From Earning to Learning
- Spencer, Kyle. “Standards-Based Grading.” Education Digest 78.3 (2012): 4-10. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
Background: The standards-based grading system is a system in which only mastery in course subjects is measured. This method encourages students to move from learning simple concepts to understanding complex concepts. The standards-based grading system does that because it only measures academic success. The system works by providing an overall grade for each class, but also provides a grade for how well the student mastered the course based on its standards. Supporters of this system say that the traditional system is unreliable since its criteria is vague. They also say that this system is better since grades cannot be affected by other factors that don’t including mastering the subject.
How I used it: I used this article mostly in my rebuttal section mostly to help me describe solution to the main issue I wrote about in my paper. The information in this article helped me be able to persuasively discuss the pros of the standards-based system, and show how it’s more effective than a traditional grading system.
Background: Current grading systems in place are not effective. Having a letter or number scale grading system takes the focus of students off of learning, and more on what grades they’re receiving in a certain class. Grades also create the problem that students will choose the easiest way out when projects are assigned to get a good grade. For example, students will pick a topic they know the most on when choosing so it is easier to earn a better grade. Student-teacher conferences and narrative assessments could be a possible replacement for the grading system. These would provide summaries of student progress in writing or in person. This way, the progress of students can still be measured, just not through a number or letter grade system.
How I used it: This article helped me explain numerous problems with the current traditional grading system. For example, the current grading system can take away students’ interest in a given subject. It is also unpredictable since every teacher gets to create their own standards for the class.
Background: In this article, Corrine Ruff questions why a traditional grading system is still used in college. Currently, students need a good GPA to get into college, but what purpose does having a high GPA in college serve? She thinks it would be better to base grades off a level of mastery instead of assigning grades to the “skills” students have learned.
How I used it: I used this source to point out the flaws in our current system. Instead of only looking at the standpoint from the grade school and high school level, this source helped look at the grading system from a new perspective. Measuring mastery would be more beneficial to students, especially in college since students are studying for their career paths.
Background: Teachers have different preferences when it comes to grading. Some prefer to have grading system that includes behavior and participation. It focuses on more areas than a standards-based grading system, which only focuses on academics. Although it focuses on more areas, this system can be seen as unpredictable since it takes away from students academic achievements in different subjects. Other teachers prefer to use the standards- based grading system, since they believe it’s more predictable and expectations are more clear. They also think this system is better because colleges accept students mostly on their academic achievements, so they think its important to not have grades affected by things other than academics.
How I used it: This source helped understand the main purpose of grades, which I incorporated into my definition essay. Grading is controversial because there are so many different philosophies about it. Teachers and people in general have very different perspectives, which is why it’s difficult to change our system.
Background: The implementation of minimum grading can have many positive affects on students. Minimum grading in some school systems is not submitting any grades below a 50. For students who are inconsistent struggle in some areas, but thrive in others, this system works best for. This increases motivation and self worth in students. For example, if a student gets a zero on an assignment they forgot to turn in, and had one very low test grade in the beginning of the year, they won’t lose all hope in still achieving a good grade for the class. They will be motivated to still try to get a good grade, as opposed to giving up and not caring about the class anymore.
How I used it: After reading this source I understood the major reasons behind minimum grading. One reason is that when students produce a lot of effort and get a bad grade, they are less likely to expend that same effort in the future. This helped me in causal argument when I explained how grades get in the way of learning.
Background: Assigning grades to measure student success is used as a motivational tool, sand this source focuses solely on the motivation aspect of grades. A student’s effort is taken into account when a final grade is calculated with our traditional system.
How I used it: Since the main intentions of creating a grading system was to create motivations for students by grading them on their effort, I used this source to incorporate into my rebuttal. My solution is to use a standards-based system, where effort is not graded.
Background: When teachers and school districts discuss which grading methods to use, the first important step is decide the purpose grades. Decide on what grades should mean, and what message they should convey to students. Questions like which grading scale to use, how often to report grades, how many grades to combine, and how to combine them will ineffective to discuss first. First ask every member what grading practices they believe in. For example, the standards-based grading system focuses on “what students learn, not what earn,” while other practices are the other way around. After a conclusion is decided on, then secondary issues can be talked about.
How I used it: This source helped me sort out all the different possibilities when it comes to grading. It explained all the ways to grade, which helped me come to the conclusion that the standards-based system would be the best solution for my research paper.
8. Yesbeck, Diana Marie. “Grading Practices: Teachers’ Considerations of Academic and Non-Academic Factors.” Order No. 3487509 Virginia Commonwealth University, 2011. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
Background: One of the major debates in grading is deciding whether or not to include factors other than academics into the curriculum. When including factors other than academics, it promotes more originality between schools around the country, but can make grades more unpredictable. On the other hand, including only academics creates less originality, more standardized tests, but we can be sure that the grades are more predictable.
How I used it: I used this source to helped me decide if I was in favor of including factors other than academics in grading systems. After reading some parts of this source, I decided I was against it, and I explain reasons why in my paper.
Background: This source examines the advantages of the standards-based system. Scriffiny lists many reasons why we should have this system, which include that it’s easier for teachers to adjust instruction, makes it easier for educators to control grading practices, reduces meaningless paperwork, and gives grades real meaning.
How I used it: After reading this article, it again help me to make my decision to become an advocate for the standards-based system. I liked the advantages that are pointed out here, and it also shows the flaws in the traditional system.
Background: A reform to our current grading system would not only be beneficial to students, but teachers and education administrators as well. This source describes the steps to an education reform, by making grading more effective to increase student success.
How I used it: Since my topic is mainly about how gradesbprevent learning, this source helped me understand the difficult process of grade reform. It’s not an easy process that can happen overnight, especially since there are many different views.
Background: The standards-based system is the best alternative to grade reform. This article dives deep into the standards-based system and describes ways to get the most out of it. For example, it would be beneficial to let students improve upon previous assignments, or have teachers create unobtrusive assessments, where students might not even be aware if they were being tested or not.
How I used it: I used material and gained some backround knowledge about the standards-based system to make sure I fully understood it before choosing it as a solution.
Background: Grading reform can be a touchy subject, especially among education administrators. This source demonstrates effective ways to handle discussing grade reform.
How I used it: I didn’t specifically talk about the steps of process to reforming grades in my paper, but it was necessary to have the knowledge on how it worked if I was going to write a paper on the flaws of our current system.
Background: This source compares traditional grading vs. standard-based grading. It completed a study to look at the correlation between traditional grades and standards-based grades when it comes to standardized tests. Students who were taught under the standards-based system did significantly better than those who were not.
How I used it: This source helped me because it compared the two systems I discussed in one article. It made it easy for me to lay out my arguments with both systems side by side being compared to one another.