GRADING MALPRACTICE: Why We MUST Align Assessment Practice with Assessment Research Billie Donegan,, The Center for Secondary School Redesign, www.cssr.us www.cssr.us
school chool leaders take on the challenge of preparing students for a challenging world, As American secondary s they must take on the challenge of guiding their teachers to embrace the state-of-the art research that will accomplish that goal. One of the quickest and most critical ways ways to stimulate positive change in the classroom is by tackling our current traditional grading practice and replacing it with provenbest practice practice in grading and assessment. It is virtually impossible to maximize student achievement if we fail f ail to redesign how we grade. g rade. There is a preponderance of evidence on assessment and grading that shows how traditional practices not only produce low yields, but frequently fr equently inhibit motivation and academic growth. This session will provide instructional leaders with research and tools that will allow them to explode the myth of the zero, address the tyranny of averaging, and lead their faculty to standards-based grading for learning . Participants will also leave with informative assessment tools that will increase learning and build bu ild student ownership in their own progress. This session provides frequent opportunities for self-assessing and interacting as we share ways to meet this challenge. Handouts in this packet include: 1-2. A Preponderance of Evidence 3.
The Assessment Experience, Stiggins
Ken O’Connor’s 15 Fixes for Broken Grades
An Innocent E-mail and an Averaging Quiz
The Homework Dilemma
Charting Progress Example
Self-Analysis of Assessment Examples
11-12. Developing a Departmental Policy That That Aligns with Best P Practice ractice Other handouts will be referred to t o during the session and available through e-mail request. =================================================================================
Grade Reflects Behavior Quantity Journey Individual Preference Short-Term Compliance Teacher Involvement Arbitrary Assignments
Take Small Steps to Shift More Toward Right
Learning Quality Destination Common Agreement Long-Term Retention Student Involvement Authentic Experiences
Building a Knowledge Base on the Link between Assessment, Grading, Homework and LEARNING
150 Ways to Increase Motivation in the Classroom, Classroom, Raffini
Ahead of the Curve Curve:: The Power of Assessment Assessment to Transform Transform Teaching Teaching and Learnin Learning, g, Reeves-Stiggins-DuFour-Guskey, et al
Activating the Desire Desire to Learn Learn,, Sullo
Assessing and Reporting on Habits of the Mind , Costa
Assessment Manifesto, Manifesto, Stiggins
Boosting Achievement Achievement with Messages Messages that Motivate, Motivate, Dweck
Building Teachers’ Capacity Capacity for Success Success:: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches Coaches and School Leade Leaders, rs, Hall and Simeral
The Case Against Homework, Bennett
Clarity in the Classroom: Building Learning-Focused Relationships, Absolum Absolum
Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work , Marzano
Coaching Reluctant Learners, Donegan and Green
Common Formative Assessment: Connecting to Standards-Based Instruction, Instruction, Ainsworth
The Competent Classroom: A Creative Guide to Aligning High School Curriculum, Standards, and Assessment, Zmuda
Effective Grading Practice: Practice: How Small Decisions Decisions Make a Big Big Difference in Achievement and Motivation, Motivation, Reeves
Effort and Excellence Excellence in Urban Classrooms: Expecting Expecting and Getting Succ Success ess with All Students, Students, Corbett, Wilson and Williams
Enhancing Student Achievement: Achievement: A Framework Framework for School Improve Improvement ment , Danielson
Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessing and Grading in the Differentiate Differentiated d Classroom, Classroom, Wormeli
Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students, Students, Cushman
The Game of School: Why We All Play It, How It Hurts Kids and What It Will Take to Change It, Fried
Getting to Got It: Helping Struggling Students Learn How to Learn, Garner
Grading Practices that Work Against Standards and How to Fix Them, Guskey
The Homework Myth, Kohn
How to Grade for Learning, O’Connor
How to Thrive as a Teacher Teacher Leader , Gabriel
Improving Student Learning Learning One Teacher at a Ti Time me,, Pollock
The Kids Left Behind , Barr
The Learner-Centered Classroom, McCombs
The Learning Leader: How to Focus School Improvement for Better Results, Results, Reeves
Making Classroom Assessment Assessment Work, Davies
Motivating Students in in an Era of Standards, Standards, Sagor
Never Work Harder than than Your Students and Other Principles Principles of Great Teaching, Teaching, Jackson
The Passionate Teacher: A Practical Guide, Guide , Fried
Personalizing the High High School Experience for Each Student, DiMartino and Clarke
Practical Solutions for Serious Serious Problems in Grading, Grading, Guskey
The Quality School Teacher , Glasser A Repair Kit for Grading: Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Gr Grades, ades, O’Connor
The Standards-Based Teaching to Learning Cycle, Benson
Test Better-Teach Better: The Instructional Role of Assessment , Popham
Tranformative Assessment, Popham
Transforming Classroom Grading, Marzano
Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?, Rutherford
WHY WE MUST MAKE THE SHIFT! These Author’s Know Just How Important It Is “What we now know about effective classroom assessment and grading is vastly different practice from the norm.
