Grades? – Let’s improve how we measure learning or accomplishment. (I)

Grades – in school or at work – can be arbitrary.  In school, what is the difference between “A” and “B”?  Or, what do people mean by “basic,” “proficient,” and “advanced”?  At work, which is better, “excellent” or “outstanding”?

Let’s help people develop more-useful ways to grade learning or performance.  I propose to open 2 discussions.

  • Let’s develop principles for grading systems.
  • Let’s develop at least 1 useful new grading system.

With this posting, I invite you to make comments as part of the “principles” discussion.  (With an immediately next posting, I invite you to make comments as part of the “systems” discussion.) 

The following are first-draft proposals for principles or standards a grading system should meet.

  1. People can agree on appropriate grades, if they have …
    • A well-articulated curriculum or job description, and
    • An accurate statement of a student’s or worker’s performance.
  2. People can agree on a useful characterization of a student’s or worker’s performance, if they have …
    • A well-articulated curriculum or job description, and
    • Grades assigned appropriately under the system.
  3. People can meaningfully use the system prospectively to help match students and learning experiences or to help match workers and jobs.
  4. People can use the system to envision and implement improvements to curricula or job descriptions.
  5. People can meaningfully use the system to evaluate other systems that attempt to measure learning or performance.
  6. Other.  (Specify:)

 

Please provide comments.  To the extent the above is a worthwhile start, let’s improve it.  If you have other ideas, please propose them.  Let’s encourage people to put something useful into practice.

 

How to proceed?  Along with staying in touch with the discussion, consider doing the following.

·        Post a comment (see below).  If possible, link to your blog or website.

·        If you have a blog, write a post and link it to this one.

·        Forward to people you know knowledge of the opportunity to contribute to this dialog.

 

 

Click for information about Thomas J. Buckholtz or his books.

 

 

 

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