Pedagogy

Pros of Participation Grades 2

Continuing my series on the downsides and benefits of grading participation, here is another benefit. 2. It makes effort important. Though this post won’t really deal too much with motivation and grading (ie. whether or not students actually view grades as “important”), there is a good case to be made …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Pros of Participation Grades 1

I’ve written a series of posts addressing some common criticisms of giving grades for participation in class. For each of those criticisms, there was a strong rebuttal. Basically, they can be summed up as “this isn’t a problem if you do it right.” Now I’m going to go over some …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 5

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 5. It is not fair. This is the last of the “cons” of participation grades I often hear about. The unfairness aspect of participation is typically linked to student …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 4

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 4. Classroom management shouldn’t be a part of grading. This view is quite common among teachers who follow certain schools of thought in teaching. It has three assumptions built …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 3

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 3. It is misused to justify bias. As I’ve mentioned before, some teachers use participation grades to justify using their like or dislike of students as a part of …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 2

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 2. It is nebulous. What exactly does participation mean? A strong criticism of participation-based grades is that participation itself is a nebulous concept. There are a wide …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 1

There are better and worse ways to assess students and participation is no exception. Some teachers use a “participation grade” as a justification to assign grades based on how much they like students. Obviously, that is not a good grading practice. However, there are others who use participation to assess …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Don’t Teach “Evaluating Sources”

Okay, so that title was a bit of an attention getter. I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t teach students how to evaluate sources at all, just not necessarily when you think you should. Teachers are faced with the task of figuring out exactly what aspects of their subjects …

READ MORE →
Higher EducationPedagogy

“Syllabus Day” Happens for a Reason

It’s Back-to-School season again, also known to educators as time for classroom-management think pieces, syllabus guides, curricular critiques, and ritual lamentations for summer to make their yearly rounds on social media. Popular among my colleagues this year has been this critique of the phenomenon of “Syllabus Day” by Kevin Gannon, in …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Grading Traditions

  For my first eleven years as a teacher, I used rubrics to assign grades, and would give a student a 0 for not turning in work. But this past year, I realized a 0 disproportionately punishes students compared to earning a 100. In my school, we give students numerical …

READ MORE →