Elements of Grading: A Guide to Effective Practice
Research has shown that the quality of feedback is one of the most important factors in improving student learning. Elements of Grading addresses ... Show synopsis Research has shown that the quality of feedback is one of the most important factors in improving student learning. Elements of Grading addresses problems with the primary source of feedback for students: grades. Author Douglas Reeves argues that grades must meet four essential criteria: Accuracy. How can we ensure that grading systems are the result of evidence and reason rather than individual judgment? Fairness. How can we ensure that grades are based on performance rather than gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status? Specificity. How can we make sure grades are specific enough to help students improve their performance, rather than simply ranking them? Timeliness. How can we ensure that students receive fair, accurate, and specific feedback while they still have the time and motivation to use it? In addressing these four issues, Elements of Grading does not offer an "ultimate answer" or "perfect system" but shows how to begin a constructive, evidence-based conversation about improving grading systems. Reeves analyzes the main features of the grading systems many schools use today (such as the 100-point system and the policy of giving no points for missing work), evaluating each of them by his four criteria. While addressing common arguments against reform, he offers practical suggestions to teachers to make the grading process not only more accurate, fair, specific, and timely, but quicker and more efficient as well. The book includes examples, case studies, and opportunities for reflection to facilitate individual and school-wide examinations of grading policies.