Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 8: Returning Quizzes

Today I returned quizzes to three of my four classes. Since there's strong evidence that no one pays attention to feedback if there's a grade on a paper, there were no grades, numerical or letter, on any of the quizzes. Instead, there were comments. In full sentences, even!

What worked:
  • Students asked me about the concepts they got wrong, rather than about the points they lost. There was absolutely no "How come I got a point off for this?" Instead, students clarified their understanding of the skills being assessed.
I did have to reassure several students that their grade was not based entirely on a scary test at the end of the quarter. They'll have plenty of opportunities to give me evidence I can use to "convict them of understanding" (as Grant & Wiggins put it). And once they understand it, rather than having crammed it for a test, they're much more likely to remember it for continued use. Because we're going to be seeing motion maps and position-time graphs and velocity-time graphs for months...

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