Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Those Less Convincing Performances

I recently completed my second semester of standards-based grading. I have learned a lot, and will try to post more about that this semester.

After a conversation with a colleague, Pam Wells, about the SBG system I'd been using. The conversation got me thinking about how to handle the, shall we say, less convincing performances. 

Email to Pam on the matter:
Pam, I appreciated the opportunity to talk with you about SBG on Friday. Since then, my thought keep returning to the rubric and the question of what a “1” means. I think I will change how I use 1’s in the future.

When we talked, we agreed that 1 basically means “you don’t get this yet.” In that sense, a 1 should not count as evidence of proficiency at all. So a 1 and an 0 are similar: they mean “no evidence provided”, but for different reasons. Anything at a 0 or 1 simply does not count as a piece of evidence for that target. If we require two pieces of evidence for each target, this reinforces the mastery mode of grading implicit in SBG. If you don’t get to two pieces of evidence, the grade is reduced.

I think I would be more comfortable with that approach. Thought I’d share and get your thoughts on the matter too.

Happy holidays,

- Jon
In the end, we agreed that any evidence submitted and scored 0 or 1 would basically not count. Instead, we would give feedback and watch for opportunities to support the student and invite them to submit new evidence once we both (the student and the professor) felt more comfortable that they understood the content.

I have incorporated that into my new rubric, which I will write about soon.

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