Grades should provide feedback to students, parents, and teachers as to the progress students are making toward learning targets. Meaningful grades require good assessment practices. Erica Posthuma presented a ChemEd X Talk on May 11th, 2021, providing an overview of effective assessment design. She discussed writing and communicating learning goals, developing targeted questions and prompts, and scoring using a standards-based approach. You can watch the edited recording of Erica's Talk here.
Ungrading has long been associated with the idea of purposefully eliminating or minimizing the use of points or letters to assess student work. The focus of ungrading is to provide extensive feedback to students and then jointly (students and instructors) come to a consensus as to what the grade should be. This post addresses what ungrading is and why do it.
Teacher burnout - it is real. How can teacher's adopt more sustainable grading practices to improve their work-life balance?
As many chemistry teachers know, grading lab reports can be a very time-consuming task. For me, the lab report that has required the most time to grade is a stoichiometry lab that I have been doing the past couple years. Though we do at least four “formal” lab reports each year, what makes this one different is that it involves a lot more calculations and subsequent results than any of our other labs. Regardless of how well they organized their report or wrote their conclusions, their results need to be checked for accuracy. This takes time. Even after eventually being able to generally eyeball their work, it still takes more time than I would like. So, this year I finally decided to sit down and generate a tool for me to expedite this process—the stoichiometry calculator.
An educational reform that has been gaining a large amount of popularity in the last decade is standards-based grading (SBG). The heart of the SBG movement is truly rooted in one very important question, “what do you want your grades mean?”