“If I had an hour to save the world I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions”
- Al Einstein

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Grading System

     I asked my students what they thought of my grading system (thank you, Google Forms). As I mentioned in my last post, I'm using SBG for the first time this year, and its exciting and nerve-wracking. Most of the feedback I've gotten so far has been positive, but naturally, I want to focus on the negative.

     Most student think that my system penalizes low scores on skills to heavily. They might be right. Here is the whole system, but the dirty of it is that if their score on any skill is a 2, they highest grade they can get is a B, even if every other score is a 4. If they have a 1, the highest possible grade is a C-.

     My reasoning is that if there is a skill that you have absolutely no understanding of (score of 1), then it should be your first priority to strengthen that skill. To raise a skill from a 1 to a 2 doesn't take much... I just need to see that you've got some clue what's going on and what you're trying to do. You don't even need to be able to successfully solve a single problem.

     If you're sitting on a whole bunch of 2's, then I'm pretty confident you're a C student. You can take part in the conversation and not make a fool of yourself, but you're not blazing the trail (usually). The real issue comes when a student has a whole bunch of 4's, and a 2 on one skill. They argue that the one 2 shouldn't bring their grade down to a B. I argue that they should turn that 2 into a 3. Is that too simplistic?

     I know there are so many other systems out there for converting a list of skills into a letter grade... Anyone have a favorite?

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