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More Ruminations on SBG

June 6, 2010

The more I think about our original grading plan, the more I want to tweak it. As it stands right now, a kid can make a 4 on the first quiz and a 0 on the second quiz and end up with a 4. That seems kinda wacky to me.

Shawn at Think Thank Thunk has the grade be wherever the student is currently, and he continues to re-assess throughout the grading period. That has some virtues to it, and I understand his argument, but I think we’re going to have enough to do just trying to assess each objective twice.

I can’t just make the second assessment the one that counts as that removes the incentive for students to try on the first quiz (and my students need all the incentive they can get!).

My first thought was to just average the two grades — so the student above would end up with a 2 for that objective. I’m not completely happy with this solution because the second quiz is harder than the first, but I can’t decide whether that should make it count more or less than the first.

How about this — count the second if it is higher than the first, otherwise, average the two. The advantages of this are

  • It acknowledges that the second quiz is supposed to demonstrate mastery and is harder, so if the student does better than on the first quiz, he is rewarded.
  • The first quiz still can count for something if the student is having trouble with the harder questions.
  • It gives the student who did well on the first quiz an incentive to do well on the second quiz.
  • I can stick with a 4-point scale for everything.

The disadvantages that I can think of are

  • It is even more confusing to explain than the first scenario.
  • I have no idea how I’m going to keep track of all of this. Of course, I wasn’t all that sure about keeping track of the first method either.
  • It throws a wrench into our nice, simple “concept charts” for the kids.

Since most of the advantages I can think of benefit the student, and all of the disadvantages seem to be logistical in nature, I think this is the way to go. I’ll talk it over with S and see what she thinks.

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