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

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

The following is a first-draft attempt at a grading system for learning.

  • 5 – Applies the knowledge or skills to real-life situations, including ones not featured while formally learning the knowledge or skills.  Knows to what extent to use the knowledge or skills, and why.  Integrates use of the knowledge or skills with other knowledge or skills.  Improves the state-of-the-art regarding knowledge or techniques.
  • 4 – Applies the knowledge or skills to real-life situations, including ones not featured while formally learning the knowledge or skills.  Knows to what extent to use the knowledge or skills, and why.  Integrates use of the knowledge or skills with other knowledge or skills.
  • 3 – Applies the knowledge or skills to real-life situations featured while formally learning the knowledge or skills.  Knows to what extent to use the knowledge or skills.
  • 2 – Applies the knowledge or skills, by following a script.
  • 1 – Makes an effort, but does not apply the knowledge or skills.
  • 0 – Does not try to learn or apply the knowledge or skills.

The following indicate possible criteria to add to the above.

  • 5 – Teaches others to achieve a performance level of at least 4.
  • 4 – Teaches others to achieve a performance level of at least 3.
  • 3 – Teaches others to achieve a performance level of at least 2.

(Alternatively, a grading system for “teaching” can have a separate scale that includes something like the following.

  • 5 – Teaches others to achieve a performance level of 5.
  • 4 – Teaches others to achieve a performance level of 4.
  • And so forth.)

Please provide comments.  To the extent this 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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