#AMATYC 9: Standards Base Grading


This session’s description seems to promise a grading system that requires mastery of the objectives and not just showing mastery of around 70% of the objectives.

Think, Thank, Thunk is a blog that focuses on standards based grading. The presenter, Meghan McIntyre recommends that we look at it.

To use standards based grading give a list of standards to the students. Run class much as before. Homework is never collected. Students should reflect on whether they have done enough practice to master the content.

Feedback on quizzes is specific to standards. The students then go back and practice more on those standards. They then re-assess.

Part of the philosophy is that failure is not fatal unless you stop trying. Dr. John C. Maxwell has a book called Failing Forward that Ms. McIntyre recommends.

Standards based quizzes were only 50 out of 800 points. The learning objective is listed on the quiz. Re-assessment occurs on the day before the test. Students only have to re-assess objectives they do not have 100%. They may re-assess on any topic. Before the final they get a third chance to re-assess on any objective.

Negotiated grades can be part of this system. McIntyre does not use this. Some teachers don’t count the highest grade. Some insist on re-assessment and keep the most recent for instance.

I think a cover sheet with the objectives and degree of mastery would be helpful for both my students and me even if I do not allow re-quizzing. It is kind of an obvious takeaway, but I haven’t been connecting errors with objectives with assessments. This would also make item analysis work better. Did students who missed the initial objective then go back and learn it? Did those who passed the objective on the quiz retain the learning until the test?

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