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Making the Grade Assessment & Grading Philosophy and Practice Sheila Huckabee Richard Melzer.

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Presentation on theme: "Making the Grade Assessment & Grading Philosophy and Practice Sheila Huckabee Richard Melzer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making the Grade Assessment & Grading Philosophy and Practice Sheila Huckabee Richard Melzer

2 Who are the major researchers for grading & assessment practices? Thomas Gusky (1996) Communicating Student Learning Robert Marzano (2006) Classroom Assessments and Grading That Work OConnor, Kenneth (2002) How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards Douglas Reeves (2005) Accountability in Action: A Blueprint for Learning Organizations

3 What is the GIST of the Research? The current grading system is over 120 years old It is mismatched with todays new standards- based mastery accountability system Problems: It allows teachers to include at their own discretion different non-achievement factors It allows teachers to weight assessments differently It focuses on accumulating points/averages for activities instead of on results

4 Essential Questions Is grading essential for learning and teaching? Should we count everything a student does toward a grade? What should a final grade reflect?

5 Grading for Mastery What does it mean to grade for mastery? Linking grades to learning goals Using criterion-referenced performance standards as reference points Eliminating non- achievement-based value attributes Using formative feedback along the way to a summative evaluation OConnor, K. (2002). How to grade for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

6 What about Effort, Participation, & Compliance? Factoring Effort into the grade sends the wrong message to students Effort is defined differently by individual teachers Effort is difficult to measure Participation is often a personality or cultural issue (inherent bias) Positive attitude is difficult to define and can be faked Compliance grades gives no indication of student mastery Stiggins, R.J., Arter, J.A., Chappuis, J, & Chappuis, S. (2004). Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it rightusing it well. Portland, OR: ETS Assessment Training Institute.

7 Grading Percentage Example RHSD 3 Tests30% Quizzes20% Class Participation25% Homework20% Journals 5%

8 Grading Non-Achievement Factors Grades have some value as rewards but NO value as punishments -Thomas Gusky, 1996 Using non-achievement factors can mean extra benefit for some and instant death for others -Ken OConnor, 2002 These factors SHOULD be assessed regularly, but reported separately from a students grade -OConnor, Stiggins, Gusky, Marzano, Reeves

9 Affinity Activity SAY SOMETHING SILENTLY Use the Sticky Note to record your thoughts about CLASS PARTICIPATION & EFFORT GRADES and how they should be included in the districts grading policy

10 Okay so far?....Well, Lets Turn It Up a Notch The Sacred Cows

11 Homework Purpose for HW should be identified Practice – structured around content with which students have high familiarity Preparation – structured around new content not studied yet Elaboration – structured around newly introduced content for extension Harris Cooper (1989) meta- analysis HW study Grades 4 -6 ES=.15 percentile gain 6 Grades 7-9 ES=.31 percentile gain 12 Grades ES=.64 percentile gain 24 Amount of HW should differ from lower to higher grades Marzano, R. (2001). Classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

12 Homework Use of Homework No. of Effect Size (ESs) Average ESPercentile Gain Homework with teachers comments as feedback Graded Homework Assigned HW with no grade or comments Figure 5.3 Research Results for Graded Homework Walberg, H.J. (1999). Productive teaching. In H.C. Waxman & H.J. Walberg (Eds). New directions for teaching practice and research, Berkeley, CA: McCutchen Publishing Corporation.

13 General Findings on Homework If Homework is assigned it should be commented on Homework is a formative assessment and best used to give students feedback on learning not as a summative grade Giving a grade for HW with no feedback only teaches students that grades are about pleasing teachers not about learning (Marzano, Heflebower, OConnor)

14 Affinity Activity SAY SOMETHING SILENTLY Use the Sticky Note to record your thoughts about Homework and how it should be included in the districts grading policy

15 Late Work, Make-Up Work, Retakes Assessments should not be a one shot – do or die experience When teachers follow assessments with high-quality corrective instruction, students should have a second chance to demonstrate competency/mastery Late Penalties Distort achievement Become a Disincentive to complete work after a period of time It is best to do it right and on time, but it is better to do it right and late than the reverse. Joel Barker Guskey, T.R. (2000, December). Hows my kid doing? A parents guide to grades, marks, and report cards. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

16 Affinity Activity SAY SOMETHING SILENTLY Use the Sticky Note to record your thoughts about LATE WORK, MAKE- UP WORK, TEST RE-TAKES and how they should be included in the districts grading policy

17 Measures of Central Tendency Mean is the total of the values divided by the number of values The median is the middle value Mode is the most frequently occurring value What is most commonly used? Problem with Mean = outliers impact the score

18 What is this Students Final Grade If All Grades are Equal? MeanMedianMode

19 What is this Students Final Grade If All Grades are Equal? MeanMedianMode

20 Zeros Zeros have a large effect when the MEAN is used as the measure of central tendency There is a lack of proportionality between 0 and 70 passing score; other grading ranges have smaller scales Zeros can convey inaccurate information: Are you sure the student knows nothing about the topic? Zeros rarely teach responsibility; more often they demotivate students Heflebower, T. (2008). Quality Grading Practices. Reporting on research from OConnor, K. (2002) and Marzano, R. (2000). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

21 Consider this Alternate View Instead of assigning a grade of zero, why not simply note that the evidence is missing with a blank space in the grade book? When it is time to determine a grade, decide if there is sufficient evidence to make a valid judgment. If there is sufficient evidence, determine the grade regardless of the missing evidence. Concern about missing assignments or other evidence should be communicated prior to grading through phone calls home, , and so on and also on the narrative or expanded format section of the report card. If there is insufficient evidence to determine a grade, the student receives an I for incomplete or insufficient on his or her report card. This communicates accurately what the problem is and puts the responsibility where it should beon the student. It gives students a second chance at success since arrangements can be made to complete the missing assignments. OConner, K. in Reeves, D. (2007). Ahead of the curve. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

22 Sample 8 th Grade Teacher Grading Policy in Course Syllabus I will not include zeros for late or missing assignments in achievement statistics, because zeros do not describe learning, and they are extreme values. I will use the median average (or middle score) as a general indicator of achievement unless there is an unusual circumstance. In that case, I will consider the relative importance of the learning goals achieved and the recency of scores. If there is insufficient evidence of achievement, I will assign an incomplete and expect the student to make arrangements to make up or repeat the learning experiences that were missed. Hugh ODonnel, Hillsboro, Oregon

23 Affinity Activity SAY SOMETHING SILENTLY Use the Sticky Note to record your thoughts about ZEROS and how it should be included in the districts grading policy

24 Todays Task Categories What do we grade? Description How do we describe this task? Percentage What percentage do we give that category? How many work samples in this category?

25 REMINDER: Percentage Grading Parameters For percentage grading categories to work, you must have a sufficient number of assignments in the category EXAMPLE: Tests = 40% TestsQuizzesPerformance AssessmentsPapers


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