“The antiquated grading system in use today has little or no research to support its continuation and is highly ineffective.
When teachers make this shift the impact on subsequent student success is substantial:
A complete shift in our practice is needed if we are ever to maximize student performance.”
improved performance in grade-equivalent scores of as much as three or four grade levels,, which translates on levels standardized test scores to improvement of almost 15 percentile points.” points.”
And from Ahead of the Curve: The Power of Assessment to Transform Teaching and Learning: “Courage is required. Those who implement changes in assessment, grading, and the professional practices surrounding it, risk not only confrontation, confrontation, but also also unpopularity, unpopularity, social isolation, isolation, and and public humiliation.” humiliation.”
Involving students in actively monitoring their progress on specific learning targets:
Research results for
builds ownership of learning
and responsibility in the classroom
percentile gains gains of 16 - 21 %.
increases the likelihood
students will avail themselves of support opportunities
Research results for
*every *ev weeks +13 +13.5% *every ery 3 wewe ekeks + 24..5% 5%
Research results for FEEDBACK: percentile gains o off 10 - 37 %.
helps set goals devisestudents action plans to and increase their performance
students to stay engaged in the learning process
And from Transformative Assessment: “Any time an author predicts that a book can help bring about a fundamental transformation in anything; you’re likely dealing dealing with someone someone in need of of therapy. So why do I claim claim classroom assessment can trigger such a transformation transformation in someone’s teaching? teaching? I do it because I know the claim to be stone-cold true.” true.”
The Assessment Experience Excerpt from “Assessment Through Students’ Eyes”, Students’ Eyes”, by Rick Stiggins, 2007 ETS Assessment Training Institute helps K-12 educators improve student achievement by integrating student-involved classroom assessment with day-to-day instruction.
www.assessmentinst.com FOR STUDENTS ON WINNING STREAKS
FOR STUDENTS ON LOSING STREAKS
Assessment results provide… Continual evidence of success
Continual evidence of failure
The student feels… Hopeful and optimistic
Empowered to take productive action
Initially panicked, giving way to resignation
The student thinks… It’s all good. I’m doing fine.
This hurts. I’m not safe here.
See the trend? I succeed as usual.
I just can’t do this . . . again.
I want more success.
I’m confused. I don’t like this – help!
School focuses on what I do well.
Why is it always about what I can’t do?
I know what to do next.
Nothing I try seems to work.
Feedback helps me.
Feedback is criticism. It hurts.
Public success feels good.
Public failure is embarrassing.
The student becomes more likely to… Seek challenges.
Seek what’s easy.
Seek exciting new ideas.
Avoid new concepts and approaches.
Practice with gusto.
Become confused about what to practice.
Persist in the face of setbacks.
Give up when things become challenging.
Take risks and stretch – go for it!
Retreat and escape – trying is too dangerous!
These actions lead to… Self-enhancement
Positive self-fulfilling prophecy
Negative self-fulfilling prophecy
Acceptance of responsibility
Denial of responsibility
Feeling that success is its own reward
No feelings of success, no reward
Boredom, frustration, fear, anger
Inability to adapt
Yielding quickly to defeat
Strong foundations for future success
Failure to master prerequisites for future success
From A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O’Connor Educational Testing Service, 2007 ISBN 0-88685-387-7 www.assessmentinst.com Our current grading practices often not only fail to meet our objectives but also wind also wind up doing the opposite of what we intend. O’Connor does a great job of setting the stage for the underpinning issues of fairness, motivation, and objectivity - as well as the importance of student involvement - as we examine and improve grading grading practices. He provides excellent excellent research and rationale, rationale, plenty of examples, examples, and ways to involve involve students for for each “fix”.
