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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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Education

10 Tips: How Not to Grade

Teachers get swamped several times a year with grading, often under tight deadlines. Based on some recent interactions in my life, here are my top 10 tips (that you shouldn’t follow):   1. Don’t bother assessing students on what you actually taught them. When grading time comes, look for something new …

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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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