Sunday, March 20, 2011

SBG: Transparency, student involvement, temporal patience, and diagnostic precision

OK. I am enamored with all that is going on with standards-based grading:

Here's four reasons why:
  • I love that the skills and concepts that are to be assessed are made transparent. They are made transparent to students. But the work a teacher has to put into to making them transparent is an important means toward clarifying norms, expectations, and outcomes for oneself, for one's classrooms, and in one's community.
  • I love that students are involved in self-assessment. Students get to keep track of what they are learning. They know what they know, and know how to improve.
  • I love that assessments make learning a priority, and this is done by exhibiting temporal patience. It doesn't matter when you learn, only if you learn. Assessment reach into the past, present, and future, but they are largely about the present.
  • I love that assessments are diagnostic. The (attempted) isolation of skills makes the diagnostic element of teaching much easier.
So here's the thing. If what I love is transparency, student involvement, temporal patience, and diagnostic precision, is standards-based grading the only way to go? I don't think so. But it's been a great entry into my re-thinking about assessment.

What do you think? What other assessment systems meet these criteria? What important features of assessment am I missing?

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