anchor assessment. 5.Ass performance improvement is local.

9 What Are Little Grades Made Of? Components of Assessment Collecting the data –Consider the sources of the data –Consider the frequency of the data –Consider the relevance of the data Evaluating the data –Comparison against standards –Comparison against other work –Providing effective feedback Assigning a grade-symbol

10 Just the Facts, Ma’am Some Possible Data Sources

11 Caveat Grader Qualitative v. Quantitative But remember, the data we collect is qualitative data – how students are doing with the material, what students have done, what students are having trouble with. Consider the typical math scheme: –Hand work in (qualitative) –Put a percentage grade on work and average (quantitative) –Assign a letter grade (qualitative) Multiple translations like this will loose meaning without clearly defined grade standards (not simply percentage point or total point requirements). We should provide “Grade Profiles” to our students – qualitative descriptions of what student performance at each letter grade looks like (good examples from Foundation for Critical Thinking,

12 Another Dichotomy Objective v. Subjective Objective grading measures performance relative to fixed, universal standards Subjective grading is based on more relative measures like the rest of the class’s performance or a student’s earlier performance. But, all assessment requires judgment. Hiding the judgment in a single letter grade is dishonest and does not really help the student learn from his or her mistakes.

13 Another Dichotomy Summative v. Formative Summative evaluation is like a final exam: a one shot sampling of topics are covered and you are assessed as to whether you know/understand/can do them at that point only. Formative evaluation is on-going and is designed to help the student improve; thus, it is a part of the learning process: writing and revising a paper, for example.

14 Can We Talk? Questions for Discussion 1.What do I want the students to know, understand, and be able to do? How does this affect my teaching and planning? 2.What does an A student look like? What about a B, C, D, or F? 3.Are these profiles of A, B, C, D, F students consistent across the curriculum, or should they change as the level of the coursework changes? 4.What is the role of standards in assessing students: should we hold them up to a rigid ruler or should the ruler flex based on the other students? 5.How can we avoid grade compression and grade inflation?

15 The Check(list) is in the mail Checklist of Requirements Let’s come up with 3-5 items in each group that would be necessary components for any system to assess students here at Fisher. We’ll share these and generate a master list with descriptors. I’ll this to everyone and place the information on my website, along with this PowerPoint: then look for teacher resources.http://keep2.sjfc.edu/faculty/green

16 Selected Resources for Perusal Grant Wiggins, Educative Assessment Tom Bourner and Steve Flowers Teaching and Learning Methods in Higher Education Part III of the New York State MST Standards Guide at Office of Academic Planning and Assessment, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst at

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