Grading to Influence Learning and Save Time (Spring-into-Spring Week)
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
1:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Often we spend lots of time grading and explaining criticisms only to discover that the same students make the same mistakes again. What’s needed are ways to use grading (and feedback) as a lever to transform learning. Have students first self-assess their own work, for instance, against a checklist of the most common omissions, or the few vital things every assignment must display. The principle: The more we clarify our grading criteria, the less our students may contest grades. To use class time well, first email or post anonymous sample student work with comments on what’s strong and weak in it, so students see what criteria like “critical reflection” actually look like when done well or poorly. Then in class avoid simply “covering” those problems and models and instead use time for processing and responding: have students take a few minutes to write “The five most important things I need to focus on to improve my grade moving forward are ---,” share in pairs or groups then report out. For mathematical or scientific problems with clear right/wrong answers: Return student work marked only right or wrong and, before points are assigned, have students not only find and correct their errors, but explain where exactly they went wrong. The principle: before making final summative judgments (at the end of a process or to decide an assignment grade), it always helps to provide feedback on formative attempts (for improvement). Join us for a workshop to explore such practices and plan to use them yourself. Session facilitated by Roben Torosyan and Larry Miners, CAE.