In an ideal world, students would study and learn for the sake of learning. Some do. However, in the end, each individual in each course must receive a grade.
Below are some questions to consider when thinking of a grading score.
- Will you grade every item each student submits every time?
- Can you give feedback on an outline and early drafts of papers and only give a grade on the final draft?
- Are two tests per 3-credit course enough feedback for students? Will this provide enough information for fair grading?
- Do your tests really test on what you teach?
- Are students aware of the grading criteria and processes?
- Do you ask the students to provide suggestions for how assignments should be graded?
- Will you let students see how their work compares to class averages and range of scores?
- Do you want to give options for students, for example, to take 8 of 10 quizzes?
- Can you require that all quizzes be taken but only use scores of the top 5 or 7 as part of the final grade?
- Can technology support the grading?
- Can technology give reports to students and you?
- Do you have grading guides to follow when you grade?
- Will the grading guides be available to the students?
Grading to improve learning
- Can you use grading of interim small assignments or quizzes to help students pace themselves through learning course content?
- Will you allow students to make mistakes in ungraded assignments and then follow with a graded assignment?
- Are you giving extensive written feedback or simply a letter grade?
- Have you tried ways to help students improve grades by assessing "process assignments" in which a check, check plus, check minus are assigned while students are forming a larger assignment? In this method, a predetermined number of check pluses for early stages gives a number of points toward a grade.
Alternative ways to grade
The following chart presents some traditional grading schemes followed by alternative schemes which allow for more feedback and an increased opportunity for students to learn from previous work.
Traditional Grading Methods with Alternatives
|5 quizzes all graded
||Grade 7 quizzes, use 5 highest scores
|3 tests in class
||First test taken by a team in class, open book and notes, discussion allowed
|1 major project graded
||4 project parts, each graded plus final project
|1 team project score
||Split the score into planning proccess, peer reviews from team members and final product; raise or lower individual grade based on peer evaluation by each team member.
||Grade the interview transcript as well as the quality of student-interviewee interaction according to the tape.
|2 physical skills graded
||Grade the one best performed.
|3 case study papers graded
||2 case study papers graded, 1 case study presentation graded.
Quizzes and Exams