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 …

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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 …

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Three-way head-on collision of a red, yellow, and green car at a demolition derby.
Critical ThinkingEducationPolitics

Surprise! Grades are nothing like dollars.

Everyone likes a good ideological parable, especially when it confirms what they already believe to be true about the world. I recently caught the following gem on Facebook, which seems perfectly crafted to tickle the fancy of your garden-variety “daggum socialist Obama” conservative type: An economics professor at a local …

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Pedagogy

Assessment

My last post touched on assessment and as this topic has been overwhelming my life lately, I thought I should share a bit more of my perspective on this. Whenever I speak with other teachers about assessment, I’m reminded of an old joke: A drunk man is looking for his …

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Pedagogy

Gathering Evidence

The more I teach, the more I realize just how much overlap there is between teaching and scientific skepticism. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about assessment lately. There are many different forms of assessment and reasons for doing it, but when you really look at it, assessment is just gathering evidence. …

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Education

Using Data to Find Grading Bias

I love data. A lot. When a close friend was in the hospital, I calculated the exact amount of my free time I dedicated to visiting him each day and put it in a fancy set of charts and graphs. Not for any guilt-tripping purposes, I did this for the …

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Higher Education

What’s In A Number (Or Letter)?

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my last two semesters of teaching (my first classroom experience after grad school.) I avoid grading. I look upon it with dread and procrastinate as much as possible. But isn’t that normal? Don’t most instructors hate to grade? I realized it most strongly at …

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Required Readings

Grade changes, exit interview, first-gen collegians, teacher ed, ed tech, and more: Required Readings, 2.16.15

Happy President’s Day and Lundi Gras, readers! We’ll start this week’s Required Readings with an opinion piece burning up the internet over the weekend: Dear Student: No, I Won’t Change the Grade You Deserve. Thoughts? An interview with the departing leader of a large public school system in the D.C. Metro area emphasizes …

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Critical ThinkingHigher EducationSecondary EducationUncategorized

Wondering about grades? Us, too. Also: adjuncts in the news, charter school walkouts, computer graded writing. It’s Required Reading 2-6-2014!

What’s in a grade? Does a high GPA from a prestigious university indicate  a moral and unthuglike character ?   Why bring it up? Speaking of grades, why the leap from D to F?  Shouldn’t you lose points for forgetting one of the most popular letters? Well, New Jersey really needs …

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Union Jack Flag
Required Readings

Required Readings – A-Levels Edition! – 15 August 2013

Hairy legs and armpits! A-Levels! Dawn Foster! Accreditation drama! Good morning, teachers and learners. Your required readings are below. I’ve gathered everything you need to know about the drama that is A-levels. Can you afford University? – The BBC talks with students here, including those who recall the hairy legs …

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