Thursday, June 20, 2013

No Averaging!

I am here to sort through my issues with using SBG to determine an effective final grade.  I've already decided that I'm not going to allow any scores below a 2 (partial proficiency)...well maybe I'll extend it to allow some 1.5s, but definitely not 1s or 0.5s or 0s.  Students who score below this level (whatever I decide) will have to re-learn and re-assess.

The big challenge I'm thinking about though, is how to accurately give students a final grade.  I want it to be fair and make sense.  This past year I averaged scores students had earned (and I was not good about requiring re-learning/re-assessing), and I was very dissatisfied with the results.  I really don't feel like averaging everything is what I want to do.  (Consider this extreme example for why I dislike averaging.  For a student to pass Algebra s/he should meet these standards:  a, b, c, and d.  Say a student shows adv. prof on a and b and receives 4s, but then shows low learning on c and d and receives 1s.  This would average to a 2.5, which I believe in my grade book would be a C+.  But is this student really ready to move on to Geometry/Algebra 2 if they have failed to show proficiency for half of the Algebra standards?  This is the issue for me.)

Also, I want something that is more clear for students.  I could never predict how one retake would affect their grade, and neither could they.  My goal is to set up a rubric of sorts to determine their final grades (which we only give out 2/year--semester grades).  I'm not sure if this is something PowerSchool can do for me or if it is something I will have to do on my own.  I'm pretty sure Active Grade ( can do it, but not sure I want to try to operate 2 grade books.  I may just have to hand calculate a few times a year.

Here are some ideas:
  • To earn an A, 50% of the scores must be 3.5 or 4, and no more than 5% are 2.
  • To earn a B, 50% of the scores must be 3 or above, and no more than 10% are 2.
  • To earn a C, 25% of scores are 3 or above, and no more than 25% of scores are 2.
  • To earn a D, 100% of scores are at or above a 2
  • To earn an F, any scores below a 2.
This is just my thought for now.  Would love to hear feedback on what others are thinking.  My school does give more than just straight grades, so I would have to add more for A-, B+, B-, etc.  Which will be complicated...especially since there will be around 20 scores per semester (I think...haven't finished breaking down all standards into learning targets yet).

I'm done.  Now it's your turn.  Do you think I'm crazy or not?

1 comment:

  1. Definitely not crazy! :) I struggle with averaging as well; I prefer to look at the body of student work and assign the appropriate grade. I have a scale that I use, but if I disagree, I reserve the right to assign a grade based on what the student achieved. I wish there was a way to completely get rid of grades and use feedback instead...maybe someday! I think this will always be a struggle for me with sbg, but is is well worth it! Thanks for sharing, I look forward to reading more and talking with you along the journey!