Standards Based Grading Gala #3

Welcome to the October 21, 2010 edition of the standards-based grading gala.  We have 24 great submissions from regulars and newcomers alike. Some are new to SBG, some have done it for awhile. Some are veteran teachers, some are just beginning their first year. Though most of us are inspired by similar resources, you’ll see just how unique each teacher’s implementation is for their classroom (Shawn Cornally blogged about the varied flavors of SBG recently). As Geoff shares, its a reminder that a standards-based approach to assessment is really a more of a philosophical change than a technique. Its not a simple deconstruction of grades, it really changes how you and your students look at their work, and the nature of your conversations.

Let’s get to it!

SBG Implementation

SBG Miscellaneous

SBG Questions

That concludes this edition.  I encourage you all to continue the conversation on twitter and in blog comments. I also hope that you will share great info from this and previous galas with your colleagues.

Frank Noschese will be hosting the Standards Based Grading Gala 4 at his blog, Action-Reaction. Details will be posted there soon. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of standards-based grading gala using our carnival submission form.

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9 thoughts on “Standards Based Grading Gala #3”

  1. I have a question, and figured I’d post it here, even if it’s not the “right” topic…..In SBG, what do you do about a student who cheats on a test or quiz? If they re-assess, then there’s no consequence. If they are given a zero or penalty, then what are we measuring? I’m really curious…as I struggle through trying out SBG this year.

    1. In SBG, the grade is supposed to reflect what the student knows and can do. When a student cheats in my school, he/she has a referral written and parents are notified. The student typically gets a detention (sometimes worse for repeat offenders) and hopefully consequences at home. That is punishment enough in my book. The student still need to show me what they know, and his/her grade will reflect that. I hope I am making sense.

    2. Our policy is slightly different than that at Frank’s school, at least for extreme cases. It is similar in that when a student is caught cheating, a referral is written and consequences (i.e., Saturday detention) are administered.

      While in SBG, the grade is supposed to reflect what the student knows and can do, in reality, the grade can at best reflect what the student can *demonstrate* that she knows and can do. If a student chooses not to demonstrate what she knows, the grade reflects that choice. Choosing to cheat is a choice not to demonstrate what she knows.

      We present reassessment opportunities as a privilege with certain requirements (i.e., improve understanding before the reassessment). In egregious cases, cheating forfeits that privilege.

    3. This is a fantastic test of your SBG mettle. Cheating represents a left over vestige of the rotten points game that we used to play with students. When you catch a student cheating, that invalidates that assessment, so you just don’t put it in.

      Using it as a punishment by placing in a zero is counter-productive on about 6,000 levels. Cheating obscures that student’s ability, and their true punishment is the lack of ability to receive feedback in order to improve for the next assessment. Using zeroes in general is much too heavy handed in grading, especially if you’re using the ridiculous A-F system that most American teachers are forced to use.

      In short, for me, cheating equals no information and therefore no change in grade. If you feel like you have to punish, just move the score down to the 50% mark, or whatever translates to that level for you. A zero does not equal an F in America, be careful or you’ll inadvertently dig a grave for a student that obvious needs help. You can defend the failing grade by arguing that cheating only happens when someone is not proficient, which in SBG maps to a failing grade.

    4. I agree with Shawn on this one. I had to deal with this a lot this year with one particular student who insisted on plagiarizing other students blog posts (at least 5 times, each incredibly obvious, by the way). I simply talked to her about it and didn’t allow those assignments to count towards meeting the standards. When the student finally did their own unique work (under intense scrutiny, by the way) those assignments were allowed to count towards meeting particular standards.

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