Sunday, October 4, 2009

Subjective grading

I was shocked but not particularly surprised at the degree of subjective grading Douglas Reeves found in this study. He asked a bunch of teachers and administrators in the US, Australia, Canada, and South America what should be the final grade for a student with these grades:
C, C, MA (Missing Assignment), D, C, B, MA, MA, B, A. ...
The range was A through F. Some counted effort or improvement, some averaged grades, and some seem to have said the classwork had to be complete to pass. The main problem with this is people doing identical work get different grades depending on the teacher, which is not only unfair but undermines the whole system.

The study author said, "You don't give grades to adjudicate a result. You give it to kids . . . to help them get better." He's adorable.
His recommendations were:
  •  Setting learning targets and linking grades to the achievement of those targets.
  • Giving grades based solely on achievement and separately reporting attendance, effort and participation.
  • Grading only individual achievement, not group work.
  • Giving scores only to certain assignments and choosing carefully which scores should be included in the final grade.
  • Making sure students understand how their grades are being determined.
  • Giving kids no credit for not turning in work or flunking them in some other way defeats the purpose. "A better result would be to force them to do the work, before school, during recess or after school."

No comments:

Post a Comment