Fixes for Practices that Distort Achievement 1. Don’t include student behaviors (effort, participation, adherence to class rules, etc.) in grades; include only achievement. 2. Don’t reduce marks on “work” submitted late; provide alternate deterrents and provide support for the learner. 3. Don’t give points for extra credit or use bonus points; seek only evidence that more work has resulted in a higher level of achievement. a chievement. 4. Don’t punish academic dishonesty with reduced grades; apply other consequences and reassess to determine actual level of achievement. 5. Don’t consider attendance in grade determination; report absences separately. 6. Don’t include group scores in grades; use only individual achievement evidence.
Fixes for Low-Quality or Poorly Organized Evidence 7. Don’t organize information in grading reports re ports by assessment methods (quizzes, tests, homework, etc.) or simply summarize into a single grade; organize and report r eport evidence by standards/learning goals. 8. Don’t assign grades using inappropriate or unclear performance standards; provide clear descriptions of achievement expectations. 9. Don’t assign grades based on student’s achievement compared to other students; compare each student’s performance to preset standards. 10. Don’t rely on evidence gathered using assessments that fail to meet standards of quality; rely only on quality assessments.
Fixes for Inappropriate Grade Calculation 11. Don’t rely only on the mean; consider other measures of central tendency and use professional judgment. 12. Don’t include zeros in grade determination when evidence is missing or as a s punishment; use alternative deterrents and use alternative grading such as reassessing to determine real achievement or use “I” for Incomplete or Insufficient Evidence.
Fixes to Support Learning 13. Don’t use information from formative assessments and practice to determine grades; use only summative evidence. 14. Don’t summarize evidence accumulated over time when learning is developmental and will grow with time and repeated opportunities; in those instances, emphasize more recent re cent achievement. 15. Don’t leave students out of the grading process. Involve students; they can – and should – play key roles in assessment and grading that promotes achievement. Date: Thurs, 11 Nov 2007 21:12 (PDT) From: Linda Anderson <[email protected]
Subject: Thank you for contacting us! To: <[email protected]
> Dear Ms. Shurmann, Jeff's father and I both appreciate that you let us know about the failing grade he is making in German. We are sorry he has not been living up to his potential, and we will have a family meeting/“talking to” this weekend to make certain the Jeff begins to take his education responsibilities more seriously from this point on. We assure you it will include grounding until his grade comes up. If possible, can you provide provide us with some more information and ammunition ammunition for this conversation? What are some behaviors, assignments, or skills that are lacking? What assignments or behaviors do you need to see from him so he can begin passing? And if he can turn himself around – and we assure you he WILL – what is the highest projected grade he can reach by the time report cards come out? Thank you again for taking the time to notify us. If for any reason, you don't see a change in Jeff's performance, please let us know and we will see to it he makes the most of your class. Sincerely, Linda and Kenneth Anderson 642-1314 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2007 11:09 (PDT) From: <[email protected]
> Subject: RE: Thank you for contacting us! To: [email protected] [email protected]
Dear Mrs. Anderson, Thank you for your your support. I am sure that working together we can help Jeff pass. As you know, Jeff’s current average is 44.31% which is significantly below what he is capable of. As of today, he is missing 13 homework assignments. For six of those assignments, he is beyond the window of opportunity to turn those in late and will receive a zero for those assignments. Four of those assignments are still within that “late” window, and if he will turn them in by the end of next week I can allow him to receive a 50 on each of those. I am willing to accept the final three assignments by the end of next week for full credit. You can look in Jeff’s notebook at the homework assignment list and it is also posted on our German II webpage on the school website. We have one remaining chapter left before the final. If Jeff will complete those seven assignments, continue to participate in class, and stay at the same level on tests, he has the ability to receive a projected potential grade of 72.1% by report card time. Jeff’s main problem is he believes he is “above” doing the homework. His attitude has been of concern on this topic and he is perfectly capable of completing them on his own. His test and quiz average so far this semester is 96.67%. If he had completed the required homework, homework, his scores could have been in the high A level. Once again, I appreciate your interest and your support. I look forward to working this out for Jeff’s behalf, Doris Schurmann XXX High School, 642-2001 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CLASS GRADING POLICY Class Participation = 15% Homework = 15% In-Class Assignments = 20% Tests and Quizes = 30% Final Project = 10% Final Exam = 10% 100% Total Points Possible
Susan’s Grades Resulted In… Class Participation = 7% Homework = 12% In-Class Assignments = 18% Tests and Quizzes = 23% Final Project = 10% Final Exam = 9% What grade should Susan get?
