Essential question: How can I use both formative and summative assessment to enhance (or at least not interfere with) intrinsic motivation?
This week was a little hard for me. I was traveling and lacked good internet connection. I finally returned home yesterday after getting stuck in Bethel for a night. So here is my blog post a little late.
My mind went in circles this week. How should a teacher grade? Is there a right or wrong way? To be honest I still can't answer this question, but I can share what I learned.
Grading is an inadequate report of an imprecise judgment of a biased and variable judge of the extent to which a student has attained an undefined level of mastery on an unknown proportion of an indefinite amount of material.
Assessments are at the core of most grading. Assessments are hard to create. Tomlinson (2013) states that “because assessments are constructed by human beings and taken by human beings, they are always likely to be imperfect measures of a student’s true knowledge of a topic.” There are 2 main types of assessments: Norm-referenced (NRT) and criterion-referenced (CRT) tests . According to Linda Bond (1996) the reason to use an NRT is the classify students. This may be useful in helping to decide where to place students in the classes that a school offers but may do little in the classroom. CRT's do the opposite. They are used to compare but are used to determine what students know.
This podcast provided some great information about grade fairness and on how to make grades more meaningful. Dr. Thomas Guskey posed this question, “Would another professional come up with the same grade?” He suggested that we should not rely on the mathematical algorithm coming from the computer gradebook. We know the students the computer does not. So then how do we grade? His idea is to eliminate percentages and go to categories. For example:
This search for more information on how to assess students led me back to something similar from an earlier week where I was able to explore design thinking. The main point of Middle School Maker Journey: Assessment in an Ungraded Classroom by Kevin Jarrett was that if students are engaged then they will put in the the work. School is no longer about the grade but rather about solving the problem. This is the whole point of education. If students aren't focused on the grade they will be doing their own work accoding to Kohn (2008). Students are more likely to resort to cheating if they see it can lead to good grades. Kohn also states that "cheating is relatively rare in classrooms where the learning is genuinely engaging and meaningful to students." So the more creative and interesting activities you include in your classroom the more likely students will actually be learning.
The hard part is grading in this type of classroom. Jarrett says they use reflections to base grades. These reflections help students think critically and also help teachers to better coach their students. He also points out some helpful rubrics called the KIA rubrics (Key Indicator of Ability). These rubrics asses the following:
Bond, L. A. (1996). Norm-and Criterion-Referenced Testing. ERIC/AE Digest. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.ericdigests.org/1998-1/norm.htm.
Davis, V. (2016). Fair Grades, Dropping Grades, Grading Versus Knowledge @coolcatteacher. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.coolcatteacher.com/11735-2/
Jarrett, K. (2016, February 11). Middle School Maker Journey: Assessment in an Ungraded Classroom. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org
Kohn, A. (2008). Who’s Cheating Whom? Phi Delta Kappan. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/whos-cheating/
Tomlinson, Carol Ann, and Moon, Tonya R. (2013) Chapter 6: Assessment, Grading and Differentiation. Assessment and Student Success in a Differentiated Classroom. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). ProQuest ebrary. Web. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2081/lib/uasoutheast/reader.action?ppg=135&docID=10774725&tm=1428975296051.