With almost 9,000 downloads and counting, this show is the most popular episode on Every Classroom Matters in 2016 so far. Dr. Thomas Guskey shares the current research on “fair” grading and what teachers should be doing instead. This show came from the “averaging grades” graphic (shown at the bottom) that he posted on Twitter asking if it is “fair” to average grades.
Thomas talks about fairness, clearly defining a grade and why sometimes we should change how we grade to reflect mastery at the end of a course. Is a grade reflecting their average ability over time or their mastery and competency at the end?
Thomas also reflects upon those teachers who never drop grades and when it may be right or wrong to do so. How do we determine what the most valuable evidence a teacher has that determines student competency at the end of the course? Why we need multiple forms of evidence to determine grades. He discusses the challenge of end of grading period and how to make our grading better at that time.
Would other professionals looking at the same body of evidence come up with the same grade? Thomas also talks about percentages and the flaws in the system that makes it hard for teachers to have consistent judgments on student work.
Who is Thomas Guskey?
Thomas Guskey@tguskey is Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. His research focuses on on professional development and teacher change, program evaluation, assessment of student learning, grading and reporting, instructional effectiveness, and educational reform.