1 3 4 2 4 4
Kyle’s Unit 3 Quizzes/Test… Quiz 1: 88 Quiz 2: 78 Quiz 3: 0 Quiz 4: 91 Unit Test: 87 (x4) What grade should Kyle get?
Here’s what we usually try…
This approach worked for me as a student.
This approach works successfully for some students I teach now.
Logic and Reason
You’re in high school now, n ow, you need to llearn earn to be responsible. respons ible. Homework will help you learn more and make better grades.
You need to learn to do homework now, so you’ll be pre prepared pared to
do homework in college.
Your grades will suffer suf fer if you don’t do homework. If you don’t do homework, you’ll be in trouble with …me …parents …front office …college …screwed up for life.
Take a deep breath and let go!
So…then what CAN improve their application of homework so that their learning CAN improve ? ? ? ?
Assessment is the process of gathering evidence evidence to inform instructional decisions. It is rarely used that way. Shift!
Homework- when designed and used correctly - can be a key instructional tool and assessment tool. It is rarely designed and used for maximum effectiveness. Shift!
One size can not fit all. Personalized performance assessment works best to increase learning and to measure learning. Homework is almost never used this way. Shift!
SOME STRATEGIES THAT HAVE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD:
Community-Based, Problem-Based, Performance-Based, and Service-Based Assignments
Student Voice in Homework Design
Differentiation as Part of Homework Design
Interesting and Integral Use of Homework Application in Class
Study Teams Use of Homework in Action Research – classroom or individual
Students Involved in Monitoring Progress through Assessments FOR Learning.
Proactive Parent Outreach on Front End
Frequent, Positive, and Purposeful Intervention with Student
Frequent, Positive, and Purposeful Communication with Parents
Celebration and Intrinsic Rewarding of Progress on Homework
Interdisciplinary Interdisciplina ry Extension and Enrichment 7
METACOGNITION: The Importance Importance of Charting Progress Traditional progress reports rarely show progress. Students and teachers both benefit from seeing visual and periodic progress, and use that documentation in “micro-feedback” loops. When students take a moment to chart their own progress you are automatically building ownership and responsibility responsibilit y ffor or their own learning and their own results. You could do it weekly as in the chart below, but you need to at least do it every three weeks (easier.) “Metacognition” “Metacognitio n” in this context means we teach students to make connections between their actions and their results. Students write on the slanted line the actions and behaviors behaviors that created the result. Teachers may need to help them them see those relationships relationships in the beginning – Did they they attend tutoring? tutoring? Did the study with a partner? Did they turn in homework? Did they forget to do make-up work? Were they absent three days in a row? Include adult supports! In a traditional classroom, classroom, students are comp competing eting against every o other ther student for a “grade”. Where you stand in relation relation to 35 other kids matter matters. s. In a personalized classroom, classroom, student studentss are competing against them themselves. selves. Where they stand this week co compared mpared to wher wheree they stood last w week eek matters. Students see the teacher and fellow students as part of team that provides support for everyone else’s personal improvement. Creating the “first” measurement as a baseline score allows you to start from a neutral position and recognize effort, helping students make the connection that “work works.” Because it is a neutral scoring system, it can be posted for teams within within a period and/or in perio period-by-per d-by-period iod chart in “healthy competition”” between one class and another. competition End of Week:
+36 +33 +30 +27 +24 +21 +18 +15 *12 +9 +6 +3 Baseline
Growth: up 2
Growth: up 4
Growth: down 9
Growth: up 12
Growth: up 9
-3 -6 -9 -12 -15
Biology Success Success Tracker: Tracker: UNDERSTANDING ECOSYSTEMS Unit Test Questions What I want to learn and do before final rubric score ---- 1 - 4
Able to describe how energy becomes available available wit within hin the ecosystem Able to describe what happens to energy as it flows and to matter as it cycles through the ecosystem Able to identify and describe the relationship between living and non-living factors in an ecosystem Able to identify trends
Able to create graph
Able to use graphs to identify and analyze problems
Able to make predictions about environmental changes Recall, interpret, and use the twelve key vocabulary related to ecosystem 9
_______________ _______ ________________ _______________ _________ __ World History Period ______ LEARNING JOURNEY:_______________________________________________________________
SKILL CONCEPT TERM
I’m“Glub-Glub” under water!!
I’d float with a life jacket.
Treading water on my own
Swimming to Shore
Test Analysis on Q# missed
IN YOUR OWN WORDS (short), what was this question asking?
