Repair Kit for Grading, A: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades with DVD, 2nd Edition
©2011 |Pearson | Available
Ken O'Connor, Pearson Assessment Training Institute - Portland, Oregon
©2011 |Pearson | Available
In many schools grading is still a “mass and a mess.” Although teaching has become increasingly standards based, and we know more than we ever knew about how people learn, traditional grading practices persist, especially in middle and high schools. These practices often not only result in ineffective communication about student achievement, but also may actually harm students and misrepresent their learning.
Thus the need for this “Repair Kit,” in which Ken O’Connor identifies 15 ways to fix “broken” grades—15 things to do for grades to be effective.
One of the author’s major reasons for writing this book now is the increasing emphasis on standards or learning goals (also called learning outcomes). All American states except Iowa now have academic content standards, as do all Canadian provinces. The mandate is that schools are supposed to be standards based for curriculum, instruction, assessment, and grading and reporting, but what he often sees, especially in middle and high schools, is some emphasis on standards for curriculum, instruction, and assessment but very little standards-based grading and reporting. Therefore this book will help schools and teachers develop standards-based grading and reporting practices.
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Sample chapter is available for download in PDF format.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Setting the Stage
Purpose(s) for Grades
Objectivity and Professional Judgment
The 15 Fixes
Chapter 2 Fixes for Practices That Distort Achievement
Fix 1 Don’t include student behaviors (effort, participation, adherence to class rules, etc.) in grades; include only achievement.
Fix 2 Don’t reduce marks on “work” submitted late; provide support for the learner.
Fix 3 Don’t give points for extra credit or use bonus points; seek only evidence that more work has resulted in a higher level of achievement.
Fix 4 Don’t punish academic dishonesty with reduced grades; apply other consequences and reassess to determine actual level of achievement.
Fix 5 Don’t consider attendance in grade determination; report absences separately.
Fix 6 Don’t include group scores in grades; use only individual achievement evidence.
Chapter 3 Fixes for Low-Quality or Poorly Organized Evidence
Fix 7 Don’t organize information in grading records by assessment methods or simply summarize into a single grade; organize and report evidence by standards/learning goals.
Fix 8 Don’t assign grades using inappropriate or unclear performance standards; provide clear descriptions of achievement expectations.
Fix 9 Don’t assign grades based on a student’s achievement compared to other students; compare each student’s performance to preset standards.
Fix 10 Don’t rely on evidence gathered using assessments that fail to meet standards of quality; rely only on quality assessments.
Chapter 4 Fixes for Inappropriate Grade Calculation
Fix 11 Don’t rely only on the mean; consider other measures of central tendency and use professional judgment.
Fix 12 Don’t include zeros in grade determination when evidence is missing or as punishment; use alternatives, such as reassessing to determine real achievement, or use “I” for Incomplete or Insufficient Evidence.
Chapter 5 Fixes to Support Learning
Fix 13 Don’t use information from formative assessments and practice to determine grades; use only summative evidence.
Fix 14 Don’t summarize evidence accumulated over time when learning is developmental and will grow with time and repeated opportunities; in those instances, emphasize more recent achievement.
Fix 15 Don’t leave students out of the grading process. Involve students; they can—and should—play key roles in assessment and grading that promote achievement.
Chapter 6 Summary
Appendix: Discussion Guide
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Ken O’Connor is a former Curriculum Coordinator with the Scarborough Board of Education in Ontario, Canada. He is an expert on grading and reporting with a particular emphasis on using these techniques to improve student achievement through student involvement. With over twenty years of teaching experience in secondary schools in Australia and Ontario, he has presented hundreds of workshops for teachers at every grade level, and is the author of the very successful How to Grade for Learning .
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