Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 28 - Grades in #flipclass

In recent weeks the weekly twitter chat for #flipclass has become a #flashblog where the topic that is being discussed at the beginning becomes the topic of a blog that we go off to write (and then return to share). This weeks topic is grades/assessment (and since I am Canadian I must add to that list, marks).

I have been trying to work toward a classroom culture that limits the emphasis on marks. Both of the classes that I run using a flipped classroom model (and wish I could do a mastery model) I have been trying to create this type of culture in. About two semesters ago I stopped including a marking scheme on my in-class quizzes. I now only give descriptive feedback on them and return them to students. This has allowed me to create more discussion around them and to try some new things.

The first semester the focus was on getting students to make corrections without me simply posting an answer key. This made sure that students actually had a good reason to read through the feedback I had given and put some thought into going back to that material that was unclear to them. Students bought into this idea fairly easily and it seemed to work well overall.

This semester I had a quiz for my physics class that lead me to find some common mistakes. I used this idea to create homogeneous groups based on their results and then throughout that class visited each of the groups to discuss what their next steps should be. The feedback from students was that they enjoyed being put into different groups like this and that I should do it again. It is kind of funny how often they appreciate new groups but they never switch it up on their own (even though this class choose their own groups).

I am always seeking new ideas to try to work on this culture some more. I am also doing a lot of work around my assessment practices in general and hope to work more with learning goals in the future (and then make info available to students showing them their learning level of each of the goals so that they can see what I think they need to work on whenever they need).

If you have ideas, please share!

Happy Spring!

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