What do we need to teach/do/learn to get it right when you see it again?
Developing Departmental Assessment and Grading Practices Remember: *What works for one department department may not work for another departm department. ent. For example, in a course such as speech, foreign language, language, or mu music, sic, “participation” “participation” may need to be be very specific, serve a very very critical role in learning, and thus be given larger larger weight than it would in math mathematics. ematics. Likewise, practice at home home may be more potent and prevalent for some courses than for others, etc. *Let some departments move more quickly than others. Another contributing factor is “departmental “departmental culture” – some departments departments may be more willing willing and ready to embrace best practice practice than others, others, and thus their first first year work surrounding surrounding effective grading grading and assessment assessment practice may be be ahead of other departments. departments. That That is okay, as long as each department is beginning to take steps to align their current practice with proven best practice. ============================================================================ Our current practices are not only strongly rooted in tradition, they are strongly rooted in a belief it is the right thing to do. Like “urban myths”, many of our strongly h held eld beliefs have actually been clearly sshown hown to be untrue. The following beliefs, however, however, have been shown shown to be be true. If you don’t don’t agree with at least the the first three statements (that are verified by overwhelming evidence), then it will be virtually impossible to develop assessment and grading practices that maximize student learning and motivation. 1) Human beings make significant changes in their lives only when they are in an environment where they feel genuinely cared about. 2) The threat of a low grade is much more likely to motivate high achieving students than low achieving students. 3) There is little or no evidence that repeated failure makes people more responsible. 4) One of the easiest ways for human beings to avoid the responsibility of failure is to quit trying. 5) There is a major difference between making it difficult for students to fail and making it easy to get passing grades without much work and rework .
To wind up with the highest quality outcome, follow these seven steps: st
1 : ASSESSMENT LITERACY – There is a preponderance of clear evidence about “what works” and what doesn’t; what is good for student motivation and learning, and what is detrimental. Any discussion or decision about grading and assessment practices must not take place until at least a foundational understanding of proven best practice practice is clearly communicated communicated and understood within within a department. department. Department Chair Chair can expose (or revisit) a few key articles with their teachers through jigsaw reading, joint reading, or their own synthesis of the research and practice about what we know works best to both increase learning, and increase motivation and responsibility. responsibility. nd
2 : ASSESSMENT PHILOSOPY – Department Chair should work with their teachers to develop a departmental philosophy surrounding the “Integrity of the Grade,” by answering the following f ollowing questions: Why do we we grade? grade? Which of those reasons is most important? important? (rank order) What do we want a grade to represent about what a student has mastered in our content area and will remember and be able to use later? Are we confident we have a quality over quantity approach? (no more than 6-7 top notch assignments per unit.) Have we “bundled” “bundled” where possible possible and appropriate? Are we proud of our assignments and assessments? (proficient or above, engaging, personalized) Have we compared and analyzed? When, how, and how much do we want to work on those together? Are we using homework as assessments FOR learning adequately? Can we ethically and concretely show others that we have have parity parity in grading grading and and equity of service? service? To what extent are we willing to do so? How do we want to communicate our philosophy to students and parents? How do we want to communicate progress to students and parents? Where on the “philosophical continuum” are we willing to be this year on the key issues that increase student learning and motivation? Is this lip service or will it become a deeply held departmental belief and our professional practice? How can we support each other to live up to this philosophy?
There are a whole set of top-notch practices that yield high results in these four categories. It is helpful, but not mandatory, mandatory, for these to be developed before #7, as long as you intend to begin developing and addressing them ASAP .
3 : th 4 : th 5 : th 6 :
ASSESSMENTS OF LEARNING ASSESSMENTS FOR LEARNING PERSONALIZED PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS SUPPORT SYSTEMATIZED & NONINVITATIONAL
Then...7th: GRADING PROTOCOLS Determine how assignments and grades will match up with powerful standards. Determine which items are formative and which are summative. Determine the number of authentic assessment experiences to be expected each term. Determine appropriate weight for key components of our c content ontent learning design. Develop appropriate rubric or description of basic, proficient, above proficient, and exceeds expectations (or A,B,C, F or 4,3,2,1 – etc.). Develop our practice regarding “I”nsufficient evidence versus “opting out”. Establish appropriate grade determination practices versus “averaging”.
Determine how best to give specific feedback on 21 Century Skills. Skills. Determine how we want our “grade books” to look.
For more information, contact Billie Donegan or Joe DiMartino at 401-828-0077 – [email protected]