Improving Depth of Student Understanding of Physics Content Using Standards Based Grading
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AbstractMuch of the research in education shows that grading and reporting are foundational elements in every educational system, but the key to keeping the system healthy is making the grades meaningful. Through this process, this study established multiple qualities necessary for effective grading methods based on the most current and up-to-date research studies. Teachers, parents, and administration are constantly referring to the significance of students grades. Students are consistently encouraged to increase their grades and are told that these grades will affect how they do in life. However, even with a continual focus on grades and grading policies, many studies over the most recent years have demonstrated that these grades are virtually arbitrary. Students are often graded on their participation class, their effort outside of class, and their ability to turn in homework on time in addition to the content pertaining to the subject at hand. A student who receives a report card grade of an 82% in science has no concept of what that grade means. Did they not understand a topic? Were they late with turning in homework? Did they have a bad day when taking a quiz? Were they talking during silent work period? Did they complete bonus work? It may be different for every case. While focusing on any of the above items is not wrong, making the assumption that this student understands 82% of course material based on their grade is inaccurate. Maybe this student did poorly on each assessment but was an excellent participant in class discussions and added to class culture. The objective of standardized grading is to use grades as a tool help students, teachers, parents to understand what content the students have mastered and what standards they should continue to be working towards. Students often have no idea where their grade comes from. They see numbers go in they see a calculation and a grade appears as a result. Standardized grading proposes to take the mystery away from the grade, so that students can have power over improving the grade, if they so choose, in dissecting their understanding of various topics. Through this method, grades reflect what students actually know and help inform teaching. This project is designed to be a compilation of seven modules based on seven units taught in a high school physics classroom following a standards based grading strategy.
DescriptionIMPROVING DEPTH OF STUDENT UNDERSTANDING OF PHYSICS CONTENT USING STANDARDS BASED GRADING