Students have the ability to justify why they earned/deserve a certain grade based on their reflection of their work.
I do not like grades. I believe we have conditioned students to believe the grade is more important than the process of learning. This process is meant to disrupt the idea that the grade is given by me, the teacher. This process is meant to disrupt the thinking the grade is more important than the process.
The students, after completion of their presentation/implementation of their idea, will bring all of their written evidence to a meeting with me. During this meeting the student will explain the learning process that they participated in during their work time. Throughout the entire work time, formative evaluations were taking place in six key areas; Aligned Thinking, Collaboration, Rich Inquiry, Critical Thinking, Meaningful Assessment and Craftsmanship. Each of these areas will be observed and an individual conversation will be had with each student to make sure the learning is a process. These conversations help the students learn and reflect throughout the process and change what they are doing if they are not being successful.
Adjustments to Process
For our last project, Voices, this process was modified as my learning continues and I listen to the feedback from the students. I have found so many documents that have been made available for my remixing that I will provide mine. If you do have ideas for improving and remixing these documents, I would love to hear about it. The students were sent four reflection documents; Personal Reflection, Group Reflection, Presentation Reflection and Grade Justification. The students were asked to complete these documents answering the reflection questions with at least four complete sentences. Because this was the first time doing this process the majority of the reflections were not meeting the minimum requirements. Reflection is emphasized as essential for the students and their learning process.
I want to guide students in being real about where they are in their learning. The application of their time and skills in order to be successful need to be self-assessed. Allowing for students to be their own judge on the grade they deserve after all the work is completed allows for a real reflective process. Student reflection and the ability to understand what could be improved has shown to have a huge impact on future student learning according to John Hattie's Research on effect of different educational practices. The maturity I have seen in two rounds of this process has been very encouraging!
Students get a clear sense of time management and deadlines with this process. If all the necessary requirements are not complete the students then are reflective that they cannot receive the highest grade because they did not complete what they had complete control over. I believe the more the students are responsible for the more they are involved in the learning process the more they will grow in their learning.
How to Grow
A key conversations that I make sure to have with all my students after going through the Grade Justification process is how the students can grow in their learning process. I never again want a student walking away with a grade and no conversation or understanding about how they can move forward from that grade. If the student believes they earned C-level work than I will provide 1-2 ways the student can move their work to B-Level and another 1-2 ways the student could work up to A-level work.
How to Ungrade - Jesse Stommel
Rethinking Grading In A 21st Century Project-Based Learning Environment
PBL Pilot: Matching PBL With Traditional Grading
Evaluation Within Project-Based Learning
Mr. Dylan Wince
I am not a writer but I am writing. I have learned too much to not share my journey.